CAN protests the role of the Alaafin in ongoing land tussle

The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi
Emeh Joy

The Christian Association of Nigeria in Oyo town has tackled the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi over the role he allegedly plays in an ongoing land tussle between the association and some other parties in the town.

The Christian association had accused Oba Adeyemi of selling parts of its 96 plots of land at Ayetoro to some investors. As proposed meetings with the monarch had been aborted, the Oyo chapter of CAN had concluded that the absence of the Alaafin from the meeting was deliberate.

An executive member of the Oyo Zone CAN, Revd. Femi Afolabi told reporters that the Christian association given the monarch's attitude had taken to the street to protest his roles in the land tussle.

Afolabi who is also the head of Zonal issues in the Oyo Zone CAN said the matter got to its climax when some of its members who went to inspect the property were attacked by some hoodlums suspected to be land grabbers.

Afolabi said, "On Sunday, the 5th of July, the entire body of Christ in Oyo land, comprising Afijio, Oyo East and West, Atiba local government areas, marched from Isokun Baptist Church to CAN land in Ayetoro scheme.

"We came back through the palace to Isokun. The protest match is predicated on the fact that the land belongs to CAN, having been allocated to us by then Atiba Local Government Area, we got information that kabiyesi, the Alaafin of Oyo is selling the land.

"We made several approached to him formally and informally to let him know that we have the document for the land, but he did not allow dialogue to prevail.

"That was why CAN decided to let the whole world know that he wants to use his royal stool to cheat CAN; that was why we protested.

"He gave us an appointment at a time. I can't remember the date now, and all the head of the churches in the land were there with the CAN executive members, including Bishops. On getting there, everybody waited for more than one hour, and he didn't show up.

"He sent a message that he had a visitor from Abuja. We told the people whom he sent to us that if he wanted to see us, he could call us, but he never called till date. It was like a slap on the entire church.

"We want the whole world to know that Alaafin is trespassing on the land of CAN, and it is dangerous for any man to collide with God. Anybody who is paying money to Alaafin to buy the land is wasting his money. It is not Alaafin's land but the government scheme".

A source in the Alaafin's palace who confirmed the CAN protest on Sunday said, "It was so sad and embarrassing; kabiyesi was so nice to the Christian body and so, should be treated with respect.

"However, they took to the street without meeting or complaining formally to him. That was disrespectful and totally unacceptable. It was a big embarrassment, and they printed handbills and carried placards against the Alaafin. A matter that should have been amicably resolved was blown out of proportion.

The Media Secretary to the Alaafin, Mr Bode Durojaye said he was yet to brief the monarch and thus can't make any comment on behalf of the king.

"I cannot make any comment on behalf of kabiyesi on this issue unless I am properly briefed and so directed. I will let you know the mind of kabiyesi and possibly inform you if he fixes an appointment for you to come to hear his side of the story", he said.

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