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AKANDEíS SHOCKER!

Posted by By TAIWO AMODU on 2008/03/18 | Views: 530 |

AKANDEíS SHOCKER!


Former Osun state governor and national chairman of the Action Congress, Chief Bisi Akande has described as a misnormer and a historical distortion, the claim that the Ooni of Ife and Chairman of the Council of Obas in Osun State, His Royal Highness, Okunade Sijuwade, is a paramount ruler in Yorubaland .

* Ooni not a paramount ruler in Yorubaland

Former Osun state governor and national chairman of the Action Congress, Chief Bisi Akande has described as a misnormer and a historical distortion, the claim that the Ooni of Ife and Chairman of the Council of Obas in Osun State, His Royal Highness, Okunade Sijuwade, is a paramount ruler in Yorubaland .

In an interview with Great Encounter, the former governor submitted that such distortion has been responsible for the feud within the ranks of the royal fathers in Yorubaland.

ĎEach Oba is a traditional ruler of his own domain and there are so many domain in Yorubaland Ö So, to say somebody is an important traditional ruler in Yorubaland is a misnormer . Nobody is more important a traditional ruler in Yorubaland than he is in his own domainí

He also sheds light on his aversion to the agitation for the expulsion of immunity clause in the constitution.
While you were in office you were not on speaking terms with the Ooni of Ife. You and your deputy, Senator Iyiola Omisore were on collision course. Have you people reconciled?
We donít belong to the same political party, so I canít know.

Honestly, Iíve put my life in Osun State behind me. I did my best, Iíve left that stage, I am on a different stage now. I donít look back. I donít know what changes have come over them. I donít know whatever theyíre doing wherever they may be now.
But Ooni is a first class traditional ruler in Yorubaland...
[cuts in ] First class ruler? I donít know what you mean by that. Again, thereís nothing traditional about Yorubaland.

How do you mean, sir?
What I mean is that Yorubaland has no single traditional leader. Each Oba is a traditional ruler of his own town or domain and there are so many domain in Yorubaland. So, to say somebody is an important traditional ruler of Yorubaland is a misnomer. Nobody is more important a tradition ruler in Yorubaland than heís in his own domain. If you know one, mention him.

The way youíre sounding it appears, you peopleíve not reconciled?
No, I wonít say Alaafin is the traditional ruler of Yorubaland. I will say heís the traditional ruler of Oyo, but I donít have a problem with him! Owa of Ilesa is the traditional ruler of Ijesa people, I donít have a problem with him.

So, in the same vein, Ooni is the traditional ruler of Ife. He canít be a traditional ruler of Ila, where I come from. Orangun of Ila is the traditional ruler of Ila; I canít by that say heís the traditional ruler of Yorubaland. Neither would I say heís the traditional ruler of Osun. So, whatís not there, donít put it there. Unless youíve a ruler who wants to use the power of either the state or federal government to become the traditional ruler of a geographical area, bigger than his own domain. When they were doing it in the 19th century, they were doing it by war.

That was the origin of our disagreement. I told him, to his face that I canít impose him on his colleagues as paramount ruler. I advised Sijuwade to change his ways. You canít enforce respect, you earn it! His predecessor, the late Oba Adesoji Aderemi of blessed memory, earned the respect of other traditional rulers in Yorubaland, because of the dignified manner he conducted himself. Nobody imposed Aderemi as paramount ruler in the entire western Region, he just earned it.

Thatís the hard truth the Ooni find difficult to savour, but itís unfortunate.
Are there no discrete wars by now; ďwarsí by other means?
Honestly, I wonít support people being traditional ruler of any land by war now, because there will be no end to it. There will never be peace, there will never be progress.

The issue of immunity clause. Are you in support of the agitation for its expulsion in the constitution against the backdrop of the proposed amendment of the constitution?
The immunity clause isnít as bad as people look at it and isnít worse than the impunity character of the leadership.

There are many individuals in Nigeria today whoíve exceeded their powers without having immunity clauses. There are even people in Nigeria today, who are not in office at all- theyíre not holdings political office-neither governors nor police officers. They hold no position, but theyíre riding on a sense of impunity in such a serious way that the public may be asking, ďhas he any special power?Ē
So, the problem isnít with immunity but with impunity sense of the leader.

The removal of the immunity clause from the constitution will not, be a deterrent against fraud and corruption. I donít support the removal, because, it will damage the myth surrounding the leaders. Any leader without a myth, or a respect canít succeed.

Donít you think, if they know that that thereís no immunity from prosecution, it will ingrain the fear in them and, in a way, surmount or check, to use your words, Ďtheir individual sense of impunity?Ē
Not in any way. Are you saying all the bank managers whoíre stealing money now, who havenít been detected, do theyíve immunity? Havenít you been hearing the Central Bank pronouncing on managers for being corrupt? Do theyíve immunity? Stealing is inherent in the Nigerian system, we have to restructure it, from beginning to end, in order to remove the sense of impunity that is making people to steal.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.