By Sanusi Lateef
Members of Ibese community on Monday March 21st, 2022 protested in Abeokuta over what they described as a “misleading” legal advice by the Ogun State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Oluwasina Ogungbade on the installation of a new Aboro of Ibese.
According to the protesters, the legal advice was dated 16th March, 2022 and was addressed to the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Afolabi Afuape.
They said the letter is highly provocative and regrettable, noting that they are protesting as they are vehemently against the legal advice.
The protesters alleged that in the legal advice the State Attorney General, Ogungbade, disagreed with a legal advice offered by his immediate predecessor in office to the State Executive Council, dated 17th June, 2020, which recommended that the choice of Prince Rotimi Mulero as Aboro Ibese by the Kingmakers be set aside, because it did not follow and did not conform with the 1957 Ibese Chieftaincy Declaration law still in use and that the selection process be started afresh.
Speaking with newsmen during the protest, leader of the protesters, Prince Idowu Adedokun Hakeem said the 1957 Declarion is clear on the process of selecting who becomes the Aboro of Ibese.
Prince Hakeem said there are two ruling Houses in Ibese, namely Alangbo and Oloko.
He added that according to the Chieftaincy Declaration, the succession through the male line of a ruling house can devolve on the female line only when there are no suitable candidates (sons) from the male line, while in such cases the candidature is limited to the male descendant of the female line in the first generation only.
He noted that Prince Azeez Adedeji Adedimeji Idowu is a suitable candidate from the male line, who happened to be the one and only candidate formally nominated and presented by the Oloko Ruling House which is the next Ruling House to ascend the throne.
Prince Hakeem said Prince Rotimi Mulero is not a suitable candidate as he is from the fourth generation of the female line and was never nominated and presented by the Oloko Ruling House.
Meanwhile, while relaying the protesters’ message to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Afolabi Afuape, when they protested to his Office at the State Government Secretariat Oke-Mosan in Abeokuta, Prince Hakeem said they decided to stage a peaceful protest, rather than resulting to violence, as peace loving people.
He urged the State Government through the Commissioner to either go by the Chieftaincy Declaration law for Ibese and start the process of selecting a King afresh or allow judgement to be passed on the case of the Obaship tussle that is already in court, before any King can be installed in Ibese.
He appealed to the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, not to allow the Attorney General “spoil the good work he has been doing”.
He noted that they believe that the Governor being a Prince, knows how issues like this should be properly handled.
Addresing the protesters, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Afolabi Afuape, said staging a peaceful protests is part of the rights of the protesters, but he would have appreciated it more if a delegation was sent to his office, rather than staging the protest.
He added that the Governor and the Government will be on the part of the law.
He said, “we are neutral and we’ll continue to be neutral”.
He urged the protesters to go back home and calm everybody down, as the Government do not want any trouble or violence in Ibese.
He noted that he will appreciate it, if a delegation from the protesters can be sent to come and meet with him on another day.
The protest started around 9:30am in front of the premises of a privately owned Radio station, Splash FM, before the protesters moved to the State Government Secretariat with a mind to sseek an audience with the Governor.
However, when it was discovered that the Governor was not around in the office at the time and armed with the information that the Commssioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs was in his office, the protesters moved to the Ministry to continue their protest and seek audience with the Commissioner.
They were carrying placards with different inscriptions such as “Mr. Governor, Do not let Ogun State Attorney General, spoil the good name you have earned over the years”.
“Rotimi Mulero is categorically disqualified by Ibese 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration. Don’t impose him on Ibese community”, among other inscriptions.
The protesters also came with letters and documents which they promised to hand over their copies to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
One of such is a letter written to the Governor, titled “Governor Dapo Abiodun, Please save our souls memorandum of urgent appeal presented by Ibese Community to His Excellency Prince Dapo Abiodun (MFR), Executive Governor of Ogun State, at a protest rally held at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta and its environs, on Monday, 21st March, 2022.”