Over 250 years after the death of the last monarch of Tigbo Ilu, a sleepy community in Ogun State, residents are calling on the Ogun State government to fast track the process of installing a new traditional ruler as a means of bringing development to the socially waning community.
Tigbo-Ilu is a community of Awori ethnic group of Yewa extraction in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The residents complained of the reign of violence and brigandage, engendered by the activities of land grabbers in the area, which they attributed to lack of order as a result of the vacancy of the throne, on which moves began to fill about seven years ago.
The lingering sharp practices and corner cutting that has been defining the ascension to the throne, it was learnt, has been sending cold jitters down the spines of dwellers, some of whom now live under fear and trepidation as a result of the activities of people bent on sparking trouble to thwart history.
Investigation revealed that Prince Olaboye Victor Taiwo Thomas-Fagbayi, of the Imesan ruling house, is the rightful claimant of the throne.
He has been on the horns of dilemma, ever since he was chosen by the kingmakers as the next monarch of the sprawling community.
Prince Thomas-Fagbayi, a professional footballer of the 1993 Golden Eaglets fame who later played for Swedish side, Spanga FC, has been fighting a mother of all battle to clinch the ticket as a result of a wall erected by one Alhaji Mohammed Jimoh Alayande Odunogun, who is also claiming legitimacy to the throne.
Odunogun, President of the Iwarefa Traditional Herbalists Association of Nigeria, ITHAN, and land speculator, claimed to be the choice of the Imesan family, to the throne.
This development has created a lull in the pace of preparation to the throne, causing a lot of manipulations and make-believes that is causing untold draw back to the development of the ancient town.
But in a letter by the Aina Balogun family of Imesan ruling house, dated 18-5-2012 and signed by High Chief Akin Dosumu, head of family and Mr Folorunso Thomas, Secretary and addressed to the Ogun State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon Muyiwa Oladipo, Prince Olabode Victor Taiwo, was presented as the family choice for the throne.
The letter captioned: “Re-Filling of Vacant Stool of Onitigbo of Tigbo-Ile,” reads: “The entire family of Aina Balogun of Imesan ruling house has nominated and approved the candidature of Prince Olabode Victor Taiwo Thomas as the candidate for the vacant stool of Onitigbo. After a very thorough scrutiny, he became the best among the five other candidates from the Aina Balogun’s family.
“Enlist below are the names of the eligible candidates for the throne: (1) Sunday Olumide Dosumu, (2) Folorunso Thomas, (3), Yinka Kuponiyi, (4), Olanrewaju Dosumu, (5), Olabode Victor Taiwo Thomas”
The letter went further to state that the selection of Victor Taiwo Thomas, hinged on the pronouncement of the Ifa oracle after due traditional consultation, as is the custom in Yoruba land.
“The selection of Prince Olabode Victor Taiwo Thomas is majorly based on the oracle (Ifa) consultation which was done severally according to the tradition of our ancestors. He, (Prince Olabode Victor Taiwo Thomas) emerged as the best of the candidates. Any other presented candidate is falsified and not acknowledged by the Aina Balogun family of Imesan ruling house.
“We, the entire family of Aina Balogun Onitigbo’s royal family hereby declare “Prince Olabode Victor Taiwo Thomas” as our choice of candidate for the filling of the vacant royal stool of Onitigbo of Tigbo-Ilu,” the letter reads.
Residents who spoke to our correspondent, urged the incumbent Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Ogun State, Hon Jide Ojuko, to intensify action towards ensuring fair play in the ongoing tussle and vindicate his office by ensuring that a authentic Onitigbo is installed soon.
Effort to reach Prince Olabode Thomas for comments could not yield fruit as he was said to be living in hideout. Alhaji Odunogun could not also be reached on phone as his line was switched off.