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Oluwatobiloba Odeyinka & Hassan Abdulsalam
The council of chiefs of Owo town in Yewa South local government area of Ogun state has protested the alleged installation and coronation move of a new traditional ruler after the death of the former ruler.
Some Chiefs and members of the council, armed with several placards, trooped to the secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Abeokuta on Tuesday to express their grievance.
It was reported that the former ruler of the town, Late Oba Patrick Fasinu was assassinated on his way to his palace after a council meeting on 26th July, 2017.
It was also reported that the Ogun State Police Command arrested 13 persons, including a retired colonel of the Nigerian Army, Dauda Alao who was also alleged to be connected with the murder.
Alao was reportedly granted bail after he prayed to an Ogun state high court sitting in Ilaro that his health condition was declining.
Meanwhile, the protesting chiefs alleged that Colonel Alao, the alleged prime suspect was plotting to impose his junior brother, Mojeed Rufai as the new ruler of Owo land.
According to a member of the council, Mrs Comfort Olayinka, Colonel Alao had lied about his health to get a bail from court.
She said, “This protest is about the brutal killing of the Olowo of Owo in 2017 and up till now, nothing has been done. The prime suspect then, Colonel Alao has been released on bail. He told the whole world that he was sick that is why they granted him bail.
“He(Colonel Alao) is now bringing his brother to be the next Oba in Owo land. They are visitors in Owo land. The Fasinu family are the first settlers in the land. The matter is in the court and now they want to impose an Oba in Owo land, we don’t want it.”
The Balogun of Owo land, Chief Tairu Musharaf alleged that the government was in support of the plot and may proceed to install a new king soon.
He said the council was supposed to be carried along and emphasized that such illegal installation may plunge the town into chaos.
His words, “Unless the government meets the cabinet of the former king that was killed, a new king cannot be crowned. Meanwhile, it is not the turn of the family from where the new king is about to be picked.
“When they called me in the ministry of Local government and Chieftaincy, I told them that the killer of our king is the senior brother of the one who wants to be king and we do not want him. I am pleading with our Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; our President, Muhammadu Buhari and even Governor Amosun not to allow this to happen.
“We don’t want bloodshed in the land. If they allow it to happen that means they don’t want people to leave in Owo land again.”
Meanwhile, the Council of Chiefs has petitioned the Director of State Security, the Nigerian Police and the ministry of local government and Chieftaincy Affairs not to allow the alleged installation of a new king.
In copies of the petitions made available to journalists, the council argued that “the intended coronation and installation process be discontinued and nullified with immediate effect.
The council further pleads that since “the assassination case is ongoing and is still inconclusive”, the government should conclude that murder case before proceeding to install a new king.