Your royal highness, a video clip trending online showed you leading a procession of demonstrators purportedly against Chief Abiola Ogundokun in Iwo. How come this?
What did you see in the video? Did you see a cop?
Yes, I guess there was security presence.
Did you see any thugs? You saw people jubilating, chiefs, not so? There was a man adorned with Akoko leaves. What does that tell us in Yoruba? Is that not a chieftaincy installation? Am I not an Oba that used to dance? Have people not seen me dancing before? So, if you saw me dancing, we were doing installation of a chief. The only thing is that we were replacing Ogundokun that day, it was his chieftaincy title that was stripped off him and given to another person that day.
Who was that?
The new Otun Balogun of Iwoland, Alhaji Jimoh Babatunde Okanlawon, a very important personality in the land who has contributed to the development of the place. But, this Ogundokun now went and doctored the tape and showed 29 seconds video, claiming that it was in front of his house. We were just dancing round the palace. His house is not even close to the place.
But he accused you of inciting the people of the town against him with that procession.
So when I have to dance, I should not dance? When I dance for God all the time. I’m an Oba who dances, when an Oba dances the whole town dances. When an Oba doesn’t dance, then everything is dull and boring. So he can’t stop me from dancing, I still remain the Oluwo of Iwo until my death comes, which, however, is not now. But we had to bring him to the level that he’s supposed to be, because he has actually done a lot of damage not to only Iwo, whose people he’d imprisoned all this time. He breeds thugs, he imprisoned my children. He has never empowered anyone. Just let him point to one person who has benefitted from him. This man has dined with three to four presidents, but he has never empowered one Iwo indigene, or any Yoruba man for that matter. The only thing he does is enrich his pocket, blackmail and lie against people. He has no job. He calls himself the publisher of a magazine. But that magazine only comes out when he wants to blackmail people. The magazine doesn’t come out every time; go and look at all the editions. They are all about blackmail. If it’s not blackmailing Obasanjo, it is blackmailing Oladipo Diya, if it’s not blackmailing Oladipo Diya it’s MKO Abiola, if it’s not MKO Abiola, it’s Wole Soyinka. Just to bring them down.
He was the closest pal to Abacha. And do you know what he does every time? What he does every time is to record you. You have to be very careful about him. There’s nobody he doesn’t record, the governor, anybody that he goes to, he must have his recording tape. And he’d just throw a question that can rope you in, use it against you. A very crooked man.
But, you were friends, you even made him Oba Nla, which I was told is the highest chieftaincy title in your domain. What really caused the friction between you?
I didn’t make him Oba Nla. There was an offer; go and read the letter. There was an offer that if you’re doing good in the land you deserve this. When I became king, God told me to check him out. Everybody was saying ‘Ahh! This man is not good. Please don’t let him come close to you. If he comes close to you, we’ll never come to the palace.’ I said, no, that bad thing that he’s doing to you people, I want him to do it to me. When he does it to me, that is when I’d realise that he’s a bad person. Because my prayers for my children is that any evil that would befall them should rather befall me, even death. If you ever see me pray before you’d hear me say: “Adanu, ofo, iku, arun, ofo ti o ba se yin, emi ni ko kuku se” ( I sacrifice myself for any affliction of loss, misfortune, death or disease on you , my people). Now, this man is the adanu, and the iku, and the arun, and the ofo that is troubling my children. My children are not just Iwo people, my children are all members of the Yoruba race. So I said let this man that’s the cause of all the atrocities against my people come and do it to me too, so I could handle him. And I’m handling him now.
He claims that both of you fell apart because one, you were heady and not taking good advice, especially to desist from corruptly collecting money from chieftaincy contestants.
You see, that’s why I’d been told not to do any interview about this man again so as not to dignify him. He would say anything to tarnish one’s image… I have a point that I’m making. I have got him down to his knees. Do you know that he has eroded the confidence and boldness of my children. That no one can even try to face him, because they fear he would rope them into something. Go and check the police and their records. He uses police to harass people… This man doesn’t stand to be a leader at all, other than to destroy. Do you know that 99.9 per cent of my subjects dare not face Ogundokun? Why? Because of this man’s way of implicating people with death threats that he would just fake and claim emanated from somebody.
Does that not confirm his claim that the Iwo people including the royal family are against you?
Not true. Only one man who contested the throne and lost, and, of course, he has his family behind him. They are not the ruling house. But, what do you expect of someone who contested the throne with me and was defeated? In the mind of such people, it is like nothing should be well, so something can take you away from there. The man lied that he’s the head of all the princes; it’s a lie.
Chief Ogundokun claims that he finances you, your wardrobe, palace and regularly gives you money.
My palace? Do you say my palace? Does a palace belong to a king, or the kingdom? It’s like you saying your local government. (laughing). I met the palace here and another king is still coming after me to use it. Do you know how many kings who had used the palace? Whose palace is it? It is the town’s palace. It is the people’s palace. Do you know how many people come to the palace? Is that my personal house? I’m asking you?
Is it true you plot to kill him and have hired an assassin from Ibadan for the job?
That is what he does, we hear. I don’t condone thuggery, violence; I don’t belong to any cult or secret society. I want to erase cultism from Nigeria. To erase it, it has to come from us. Look around my palace, do you see thugs here? What you’ll find here are graduates, my peers, police and civil defence corps. See this one (points to an aide), he’s a graduate of Bowen University. Would you call those thugs?
How do you react to the view that the Oluwo is controversial?
I have to be controversial. Look at me today; people want to use my name to gain and drive traffic on their blog sites. People want to use my name to sell newspapers. If you see somebody whose glory is so high like that; a king that was enthroned just a year plus ago and his popularity is soaring like that, what do think?
It’s like Asiwaju Tinubu, any little thing, you’ll see how many people would talk bad about him. It is the same with Governor Aregbesola. The man is doing a great job down there in Osun State. See the transformation! He is the best governor in Nigeria, works 24 hours, but, is he not controversial? Do you know how many people that would hear of Aregbe today and what they would say is ‘ah! he’s this o! he’s that o!’ or ‘Aregbe has stolen money’ or ‘puts us in debt o!’
Before you ascended the throne you studied and lived in Canada. What specific job were you doing?
I was a contractor. I became a contractor and was also working for the government.
Ogundokun said you were into internet fraud, yahoo-yahoo?
When was that? He should bring somebody that can prove that allegation, there must be a proof when you say all that. Look, the man, does he have a job? He is a blackmailer. If somebody is a blackmailer what do you expect? He has blackmailed Obasanjo, Wole Soyinka. You can just ask these people. Former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola has talked on this. Go and check what Oyinlola said on Ogundokun. He said he has never been anything, but a councilLor. He has no job. The first born of Ogundokun is his gateman, who looks for Omolanke job anywhere and he is not a crazy man. Who has Ogundokun empowered in his life? In journalism, what has he done for anybody, has he built an NUJ chapel? The only thing is that when he wants to destroy people’s image he would go and, and that is a problem in journalism, he would just call some people and give them money that they would spend in one day. And they themselves will sell their souls to this devil. Ask anybody. He said he is a Muslim, has he ever sent one person to Hajj? One person, I am not talking about two. Which of his sons is bearing his name, which of his children? He doesn’t have a wife, he doesn’t have nobody, he cannot stay with a driver for two weeks, he will find excuse and sack him. He will lie against the driver he would set him up. What kind of man? He is not even a man, an animal is better. So you can’t define him. I took him in to redeem him, just to redeem him, but the man cannot change. The only man that was supposed to be our governor from Iwo, he roped him to go to jail and the man died, lawyer Eniola Atanda. He is the one that is supposed to be the first governor of the old Oyo State before any Osun was created.He was the one chosen to become the governor that Bola Ige became
How did he rope him in?
He got him to buy a stolen car. Volvo.
And how did that disqualify the man?
Because they sent him to jail. He would just come to you: Oh you want to become governor, I am from Iwo too. Why don’t you buy this car so that it can boost your personality. This Volvo is good. And it was the Volvo of armed robbers. The third day, they got the man. He was the one chosen to become the governor that Bola Ige became.