Confusion Galore On The Deji of Akure's Selection

by Dr. Wunmi Akintide

In the last one week alone, there have been so many conflicting stories on the World Wide Web on the futile decision of the Agagu-led Government of Ondo State to simply ignore the well-meaning advice that the unilateral breakup of the only Asodeboyede Ruling Line, for the simple reason of barring a particular unit of Asodeboyede from taking part in the selection exercise, was clearly a step in the wrong direction. Agagu like the so-called Osupa/Odundun arbitrary Unit is scared to death, another candidate from the Adesida Unit might once again emerge victorious as the next Deji. Agagu who should be totally neutral has made the Deji’s selection exercise a personal vendetta against a

particular family, because he appears to have bought, hook, line, and sinker the perverted logic advanced by the so-called Osupa Family that the only Ruling House in Akure must willy nilly be broken into two in order to give their own unit a chance to produce a Deji after waiting in the cold for more than 150 years. They could care less what caliber of candidate eventually emerge as the next Deji. They totally forget that it is the individual holder of a title, at any given time, that elevates or brings down the stature and prestige of his or her title. If you narrow down the selection to just a few amorphous and colorless candidates, what you get is what you deserve. But if you open up the selection, you stand a better chance of getting more qualified and acceptable candidates from whom the Deji-Elect can be picked. Better still you stand a better chance of picking a genuine blue blood and not a pretender.

At a time Agagu has seen it fit to forcibly divide up Akure into three

separate kingdoms during an interregnum and in the absence of a substantive

Deji-in-Council, the need has never been more urgent, to find a candidate of timber

and caliber with sufficient clout and leverage to force the Ondo State

Government to revisit their silly decision to polarize Akure. We

sure need a Deji who will work in tandem with the Akure Council of Chiefs and the

overwhelming majority of our people to bring pressure to bear on whatever

Government comes to power in Ondo State in 2007, to once again reopen the

division of Akure into three separate kingdoms, and to have it done in a way to

reflect the preference of the Deji, the true consensus of our people, and without

robbing Peter to pay Paul, which is precisely what the Agagu’s Government has

done, by not waiting to see a new Deji installed before executing his plan to

break up his Kingdom. The silly move was a great insult to the Deji as an

Institution, to Akure as the State Capital and, and to all Akure citizens all over

the world.

I, for one, as an Akure patriot, do not want to see a Deji who does not,

and cannot project the wherewithal to tower above the two Chiefs who have now

been recognized as Obas without any input from the Deji or his Council of

Chiefs. By sheer stroke of the pen, Agagu and Omolade Oluwateru have sewn the seed

of acrimony and disunity in our town that would for ever hunt our town and

reduce Akure to the same level as Owo and Ikare, and other places in our country

where Obaship tussle and acrimony have become a running sore, and a big clog

in the wheel of progress and development.

Take or leave it. That is my take on the unfortunate development, and

future posterity would never forgive Agagu and Oluwateru, fifty or hundred years

from today. I repeat I have no qualms against recognizing the two chiefs as

minor Obas. I am vehemently opposed, however, to the arbitrary way it was done

without as much as a word from either the Regent and the Akure Council of

Chiefs, and the leaders of thought in the State Capital.

I think the case can be made that Agagu is bent on paralyzing Akure and

installing a puppet and a weakened Deji who would have expended so much energy

and capital on fighting to be recognized as a Deji, that he could neither lift

a finger against Agagu and his tactless Government nor mobilize popular

support of his own people against the Government. When I think of a Deji in Akure, I

think of the Deji’s contemporaries like the Olowo of Owo, the Osemawe of

Ondo, the Abodi of Ikale to mention a few. If you consider the caliber of the

present incumbents of those titles right now, and you look at the inherent

disadvantage of limiting the Deji’s selection to some of the candidates that are now

emerging as possible candidates, you have to, honestly, feel sorry for Akure

at this point. What is even worse, is the way the Osupa Family appears to be

handling the repeated selection exercise by the Family suddenly usurping the

role and responsibilities of the Kingmakers, and making sure that other qualified

candidates who have also signified their interest in the vacant title, were

arbitrarily overruled or barred, using the Law of the jungle?

Just like they have succeeded in limiting the selection of a Deji to their

own minority unit of the Asodeboyede Ruling House with tacit approval of

Agagu and Oluwateru, the same unit is now emboldened to use the same gimmick to

gag or overrule the other deserving candidates in favor of one of the

candidates. Candidate Kole Aladetoyinbo, as a great grand son of one of the 44 Dejis

that have ruled in Akure, has every right to seek nomination just like the other

candidates. He is in fact my brother-in-law on one side of me, as well as my

distant cousin on the other side. But two wrongs don’t make a right. The other

candidates reserve their right to have their names presented to the

kingmakers, as clearly stipulated in the Deji’s 1958 Declaration as amended, once their

nomination is seconded, if only by one person in the Family caucus, that was

specially summoned to nominate candidates to be presented to the kingmakers for


I am as mad as hell that the Family has indeed seriously undermined or

compromised the candidature of Prince Aladetoyinbo by seeking to gag the

kingmakers or hand them a “fait accompli” by default, and by refusing to follow the

provisions of the Declaration to the letter, in their attempt to jump the gun or

rig the nomination. If the other candidates are forced to seek redress in the

Court of Law today, and the kingmakers are joined as cosponsors, you can be

sure the Court will uphold their objection, and nullify the selection as

failing to follow due process.

The Agagu Government has fumbled again by not listening to wiser

counsel. Agagu has, in my judgment, failed to uphold the Rule of Law, one more time,

because a Court of Law has, earlier on, dismissed the motion filed, by the

Osupa Family that the first Deji-Elect “Prince” Adegbola Adelabu is not a member

of their Family. If the Court already takes the position that the Family lied

in Law and common sense by disowning Prince Adelabu, to begin with, how could

a law-abiding Government ignore that ruling, and still give the Family a

marching order to go start the process all over again. Has the Government forgotten

that the Deji-Elect, Adelabu can again exercise his fundamental rights under

our Constitution to go seek a redress in Court for whatever it is worth, and

to hold Agagu’s Government in contempt? Agagu, or his Government, as far as I

know, does not enjoy any immunity on this kind of litigation, and could be

forced by Law to withdraw the silly directive he has given the Osupa Family to

start the nomination process all over. It was an arrogance of power for Agagu to

behave that way, and he ought to be called to order, is what I am saying here

loud and clear.

How easy, is it for any member of the Osupa Family to prove who is a

member of their family when, right now, there is not a single member of their

Family including Dr. Adebimpe Ige Ogunleye or Chief Oluyemi Falae or Chief Femi

Alewi who can swear on oath, without going to jail, that any of the current

candidates including Ileri Oluwa himself, is not a Prince in Akure. All the

candidates, as I said before, are great great grand children of the third or fourth

generation. Once the “Omo-ori-Ite conditionality has been expunged, the most

logical thing for any rational Government to do, was to open up the selection

exercise to all grand children and great grand children of the whole Asodeboyede

Ruling house who can prove to be connected to any of the 44 Dejis by blood or


They should then have left the Kingmakers to be the people to say they

are picking a candidate from any of the units which has not produced a Deji for

a long time. It is unbecoming of a responsible Government to condescend that

low and to want to unilaterally assume the role and responsibilities of the

Kingmakers. They cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time like Agagu is


It is now clear to all that the whole system is rotten and corrupt from

the “get go.” The Family demanding 2 million Naira to be paid up front by each

candidate before their names can be sent to the kingmakers for consideration,

is unheard off in our History. I am talking now as a one time Secretary to the

Asodeboyede Ruling House that nominated no less than seven candidates that

were all presented to the kingmakers in 1975 when Oba Adelegan was picked as the

Deji. The same thing happened in 1957 when no less than nine candidates were

presented to the kingmakers who in their wisdom had picked Prince/Barrister

Ademuagun Adesida. Even in 1880, 1890 and 1897, no less than four candidates were

presented to the kingmakers on each occasion. The same thing happened in 1991

when Prince Adebobajo was finally picked by the kingmakers.

The Osupa Family has fumbled again, because they are desperate and because

they are very new to this. Where for God’s sake did Dr. Adebimpe Ige

Ogunleye, one of the foremost supporters of Ileri Oluwa, before he was disowned by the

same Family, get the horrendous idea that his Family can overrule all the

other candidates from exercising their fundamental human rights and birth right

to have their names, at least, presented to the kingmakers for consideration.

What the Osupa Family has done is the same rigging formula that the PDP

Government has perfected in 2003 and in readiness for the 2007 Elections.

Everything is Politics in Nigeria. But those of us who still treasure and

value the Deji as an Institution, will not just fold our arms and just allow a

bird of passage like Agagu to desecrate our tradition and reduce the Deji to

nothing but a village head, and a pawn in the chess game of politicians in our

town. Whoever finally emerges as the Deji would sooner or later come to a

painful realization that Agagu has irredeemably reduced the power, the clout and

the leverage of the next Deji of Akure. Can you imagine Agagu giving

recognition to the Oloja of Idoko as more or less an equal to the Osemawe of Ondo in

Ondo Local Government? If you can imagine that scenario, you will appreciate what

I am talking about here.

Isolo and Isinkan are technically speaking, no longer the territories of

the Deji of Akure as we used to know it. The Deji now has to make do with what

is left out of the State Capital for better or for worse. Sooner or later the

Odopetu can invoke his Oliki crown as a reason to ask for his quarter to be

carved out from Akure, and Bara Sao can also invoke his “Ade Ogun” as a rational

for recognizing him as the sole authority in Irowo/Ijoka and Osinle Quarters

in Akure. When that happens with no input at all from the Deji, it is then

that the Deji and Akure would fully appreciate the enormity of what Agagu has

done to us, all in the name of playing god, as a transient politician.

I rest my case

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Olajide Adedolapo June 14, 2010 - 4:32 pm

Dr. Akintide’s write-up are a concoction of lies. It is good he was able to confirm here that he belongs to the Ojijigodun ruling house. That clearlly confirms his bias.

2. His selfishness comes clear when he endorsed the clause that eliminates the need for an ‘omo ori ite’ – a traditional requirement to get a blue blood because it suits him since he is not a direct decendant of Deji BUT was vehemently against every other changes brought about by the requirement of a modern world. Yes, he endorses that change because it suits him.

3. On Isikan and Isolo, YOU MISSED the poin clearlly. You also lied. Because it is unthikable for a TRUE son of Akure not to know that Isikan and Isolo have always beeing seperate towns DISTINCT from Akure. It is very obsvious that you chose the history you want to support and you are not ready for the truth at all.

What were the pronouncement of the courts on the status of Isikan and Isolo? If you know history, you will know that Agagu only obeyed the courts and the history of the land and not your personal wishful thinking to get the Deji of Akureto reign over large territory.

Ademuyiwa November 4, 2005 - 2:12 pm

You are missing the point elegbde or whatever your name is. Dr Akintide is touching on a subject that is dear to many Akure hearts and most of his contributions are highly intellectual and indepth.Thank you.

Elegbede October 25, 2005 - 1:01 pm

This guy is the most boring of all writers on the internet!

Why must he keep irritating people's sensibilities with constant whining over the Deji of Akure wahala. If he wants to be the next king of Akure why can't he just pack his bags and go back to Akure.


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