Soun of Ogbomoso: Only genuine reconciliation can bring lasting peace
The court judgment which invalidated the selection of Pastor Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye as the Soun of Ogbomosoland is not just an unfortunate development but a decision which is likely to give Ogbomoso another image if not quickly resolved.
It is quite unfortunate that at this age, when Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) method reigns supreme, siblings are still engaged in legal battle over a task which requires sacrificing time, energy and influence to serve their father’s land.
I am not a good student of history but as a good listener, l have not heard it anywhere in the history of Ogbomoso that court remove already installed Oba, but now that it has happened what is the way out? How do we resolve this so that it wont escalate beyond this level and the love lost will return to the entire Olaoye ruling house and Ogbomoso in general.
This is not the appropriate time to apportion blame to the major actors or external factors at the background fueling the crisis because of personal or collective interest but this is the time when they should all come together as brothers to right the wrongs and move on
One could understand that the bottleneck being encountered in the making of a new king further establishes God’s world in John 16:33 and it’s part of the trials that will make Kabiesi to appreciate and value the journey to the throne, but the intra- family conflict ocassioned by the selection process shouldn’t go beyond this level in the interest of Ogbomoso and the entire Yoruba race.
Oba Ghandi Olaoye’s triumphant entry into the palace on Sept 14 established the facts that Ogbomoso people love him, want him as their king. He further won people’s heart when in his speech he said. “It is a new day in Ogbomoso land. A new light is here, you all know what we went through before this day happened, to those still aggrieved, let us join hands for the progress of Ogbomoso. This is God’s doing, let’s work together to achieve great strides for Ogbomoso we cannot say we love this town and allow crisis we will make Ogbomoso better.”
To what extent did the soun back his statement with actions? Particularly in reaching out to the aggrieved members from his family who are not happy the way he was selected, the entire process has polarized the family obviously the aggrieved won’t come to the palace and until they are completely pacified and they realized the genuiness in the Kabiesi’s call for peace and unity and interest in making Ogbomoso a place of pride.
Dr Saka Balogun an erudite scholar, historian and one of the elders in Ogbomoso in an interview with journalists during the traditional installation (Ikije) insisted that there must be genuine reconciliation right from the Olaoye family, between Oba Ghandi and other contestants for the throne and by extension others aggrieved external factors.
He said, “The first step to take is to effect very amicable reconciliation with his immediate past contestants because it was not easy to get him acceptable as a candidate. It flowed that some of the contestants sent petitions, went to court. So, I think the first thing to do is to effect reconciliation and he is pivotal to that. Without his body language and express language for peace, that area will remain turbulent for quite some time.
“There have been challenges here and there but because I believe he is the choice by God, that is why he has been able to overcome all the challenges and I believe he will overcome whatever remains of the challenges. And I believe that one of the ways to overcome the challenges is reconciliation and there are quite a good number of us, men of goodwill, who will assist him to get that done.”
“If the man of God believes that he is coming to lead his people and believes that not all his people are Christians, he will use a different approach to handle the community which is multi-religious, different from what he used to do, to shepherd his church.
“He must be open-minded, he must be aware that if God had wanted everyone to follow the same religion, God was capable of doing it. It’s in the Qu’ran that if God wanted everybody to be a Muslim, God had the power to do it. He wanted diversity, for progress, for understanding, that is why we have so many religions. Both Christians, Muslims, traditional worshippers are from the same stock. So, we are all creation of God. The Oba must have an open mind and must be very familiar with the historical process.”
To this end one expects leaders of thought in Ogbomoso, kingmakers, traditional chiefs and all the relevant stakeholders to as a matter of urgency initiate a genuine reconciliatory process that will not only broker peace among the aggrieved members but bring everyone together on the same page for the interest of Ogbomoso.
Ogbomosoland cannot afford to wait for another year(s) to have a king, majority are pleased with Ghandi, the whole world is watching and waiting to see how Ogbomoso people will resolve their dispute, let us come together.”Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
To the aggrieved and the external actors, the contest is not a do or die affair, it is a call to serve and whoever is selected to represent the ruling house as king should be accepted and supported. Please put whatever has happened during the selection process behind you and embrace their brother in the interest of Ogbomosoland and development.
Oladeji writes from Masifa, Ogbomoso
Editor’s Note: Ogbomos Insight recalls Oba Amao Oyetunde then Baale of Ogbomoso was removed by the Privy Council (Supreme Court) in 1944 after four years on the throne. He had earlier won at the High Court and the Appellate Court but had the victory overturned at the Privy Council in London Great Britain