Soun: Enough of this blackmail!

Soun: Enough of this blackmail!




The current uproar over the matter of Chief Imam of Ogbomoso, Oyo state, appears to be misunderstood by a lot of people, thus, it is being exploited by some persons to blackmail the Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye. Many have asked the question: “Why is Kabiyesi trying to remove the Chief Imam?” Others have queried: “Why is a Christian Oba attempting to dislodge an Imam?”


The point now is what concerns the Soun about the matter that is as volatile as that of a religious issue? Oba Olaoye is more urbane than that and is imbued with a set of goals and visions, which he is pursuing than to be drawn into a matter bordering on the sacking of a Chief Imam.


The issue started before the installation of Oba Ghandi when a section of the Ayilara family that produced the Chief Imam petitioned Islamic leaders in the city that Sheikh Taliat Yunus Ayilara is not of their family and as such is not qualified for the position, thereby demanding a probe. When the Muslim leaders could not resolve it the matter was taken to the Soun-in-Council/Ogbomoso North Traditional Council. The council set up different committees comprising Muslim leaders and groups to also look into the matter and it was recommended that the Chief Imam steps aside while a thorough investigation is carried out. Perhaps the supporters of the Chief Imam had expected the Soun-in-Council to in outright manner dismiss the allegation. But because the petitioners were heard out the Areago who is a Christian and head of the Soun-in-Council in the absence of Soun, was thereafter targeted for insults and blackmail.


The matter degenerated, there were scuffles, arrests; and the Muslim community was polarized. Then came Oba Ghandi. He was hardly on the throne when the matter was again brought before him by the family and those who insisted (also Muslims) that Sheikh Taliat is an usurper. The Soun likewise summoned Muslim leaders in the community to look into the matter, headed by the Abese of Ogbomosoland, High Chief Yusuf Oladipo Kasali. The committee initiated inquiries and even invited the Chief Imam’s mother. At the end, the arbitrators also recommended he steps aside for a while for the matter to be holistically looked into. But the recommendation was jettisoned and defied. Instead, they took it out on Oba Ghandi, branded him an “enemy” seeking the fall of the Chief Imam.


The aggrieved family members of Ayilara thereafter petitioned the Oyo state Commissioner of Police on their grouse and he also invited the two sides to state their stories. But suddenly, the Chief Imam went to court to obtain an injunction against his being arrested by the police which was granted. He also took Soun to court to stop his possible removal even though this is a matter that is a sort of distraction to him (Soun).


Meanwhile, they began to push the conception that it is Soun willfully meddling in the affair neglecting the fact it is the opponents of the Chef Imam inundating him (with requisitions) and as the traditional head the burden is his to settle. What gains await him if the Chief Imam is removed? But it will be bad leadership on his part to send those coming to him away without looking at their grievances?


He wasn’t the one that initiated litigation, he was rather positioned as a defendant just because a matter was reported to him.


They ingratiated themselves that the monarch is against the Chief Imam because he purportedly did not support his emergence as Soun. It is mere speculation. There are no registers of supporters and “opposers,” so, the Kabiyesi should be spared such blackmail.


Members of the family who stood that he is not of them are Muslims and many Islamic leaders stand with them, those who wrote a petition against him to the Commissioner of Police recently concerning the finances of the mosque are Muslims, many short videos containing sermons -some in support and others against are handiwork of Muslim clerics. Moreover, the speech of Alhaji Fatai Buhari, a three-term senator (currently representing Oyo North senatorial district) at the commissioning of the mosque he built at his family compound recently, would show the the conflict is beyond a quandary hatched or fueled by Oba Ghandi. But the mischievous bands ignore all that but prefer to blame the reserved king.


Furthermore, the Aare, Bashorun and Asoju Musulumi of Ogbomosoland and over 40 formidable Imams and alfas and about 10 Muslim groups have written to Soun, it is learnt, to ask the Chief Imam be removed or told to step aside. Let it be underlined that the people who chose him and nominated him have written to Soun for him to be removed, the Muslim Baales in Ogbomoso have also asked him to step aside. Yet, the Soun has been extremely cautious, he hasn’t willfully acted so. On the other hand, the Imam took the Soun to court. Meanwhile, to underscore the battle is not one orchestrated by the Soun, it is understood the Muslim community led by Aare Musulumi of Ogbomosoland and the Ayilara family have joined the Soun as co-defendants in the suit instituted by the imam.


Will Soun freely hobnob with him again? The elders say “you don’t return from court and relate as friends again!”


Moreover, this is someone his supporters hail as “Imam ti o ju Oba lo!” (Imam that is superior to the Oba)!


So, blackmailing Oba Ghandi is not the solution. And trying to weave round him the stone of fomenting religious witch-hunting is an infantile mischief. The social media is awash with such suggestions. The “adversaries” are seeking collaborators outside the borders of Ogbomoso feeding them with half truths to win sympathy and stoke anger against the Soun. But this pathetic strategy is falling through like packs of cards.


And thank God we have a king who is intelligent, calm, emotionally strong, resilient, focused and will not be drawn into diversionary engagements. He has maintained his cool. He has been called names, badmouthed, been butt of balderdash talks, but he is unperturbed.

For the umpteenth time, we enjoin these traducers to leave our Kabiyesi out of the “uprising;” the blackmail is enough. They should desist from distracting His Majesty from his noble goals for the community. After all, this is not the first time we will be having a Chief Imam. Why is ruckus being precipitated now and “scapegoat” being sought desperately? Enough!


The truth will prevail. Surely! Like Fatai Buhari predicted.


Akindele sends this piece from Papa Ogbomoso

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