BREAKING: Oduduwa, Biafra Form Joint Force To Defend Their Land, Vow “To Die Together” |The Republican News

Oduduwa and Biafra agitators

The agitators of Biafra and Oduduwa republics have merged forces to train their operatives in a joint session in a bid to continue defending their territories against aggressive raids and wanton killings of innocent people by suspected Fulani herders and other criminals.

In a statement titled, ‘Press Release from the Joint Training of Biafra and Oduduwa Volunteer Force,’ the two agitators described the united trained personnel as a symbol of unity existing between the younger generations of the two indigenous nations.

This was contained in a statement by the media and publicity secretary of the Command, Emma Powerful on Monday.

Nigeria, the most populous black nation is faced with growing agitation for self-determination from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu from the South-East.

Also, Prof Banji Akintoye, President of Ilana Omo Oodua, and the rights activist, Sunday Igboho are championing the agitation cause to have the Oduduwa Republic for the South-West.

One of the major reasons for their separatist agenda is the unchecked atrocities committed by Fulani herders against the two regions, which the Nigerian government has failed to address.

In the statement, the Biafra and Oduduwa Volunteer Force for the Liberation of Southern Nigeria vowed to work together henceforth in protecting their people.

“This is to put the Nigerian Government and her security agencies in Nigeria on notice that Biafra and Oduduwa have further strengthened their bond as one people, following the joint training of personnel from both sides.

“These joint volunteer force will secure the territories of Southern Nigeria against ‘foreign Fulani terrorists and any unwarranted aggression from any external force’.

“Oduduwa and Biafra Volunteer Force demand an immediate end to the ongoing genocide against the people of Biafra and immediate demilitarisation of Biafraland as we are now ready to defend our territories against aggression. The killing and abduction in Biafra and Oduduwa land must stop immediately.

“We reiterate that an attack on Oduduwa land is an attack on Biafra and an attack on Biafra is an attack on Oduduwa. This is the bond the Fulanis tried for many years to destroy but today, the new generation of Oduduwa and Biafra have risen to say no to divide and rule. We are on the threshold of history because we are stronger together.

“Today we have trained together, dined together, and drunk together. Should duty call for it, we shall die together in defense of the entire South. We shall defend our land together, this is historic day for both nations,” the statement read.

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Those Agitating For Biafra, Oduduwa Are Miscreants, Not Different From Boko Haram —Sheikh Gumi |The Republican News

Those Agitating For Biafra, Oduduwa Republics Are Miscreants Not Different From Boko Haram — Sheikh Ahmad Gumi

Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has described those agitating for Biafra and Oduduwa republics as miscreants akin to the Boko Haram sect terrorising the country,

There have been calls for secession in the various parts of the country over allegations of marginalisation.

But speaking in an interview with BBC Pidgin on Saturday, the cleric described such people as miscreants who should not be taken seriously.

Gumi claimed that Nigerians are committed to having a united country, noting that the opinions of a few people championing the division of the country should not be taken seriously.

He said: “I usually give an example of General Murtala Muhammed, the former head of state from Kano, that was assassinated by the Buka Suka Dimka-led group. He had a Yoruba wife. So, where do you want his children to go if the nation is divided? Are they going to be with the Yorubas or Hausas in the North?

“Look, let’s forget these useless youths. They’re no more different from these herdsmen. These people agitating for Oduduwa, Bifafra or Arewa are all the same group of people with Boko Haram.

“The majority of Nigerians want to stay with Nigeria. And if they are in doubt, let’s have a referendum. Look at elections, for instance, millions of votes from all the states, whether from the All Progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party. This means that Nigerians are ready to stay with a united Nigeria. That is an indirect referendum which shows that the people are ready.

“So, all these youths that are making noise, whether Abubakar Shekau of Boko Haram, Nnamdi Kanu of the Indigenous People of Biafra and their Oduduwa counterpart, they are just a tiny minority of Nigerians using ethnic, archaic and retrogressive sentiments to destabilise the nation.

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I Am Not “Yoruba”, Says Femi Fani-Kayode |The Republican News

Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode

Nigeria’s former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has said that he is not Yoruba. Fani disclosed this on Twitter while stressing that the word Yoruba is alien to his culture and not known in the Anago language while revealing that the name Yoruba was derived from “Yoruba” and that it means “shady and unreliable”

Fani-Kayode in his words said the “Yoruba” is alien to his culture and not known in the Anago language while revealing that the name Yoruba was derived from “Yoruba” and that it means “shady and unreliable”.

Two names that the Fulani gave to southerners: “Yamiri”, in reference to South East and “Yoruba” in reference to South West. The South East rejected that name but the South West accepted it. The name “Yoruba” derives from “Yoruba” and it means “shady and unreliable”. I reject that strange name and label…

I am not a “Yoruba” or “Yoruba” but an “Omo Karo Jire” or an “Oduduwan” and my lanuage is not “Yoruba” but “Anago”. We are what we call ourselves. We are not “shady and uneliable”(Yoruba) and we must not accept names that are given to us by our historical adversaries

Any Omo Karo Jire or Oduduwan that continues to call himself a “Yoruba” is lost and does not know the implications of what he is doing to his own people. He is simply affirming and confirming an insulting label which has deep sinister, mystical and spiritual connotations…

The word “Yoruba” did not even exist until the 18th century and even then most of the tribes of the SW, including the Oyo’s, rejected it due to its origin and meaning. The word “Yoruba” is alien to our culture and not known in the Anago language. Oduduwans please take note.

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Foreign Fulani Herdsmen And Igbo Race: Who Is The Real Oodua Enemy? – Prince Oba-Loye Adimula


By Prince Oba-Loye Adimula


How does one identify an enemy of a race? An enemy of a race is such that fosters harmful designs against, or engages in antagonistic activities against another contemporary cultural race. In answering the above question, it is important to critically examine the threatening harmful variables, which includes religion, targeted mission and cultural activities, that are capable of inflicting injuries to the existence of a particular race.

Firstly, let’s consider the attributes of Ndigbo in Nigeria of today. The Igbo people have an ancestral homelands and merchandise engagements that expose them to leave their respective state of origin to creating of various business centers in various cities, towns, villages and settlements in Nigeria.
Although,the Ndigbo outside their ancestral homelands are mostly practicing Christians and they are traditionally endowed in alignments with the Oodua culture and heritage spirituality.

Whereas, foreign Fulani herdsmen had no particular ancestral homelands in Nigeria. The Fulani herdsmen are operating under an umbrella organisation, recognised as Miyetti Allah. The memberships of the Miyetti Allah Group are the full-blooded descendants of the Islamic Jihadist warlords that invaded the ancient territory of Hausa Kingdom in around year 1804.
The Jihadist then successfully subsumed and subjugated the entire Hausa race under the Islamic /Sharia injunction and authority. The Miyetti Allah Group used the herdsmen, who are their ancestral foot soldiers or militias to penetrates any targeted races, tribes or communities to realize their ancestral hegemonic agenda.

Unfortunately, the British colonialists that invaded the southern indigenous lands to destroyed most great kingdoms/dynasties that are flourishing then, in which Oodua race was the center attraction ….. worked out a devilish political arrangement with the Jihadist before they left. The insistence, the Fulani Jihadist maintained an hegemonic network of coverage, otherwise known as 1st Republic Grazing Routes for their militias herdsmen. It was revealed that various unreasonable attitudes and political schemings led to the brutal action from the 5 Majors, who are mostly Ndigbo officers, on the 15th January, 1966 coup in Nigeria.

Undoubtedly, the summary of the main objectives of the 5 Majors were to change the direction of Nigeria from the vicious leadership that suddenly landed to the hands of the Jihadists and the release of Chief Obafemi Awolowo from prison custody to take over as the Nation’s leader for a new direction.

Again, in what appeared to be a replay of 1966 coup was the failed 1990 coup of Young Military Revolutionary Officers, who are mostly Middle-beltan and Southern officers, headed by late Major Gideon Okar. The coup announcement was directed at the elimination of 3 states considered to be the base of authority of the Jihadists within the Nigeria system.
Where are we today, since Nigeria now have a core Fulani President and his Cabal in charge of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Since 2015, that a core Fulani man assumed the Federal Authority, the ever known federal character system that was conspicuously entrenched inside the obviously crude constitution was abandoned. To the extent that all the Security Agencies are currently headed by Fulani men.

It is no more news about the mass influx and invasions of foreign Fulani Herders into Nigeria since 2015. The horrific displays of the open hegemonic missions over the indigenous Middle-beltans and Southerners call for deep reflections by any reasonable indigenous leader.

This is so, as the Fulani Herdsmen has continuously and successfully attacked several communities to the extent that the indigenous people have to abandoned their ancestral homelands to remain inside as Internally Displaced Camps (IDP-camps). While in a very pathetic and irritating scenarios, some of the attacked (now abandoned) community lands are now becomes the settlement areas for these Fulani invaders. And to the embarrassing note of renaming those attacked communities with Fulani FUFULDI language as the new identity…… as the original owners of the lands continue to stay inside various IDP camps.

Whereas our Fulani led Federal Government Presidency remain mute over these obvious sacrilegious hegemonic intentions. The same national security neglects which openly happened in Benue, Plateau, Zamfara, Taraba, Kaduna etc States. Barely one week that President Muhammadu Buhari was declared winner for additional four-year term , no one can estimate the number of indigenous natives killed again in the quest for the foreign Fulani settlements… on cattle ranches /colonies being sponsored by Miyetti Allah Group.

Presently, all the entire Oodua forests are no more safe in the hands of these same foreign Fulani herdsmen, who could be considered as the advance party to the about to come main Fulani groups. This is what I think the Yoruba political leaders ought to flex their muzzle over, because if care is not taken quickly, Oodua culture and heritage value may be going into extinction!
Comparably, there are cries all over the other ends of most Ndigbo homesteads within most Igbo States in the forefront of these same foreign Fulani Herdsmen. The Ndigbo are seriously grouping to see the realization of their Independence State of Biafra as the only option to avoid the impending Fulani cruel intentions over their land.
Coincidentally, some knowledgeable Oodua people too, are sounding for the actualization of ODUDUWA Republic, as solution to their advancement and progress.
Regrettably, the Middle-beltan traditional heritage honours are almost gone the way Hausa race are subjugated to Islamic authority. By analysing the continuous genocides committed/perpetrating by the foreign Fulani militias over the indigenous natives.

Meanwhile, there have been series of Military Operation Python Dances moving everywhere within the cities and towns in the Southern Nigeria. One quick need to reason deeply while, any of the Military Python Dances refused to enter inside either Oodua or Ndigbo forests to dance with those foreign Fulani militias who come out at will to kill, rape, kidnap, rob etc since all these years.

Seemingly, who is really the enemy in this context? Is it Ndigbo that is enemy to Oodua race or is it Oodua race tha this the enemy to the Igbo land?
It is conceivably possible to believe that Ndigbo can never achieve their long struggle of independence without collaboration with Yoruba race. So also, it is imperative to note that Oodua heritage preservation will remain a dream without the support of the same Igbo people. The Middle-beltans may not likely get the relief necessary without the cooperation of both Yoruba and the Igbo people. Why then do the Igbo and Yoruba need to be at each others throats everytime? Serious understanding is urgently needed to move the two nations forward.

Arise my Oodua and Ndigbo people, let’s come together for a common front for the benefit of the coming generations! We can simply do it together, it is a give and take strategies………

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Oduduwa Was Never The Founder Of Yoruba Race , Ife, He Met People There | The Republican News

Image result for yoruba, igbo people

Inyanya in Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba attires

By Ike A. Offor

These are the indubitable facts about the history of Yoruba, and the presence of Benin and Igbo, Nupe in the ancient and consequently in the present day Yoruba race.

Many renowned history scholars have written about how much the Igbo and Benin are involved in the history of Yoruba race and some have been very blunt about the make up all these three groups, Igbo, Benin and Nupe. Igbo, Yoruba, and Benin are found in each others land at different times in the ancient historical records.

Read more: Yoruba, Benin And The Burden Of History In The Royal Politics Of Nigeria-1 |The Republican News

The similarity in these groups could also be seen from a linguistics approach, Yorubas, Igbos, Nupe, Idoma, Edo, Igala and some other groups all share a common ancestor.  They just splintered into different groups, with cultures, languages and histories. But no one can deny, that there are many similarities amongst their languages.
One would go even further to say that the Fon and Ewe should be included as well because their languages are also similar to Yoruba, Igbo and Nupe, Idoma, Edo, Igala.
In a book by Prof. Boalaji Aremo, as would be expected, Chapter One is a general introduction that provides brief notes on Yoruba and Igbo and their native speakers. The chapter also discusses the main objective of the book: to report the findings from a study aimed at searching (through books and among fluent speakers) for examples of words that are similar in sound and meaning in both Yoruba and Igbo and could, therefore, give further support for the claim by linguists that the two languages descended from the same ancestral language.
The next three chapters list, often with very interesting and informative “clarificatory” notes, the hundreds of examples the author has found of Igbo/Yoruba cognates, i.e Igbo and Yoruba words that are similar in sound and meaning by reason of having been inherited by the two languages from a common Igbo/Yoruba parent language.
It is intended that by considering the examples, the reader will be able to form a good impression of how the languages have diverged over time. And the items listed include: agba (or akpÍ, akpå)/agbÍn (= ‘chin’), awÍ /ewu (= ‘grey hair’), aga (or Ëga)/agan (= ‘barrenness, infertility, a barren woman’), Ígwå/oogun (= ‘medicine, poison, charm’), dimkpa/ igiripa (or giripa) (= person in prime of manhood, strong man, man of strength and courage’), Ëra (or Íra, Íha, Ísa)/ara (or ira (CY)) (= ‘the citizenry, the people, the masses, the public’), onye/ eniyan (or Íniyan(CY)(= ‘person, anyone, someone’), agå/ ¹kun (= ‘tiger, leopard’), enyin/ erin (= ‘elephant’), anwå /oorun (= ‘sun, sunlight’), ifufe (or ifufu)/af¹f¹ (or efuufu) (= ‘wind, breeze, air’), ogbodo/ogberi (or ogbere (CY)) (= ‘person not yet initiated into a masquerade or similar secret cult , a novice’), and akårËkÍ /iharihÍ (or ihaahÍ) (= ‘charred part of food which adheres to the pot or sauce pan’).
There is also proof, scientific proof, DNA. These groups differences are cultural, not biological because they share the same ancestors.

Oduduwa( Benin Prince Izoduwa) was never the founder of the Yoruba race nor the founder of Ife town. He met people there. A man known as Obatala was ruling a section of the Yorubas before Oduduwa surfaced. No less a personality than the Olugbo of Ugbo( Ilaje’s paramount Ruler) agrees with this. He put it directly to the Ooni of Ife recently.

The Yoruba are from Nupe,Benin and Igbo stock. Confirm this from the objective historian Odia Ofeimu. Ife is an Igbo divining CENTRE until the warrior Prince Izoduwa took it from them and made himself the theocratic governor of the place.

Nupe attacked old Oyo and sacked it because they believe they are the owners of the land.

The Ooni of Ife is not from the lineage of Oduduwa. No Oduduwa son remained at Ife to succeed him in his priestly role.

Like his father Ogiso Owodo,Prince Izoduwa( Oduduwa) had only one son whose name was Okanvbi( Okanbi in Yoruba). Note that, Okanvbi in Edo means ” I seek justice or I do not seek vengeance( a name Oduduwa may have given his son to remind him of his travails in his homeland,Benin) It was Okanvbi who had 7 children amongst whom we have the youngest Omonopopo( Prince Oramiyan).

All the current Yoruba clans have their separate history as a people and over 95% of them have no link to Oduduwa or the mythical Yoruba empire. The Ilajes and Akokos for examples. They all have their languages too which are clearly not dialects of the recent Yoruba language developed in Lagos and Ibadan.

Lagos at every point in their history was a Benin settlement and vassalage and never under any Yoruba power.

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Why Obas Inherit Wives Of Former Kings-Kiladejo, Osemawe of Ondo |The Republican News

The Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oba Victor Kiladejo, in this interview with TUNDE AJAJA speaks about his life before and after ascension to the throne and interesting things about the custom and tradition in his kingdom

You were a practising medical doctor before you became a king, could you tell us more about your career then?

I’m a medical doctor as far as my profession is concerned. I finished from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) where I studied Medicine. I did my postgraduate studies in reproductive health at an equally reputable institution; University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. When I came back, I joined the Ondo State Civil Service and I rose from the level of a House Officer to that of a Medical Director before I resigned to establish my own hospital, called Kiladejo Hospital, in Lagos. I worked there for almost 20 years before I ascended to the throne of my forefathers. I’m from the Okuta ruling house and my father, the late Gbadebo Kiladejo, was a man who commanded a lot of respect.

We learnt you are from a polygamous family, was there any premonition that you would be a king someday?

My father had 22 children, and I’m the first. Growing up, our family was a lovely one and you could hardly distinguish or differentiate among us as far as our mothers were concerned. As regards any inkling, I would say yes and no. Yes, because there were some revelations here and there, but as a young man, I never took that seriously. But when the time came to choose a new king for Ondo Kingdom, I was to travel to the United States to attend a medical conference when an uncle of mine, in company with some people from the community, visited me in Lagos and invited me to come home. By the time I got home, the contest for the throne started. Before anybody is favourably considered for that position, there is always a thorough check about the person’s past, where the person worked earlier, the educational history, the position the person held while in school, the kind of work the person does, the opinions of co-workers about the person and so many other things. I was made to understand later that those things were done before they came to me in Lagos. To cut the long story short, I eventually emerged as the choice of the kingmakers. As a matter of fact, it was a unanimous decision among the kingmakers. They voted and all the six kingmakers voted in my favour, despite the fact that seven of us contested. Being chosen was by the grace of God. That is my belief. I will also say destiny had a role to play.

Ondo is believed to have a rich history and many people would like to know its origin. Could you take us through the journey to the present Ondo Kingdom?

Many years back, history has it that a favoured wife of the Ooni of Ife, specifically, Oduduwa was delivered of a set of twins. As of that time, it was an abomination to have twins. When such things happened, the expectation was that the twins and their mother should be killed. However, because the mother of the twins was a favoured wife of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba race, he decided to save her. He hid her for some time and then sent them (the wife and the twins) out with a large retinue of his trusted chiefs, juju men and warriors, together with the crown, beads, the royal walking stick and all the insignia of the office of a king. The person that led them was called Ija and the first place they settled after leaving Ife was Ijama, which means the land discovered by Ija, who was the leader of the warriors. That Ijama is one of the cognomens of Ondo. There is another version, which to me is the same with the other one. This version says the wife of the king that was delivered of the twins was one of the wives of Oluaso, the then Alaafin of Oyo, who was a direct son of Oduduwa. What that means is that Ondo is a direct descendant of Oduduwa. Whether directly from Oduduwa or from the son, we are still saying the same thing. To me, they are essentially the same. History is never conclusive. They stayed in Ijama for so many years before they moved to another town, called Epe, which is about 5km from Ondo. Later, they consulted Ifa (oracle), and history has it that the oracle said they should continue on their journey and wherever the stick (yam stick) refused to enter the ground was where they should settle. The oracle also revealed that the female twin, who survived the trip, was directed to go towards where we eventually settled and she (Oba Pupupu) was the first king of Ondo. When they got to an area very close to the palace, just opposite the palace there (pointing), the yam stick refused to enter the soil. So, they exclaimed, ‘Edo du do,’ meaning the yam stick would not enter. Hence, the name Ondo is merely a product of the phrase ‘Edo du do’.

How did the title ‘Osemawe’ emerge between when they left the palace and when they arrived in Ondo?

When the favoured wife of the king had those twins, the king was embarrassed because it was then an abomination. He was so bewildered by the birth of the twins that he exclaimed, ‘Ese omo re’ (meaning these children are an abomination). It is said that this exclamation has through linguistic evolution changed into ‘Osemawe’, which is the title of the monarch of Ondo today. It is also necessary to tell you that by the time they arrived Ondo, they met some people, but because of the princely appearance, the retinue of servants and because of the perceived valour of the migrants, all the people they met surrendered to them. And so the paramountcy of Osemawe started immediately from inception, and that was over 500 years ago. We actually celebrated 500 years of documented existence in 2010 with pomp and pageantry.

The name Ondo resonates with people as being the name of a notable kingdom and that of a state. Why was the state, created in 1976, named after Ondo Kingdom?

That is an interesting one. Ondo was lucky that it never faced any war. It was never attacked by anybody. There was peace. So, development was rapid and it became a place of abode for many people and natural preference for the colonial masters when they came. Ondo also became the headquarters of most of the multinational companies, and in terms of education, religion and commerce, Ondo was a preferred choice. So, when the province was carved out, consisting of the present Ondo and Ekiti states, it was not difficult for that province to be named after Ondo, under the reign of a very powerful Osemawe. So, they were all called Ondo Province before the creation of Ondo State. Thus, when Ondo State was created, the name was equally adopted. That was how the state got its name.

There seems to be some supremacy battle among traditional rulers in Yoruba land, but not many would know the position of the Osemawe. What is the rank of the title ‘Osemawe’ among Yoruba Obas?

As far as I’m concerned, as the current Osemawe of Ondo, my current priority is not on the ranking, but to ensure the sustenance of peace in my kingdom, to attract developmental projects to the kingdom as well as ensure that the culture and tradition of Ondo is maintained. However, as far as the title of the Osemawe is concerned, documents in the archive revealed that as far back as 1885, Osemawe of Ondo was one of the first five Obas to be given staff of office (pointing to the staff) by Her Royal Majesty, the then Queen Victoria of Britain. Other Obas were Ooni of Ife, Alaafin of Oyo, Alake of Egba and the Awujale of Ijebu Ode. In the 1903 Obas’ protocol list of Sir Macgregor (a Briton who was the then governor of Lagos colony) , which is now used as a reference point, has Osemawe as number five on the list. Again, the Osemawe was once the chairman of all the Yoruba Obas in Pelupelu (meeting of Obas). But, like I said before, my priority is on the development of Ondo Kingdom and not on ranking.

It is a norm in the African setting for communities or cities to have taboos. What are the taboos in Ondo Kingdom?

There is hardly any community in Yoruba land that does not have its own taboos. The one that readily comes to mind is that in Ondo community, we don’t eat rodent (called Okete in Yoruba language). And if you are bringing palm fruits into Ondo, you don’t bring the whole bunch. You need to have detached the fruits from the bunch. Again, new yams are not to be exposed or brought to the market until after the yam festival when the Osemawe would traditionally eat the new yam. It is after this that it can be exposed. Those are the major taboos.

It is also a traditional norm for kings to inherit the wives of former kings. Does it also happen in Ondo Kingdom?

It happens in all Yoruba land. When an Oba transits, the new Oba inherits the wives and children of all the past Obas. What that means is that it is the responsibility of the king to provide their material needs, and the new king is expected to treat the inherited wives both as his ‘mothers’ as well as ‘wives.’ The important thing is the care for them. That is why the Yorubas don’t say an Oba dies, an Oba can only transit, and when that happens, whatever was left by the past Oba, the new Oba would have to inherit them. It is continuous. Inheritance, in this case, means that you take up the responsibility of providing their material needs.

You recently celebrated 10 years that you ascended the throne. What has it been like?

I would say it has been quite interesting and challenging. But, I must confess that I enjoyed every bit of it. Challenges are inevitable and they are to prepare one for more serious tasks in the future. I’m happy my chiefs and subjects are cooperating with me. There are so many visible  developmental projects that we can point to that have come into existence since I ascended the throne. Many of our roads are dualised, we have many mega schools, we have modern markets and we also have universities now, particularly the Wesley University and the University of Medical Sciences. It will interest you to know that the University of Medical Sciences is the first of its kind in West Africa, and we have people coming from virtually all over the world to receive treatment from qualified, experienced doctors there with the ultramodern and state-of-the-art equipment that are comparable with what you can see in the western world. That truly gladdens my heart.

Ondo Kingdom was pronounced a city in 2015. Was that something you specifically set out to achieve when you were crowned?

Immediately I ascended the throne in 2006, I invited the sons and daughters of the community to brainstorm on what they thought we should do to move the community forward. We then established the Osemawe Palace Forum and that forum set up the agenda as to what they expected of their king. By the time I finished the traditional rites, which lasted for about six months, my high chiefs and other chiefs also cooperated with me. They reviewed the outcome of the deliberations and we came up with what they believe I should do. So, the achievements were products of combined efforts. We have an enviable history, which we are very proud of. We have detailed records of our history from inception over 500 years ago. So what we did was to celebrate the 500 years of our existence. It was as a result of the celebration that we wrote a book that detailed everything that happened in different phases; medicine, education, religion, and different facets of life. Different segments were written by professors in different fields. The book was titled, ‘The Evolution of Ondo Kingdom over 500 years; 1510 to 2010.’ That was when the idea of Ondo becoming a city came up. We set up a committee, called the Ondo City Vision 2015 Committee, to look at how we can justifiably turn Ondo from a town to a functional city within a period of five years, so that by 2015, we would be able to proclaim Ondo a city. To the glory of God, by December 2015, we justifiably proclaimed Ondo town a city.

We rarely find traditional rulers having pet projects, but you have one. What inspired that move?

It was borne out of my interest in rendering service to my people, particularly the underprivileged. As far back as 2009, I established the Oba Kiladejo Crown Foundation for the benefit of all. We have economic empowerment programmes, public advocacy and health programmes. We also assist prisoners in skill acquisition. On yearly basis, we invite doctors from the state and beyond to provide free health care to our people. We also provide drugs for those diagnosed to have chronic  non-communicable diseases, like diabetes and hypertension. We also provide glasses for some, we do counselling, and we don’t normally limit ourselves to just investigation; we continue with their treatment. This year, we attended to well over 2,000 people. That is very important to us. We also give scholarship to indigenous students and we also help the widows. Some years back, we built and equipped a medical centre for one of the universities in this community. There are so many things that the foundation is doing and that gives me joy.

Before now, people used to take their conflicts to the palace for resolution, but given the civilisation and growing number of courts these days, do people still bring cases to the palace like before?

I would want to refer to what we have now as a place for alternative dispute resolution. The fact is that, we only resolve conflicts because conflicts are bound to happen. While conflicts are about persons, crime is against the state. So, in our own centre, we don’t attend to crimes at all. We use many methods, like negotiation, conciliation, mediation and then arbitration. It is only when all these fail that we think of litigation. But in most cases, I’m happy to tell you that it’s been quite rewarding because ADR is cheaper, faster and the pre-conflict relationship is always maintained. In Yoruba land, it is said that you don’t come back from court and still maintain cordial relationship, but relationships are not ruined with this approach. Let me also tell you that we are trying to reorganise it the more by involving experts, like retired judges and other professionals to give expert opinions.

There have been differing opinions on what the roles of traditional rulers are in the contemporary society. What is your view on this?

That is an interesting one. As far as the roles of traditional rulers are concerned, we have the formal and informal. The formal role is primarily to advise the government and the advisory role is not limited to the state, it applies also to the Federal Government. For example, we have the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, which gives us the opportunity to advise the Federal Government and I’m the representative of the South West Obas in the Security Committee of that council. Also, at the state level, we also have State Council of Traditional Rulers for us to get involved in whatever the state government is doing. So, we do quite a lot. We also act as intermediary between the government and our people because we are the closest to them and we know where the shoe pinches. As for the informal roles, which is just as important, we are the custodians of the culture and tradition of our people. We provide the necessary umbrella and much desired enabling environment for peace. We also attract developmental projects to our respective communities. We have quite a lot to do and we do it all the time.

Some people are also saying there should be constitutional roles for traditional rulers. What is your view on this?

On the issue of constitutional roles, all we are saying is that those things we do should now be part of the constitution, and the kings, Obas, Igwes, Emirs and others should be appropriately recognised in that respect, and if need be, compensated for that. When we talk of constitutional role for traditional rulers, we are not saying we want to start competing with the politicians, neither are we advocating for political appointment or involvement in politics, I believe that our formal and informal responsibilities are so much that we should not be bothered with additional responsibilities of becoming quasi politicians.  (

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