1- If the members of Iwo Traditional Council are fighting, they all deserve our listening ears. It’s not only the chairman who deserves to be listened to, but all the members. We must remember this is the highest traditional ruling body in the town, and its members can and have led our town for years when there was no monarch.
2- Iwo Traditional Council is not just Oluwo. Its members are not figureheads. The Yorùbá monarch from time immemorial ruled with the support of his high chiefs. Before the coming of white people, these high chiefs had the power to dethrone a king. And their roles in the Council remain crucial, to ensure the monarch has access to excellent counsel and guidance.
So, we are not talking about Oluwo fighting a few random people in the community, but we are talking about people who are nearest in rank to the monarch and are supposed to wield enormous influence in the Council and outside of it.
3- There are those who insist on dismissing all these high chiefs in a blind support of the reigning monarch. They will be end up setting a terrible precedent that the monarchy in Iwo is an absolute one whose legitimacy is not dependent on the continuing confidence of the traditional council and the led. If the monarch does not face any means of checks and balances locally, we set him up to face it externally.
4- If one member in a group is having trouble with virtually all the other members, it’s important to thoroughly review what the said member could have done. Even if the said member is the chairman of the group. We benefit nothing by insisting on declaring unalloyed loyalty to the said member.
It’s unfair to the other members and it’s unfair to ourselves. Because when we become the next victim, no one will listen to us. Your concern will be dismissed as jealousy or ignorance or corruption. Would that be fair?
5- The current issue is not beyond solving. But if it is solved in a way that tells Oluwo he is doing everything right and every other person who has ever had a problem with him are the problematic ones, then nothing changes and there would be more clashes in the future.
From Chief Ogundokun, to the late Otunba Aremu, to members of the clergy, to known Iwo politicians, to other monarchs in Iwoland, to community developers, to IWAC, and now to members of the traditional council, it’s been one fight after the other. Always messy, always in the public.
If you have retained Oluwo’s confidence, it’s your duty to tell him the truth and not encourage him to persist in a style that’s giving Ìwó bad PR. If he doesn’t listen to your counsel publicly, it’s your duty to the land to voice your concern publicly.
6- If you change all the people who have had a problem with the monarch and replace them with new people, the problem will not suddenly go away if the root causes of the problem are not addressed.
Also, the root cause of the problem is not the monarch’s development ambition for Iwo, no. Those people also want development for the land and have worked successfully in the past with the immediate past monarch, and some of them even with Oba Abimbola.
Pretending that the monarch is for development while everyone else is against it is preposterous and most unkind. We must find the real root cause and we can only do this by insisting on listening to all sides and being fair in our assessment. That’s the only way to ensure that we do not keep putting out the fire, year after year. We need to solve this once and for all.
7- May God guide the chairman and members of Iwo Traditional Council, and those tasked with finding a solution to our perennial problems.