Contrast to Yoruba’s culture and tradition, the Regent and Monarch of Isolo, an autonomous community in Akure, the Ondo State capital; Princess Adebusola Oluwatuyi and Oba Edward Adejoyegbe Adewole are battling over who should be recognised as head of the community.
Apart from the sharp division between the Regent, Monarch and their supporters, the traditional kingmakers are also sharply divided over who is to be recognised as the head of the community. While the Monarch has the support of Lisa and the Prime Minister, Chief Joshua Omotayo, Regent has the backing of Elemo, Chief Abiola Ogunjemilusi, (Sao) Ibukun Adetoyinbo.
This development came ahead of the new yam festival, usually observed by head of the community. The new yam festival known as Owayoko affords the head of the community to eat new yam with his family for the first time. By tradition, the monarch or head of the community dares not eat new yam until the festival is performed.
But this year’s festival is being threatened by the conflict between supporters of the Monarch, who occupies the palace and Regent who was planning to invade the palace in order to observe the festival. Traditionally, it is a taboo for the duo to meet in the palace.
A spokesman for the section of the kingmakers, Chief Olusunla of Isolo, Hezekiah Babatunde, said the stool of Osolo of Isolo is still vacant contrary to the position of the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, who had recognised Adewole as monarch of the community. Babatunde, who directed Princess Oluwatuyi to resume office as the Regent of Isolo, also barred Adewole from performing the New Yam festival according to the tradition of the people. The festival is fixed for September 15 and 16.
But the Prime Minister of the community, Omotayo, said it was unheard of in the history of Yoruba that a Regent, who had vacated the palace would return after a substantive monarch has been appointed.
According to him, there is a substantive monarch who has the recognition of Deji of Akure, and whose ascendancy to the throne was not been challenged in any law court.
His words: “It is on record that the said regent, Adebusola Oluwatuyi, went through the necessary rites that every regent of Isolo must perform when the time of regency lapses. These rites were conducted on her according to the tradition and custom of the ancient Isolo Community.
The attempt by Adebusola Oluwatuyi to want to come back is a taboo and it is unheard of in the entire Yoruba land.”
The Prime Minister said the community has been peaceful without any form of protest or fracas since the new Osolo, Adewole, ascended the throne and has continued to perform his duties as traditional head of the community.
His words: “The impostors, who termed themselves Kingmakers of Isolo headed by Mr. Ibukun Adetoyinbo, have no right to refer to himself as Chief Elemo because he had been deposed of his chieftaincy title since July 3 due to gross misconduct and abuse of office.
“The entire Isolo Council of Chiefs under the supervision of Chief Joshua Omotayo want the government and general public to know that the stool of Osolo of Isolo is no longer vacant. The stool was never at any time, a subject of contention in the court of law as there is no litigation on the stool because the matter under reference has been dismissed since 2015. Therefore, there is no life suit in court over the said stool.
“The argument that the former regent Adebusola Oluwatuyi is standing in as appellant representing Osolo at the Supreme Court is inconsequential because she had been relieved of her duty April 20. The Community has since installed a substantive traditional head.”
However, Princess Oluwatuyi said the Isolo community has no monarch under the law and tradition, because kingmakers of the community did not appoint Adewole.
She described the monarch as an appointee of the Deji, contrary to tradition of the community.
Oluwatuyi vowed to storm the palace for the Owayoko festival. “In the history of Akure and Isolo, no Deji has ever appointed somebody to the Osolo’s Stool. What Oba Aladetoyinbo has done by appointing a chief for Isolo is a historical aberration.
“Deji wants to use the man he imposed on the people of Isolo, Edward Adewole, to relegate the stool of Osolo. Oba Aladetoyinbo should wait for the Supreme Court judgment on the Obaship status of Osolo. I am still the Regent of Isolo. Adewole is not acceptable to us since Isolo kingmakers had no hand in his selection. Therefore, he has no right to host Owayoko Yam Festival.
“Let the whole world know that I am planning to enter the Osolo Palace on September 15 and 16 when the festival will hold. I will wear the ancient royal crown and enter the palace. If Adewole likes, let him wait for me. He knows the implications and I hope nobody will blame me for what happens to him later.
“I would like to call on Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, and Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, as well as other Yoruba traditional rulers to prevail on Deji not to desecrate the culture and tradition of Isolo people. He should desist from interfering in how we choose our traditional head. It is not a taboo for me to remain as Regent. I have consulted widely on this issue. The chief who said it was a taboo does not know the culture and tradition of the community. He is a stranger and he has always been a traitor.
“If the Deji’s appointee is still claiming that he is the traditional head of Isolo, let him come and wear the ancient royal crown and see what is going to happen. Deji did not involve those who should have performed the traditional rites of ascendance for him in the process of his appointment. Therefore, he is not our traditional head.”
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