Disquiet in Ilawo, as Macgregor flees over alleged land grabbing accusations from Indigenes

As recent allegations of land grabbing and the creation of a task force to frustrate the people of Orile-Ilawo, Alagbagba in Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun State continue to get stronger, there is growing disquiet following an alleged disappearance of the monarch of the community, Alexander Macgregor. 

It was gathered that the disappearance of the embattled monarch was not unconnected with the continuous agitation of the indigenous people of Orile-Ilawo who have repeatedly rejected the imposition of the king on them by the Ogun state government. 

It was learned that heated controversy over who occupies the seat of the Olu of Orile-Ilawo has torn the community into shreds ever since the government allegedly imposed Macgregor as the Oba on the community despite resistance from the people. 

Investigation showed that the embattled monarch has several petitions piled up against him on alleged involvement in high profile land grabbing arrangements and plans, among several other infractions including creating some sort of a militia and mercenary groups who have been fingered to be creating problems and threatening villagers across Orile-Ilawo.

It was also discovered that Macgregor’s extended family members won a court judgment against him on land matters.

There were reported cases of constant harassment of Baales and several high-ranking and low Chiefs from Ilawo, including new land grabbing attempt accusations against Oba Macgregor by the original ancestral land owners.

The land-grabbing accusations by the original owners are gradually turning into a messy situation as the Oba allegedly claimed in a letter to be the custodian of all the lands in Orile-Ilawo community which many people in the community have stood against.

It was gathered this has turned into Police matter and the embattled monarch has reportedly fled to evade being arrested for an alleged land-grabbing offence which is punishable under Ogun State Law. 

Pa Amodu Amusa, 87, from Lerin Ilawo village said his community will continue to protest openly and spiritually to stop the continued occupation and unethical appointment of a group of known hoodlums, “who aren’t even Ilawo Indigines and who claim they have been empowered by the said Oba, constituting themselves into some sort of a militia, using guns and all sorts of dangerous weapons to threaten our people, our wives and kids and preventing us from going to our farms” 

He added, “I want to advise Alex Macgregor to go back to his job as a pharmacist he claims in Canada because doing everything allegedly roguery to take over the lands of our forefathers, including giving uniforms to hoodlums to threaten our people, despite not being a member of this community, neither with a village or any bloodline traceable to Orile Ilawo and claiming to be a custodian of all lands in Orile-Ilawo will not be acceptable.

“Our people said if a man cooks for the whole community, the community will finish the food, but if the community, in turn, prepares food for the man, he will not be able to finish it. It is very dangerous. The community, particularly ancestral landowners have the right to ban anybody from going into their ancestral lands.

“For us, we are not after the state government’s decisions because if they know the true history and tradition of Orile Ilawo, I am sure they would have independently verified this person’s history and probably won’t have appointed such a person to such elevated position within our clan but the government on their own volition appointed him as the Oba, for reasons known to them especially since the Olu of Orile-Ilawo stool is already a recognized stool.

“However, that does not bother us much. There is always a way to follow it up, we shall follow it in the native way like our forefathers did because Obaship is traditional and any action we will take will be very traditional.”

The Youth Forum and concerned indigenes of Orile Ilawo accused Oba Alex Macgregor and his associates of recruiting mercenaries to blackmail the Baales and indigenes of Orile-Ilawo for daring to challenge their alleged militia-like task force activities across the villages and also issues bothering on land matters in the area.

The group in a statement by its chairman, Alhaji Yekini Ahmed noted, “The Oba gave these hoodlums uniforms, berets, possibly empowered them with weapons as claimed by these hoodlums and branded them Ilawo Surveillance Team and sometimes Olu Ilawo Task Force. This is an aberration, and completely against the law.

“Regardless of the intention, vigilantism is illegal without due process. Further, it is generally understood that his acts of vigilantism are committed in the name of revenge against those who did not support his ambition to become Olu of Orile Ilawo. Such act is aggravated, and there is a very thin line between serving the public and breaking the law. The police are already investigating this.

“There are sacred facts to show that the traditional ruler appointed from known Ilawo history has an incurable propensity at expropriating family and even communal lands for his selfish interests and only gaslighting the public to deflect attention away from his shameful conduct. His real intention is to convert communal land to personal property.”

Another man from the community, Mr Muyideen Yusuff from Amini Awo Village said the constant harassment and allegations against the baales and sons from Orile-Ilawo won’t be tolerated anymore.

He stressed, “The several allegations, as succinctly distilled in several unsubstantiated petitions, particularly against Chief Lawrence Ogunsanya, Akogun of Ilawo, were not only spurious, ignominious, irrational, ludicrous and perspicuously baseless in fact and logic, they were devilishly and disingenuously concocted to deliberately impugn Akogun’s integrity, deflate his credibility and smear his person before right thinking members of the society, his many lovers and supporters, his numerous clientele and the entire world to achieve their nefarious and diabolical intentions of causing chaos and crisis in the community in question to prevent accountability, deprive the rightful beneficiaries of their entitlement and bring in Land Grabbers into the Land for their selfish personal gains and filthy lucre.”

In the same, the Elders Forum of Orile Ilawo, headed by Pa Idowu Odedare, maintained that the monarch has made several allegations against the indigenes of Orile-Ilawo Community and particularly the Aiku and Lerin families to the police in Zone 2, Adatan.

He explained, “On each occasion, he and his ally chickened out when it was time to present evidence in support of their allegations.

“In the face of the above hard and irrefutable facts, it is vacuous for any paid person to adorn the traditional ruler in roses and question the community’s right to defend their common patrimony and heritage.

“What was even more laughable is the moronic allegation that some of the rivals who contested against him for the stool of Olu of Orile Ilawo and over 80 percent of the leadership of the clan have made Orile Ilawo ungovernable for him since he was appointed. The simple answer remains this man is not ILUFEMILOYE.

“If our people wanted him, they won’t be rejecting him openly at every opportunity both within the township and the homestead from day one and to think of this same person coming to claim our forefather's lands as his to be custodian over is very much laughable and disgraceful.

“When we talk about land, our ancestral land is part of who we are. It’s a mixture of our blood, our past, our current, and our future. We carry our ancestors in us, and they’re around us.

“As you all do. It is important to understand the longstanding history that has brought our forefathers to reside on the Orile Ilawo lands and to seek to understand this man’s place within that history if it exists at all.

“This Oba in question has no single village in all of the villages that makes up Orile Ilawo. No blood relation or any history that connects him to any families or village across the whole of Orile Ilawo. These are sacred facts, easy to verify. Even within the township, people whose lineages are built beyond the river, at the other side of the river that is, are visitors of Ilawo and not Ilawo Indigines.

“And to set records straight, those who have been working with the Kabiesi in question are the culprits who need to be arrested and interrogated immediately, especially on land issues. 

“People like Wasiu Balogun, Chief Ajani Anthony Olufade (Osi of Ilawo), Diyaolu Oluwatoyin (Sakotun of Ilawo) who allegedly sold more than 2,000 acres of land with payments running into hundreds of millions going directly into their accounts. This totally rubbishes whatever iota of rationality exists in the medulla oblongata of the said purveyors of fake information about the true position of things in Orile-Ilawo.”

Chief Lawrence Ogunsanya who doubles as the Akogun of Ilawo said, “Aside from being a complete son of the soil, with both my patrilineal and Matrilineal lineages being of the original settlers of Ilawo, both at homestead and township, I am professionally a Land Management Consultant with an enviable pedigree of impervious integrity, unimpeachable credibility, and outstanding professional finesse. 

“In fact, I have been the one who has so far been at the forefront of stopping illegal sales of our ancestral lands and warned the king and his men through a letter from our family lawyer that he should not meddle and never refer to our ancestral lands as being communal lands to which he is claiming to be a custodian. 

“Therefore, it is criminal and pernicious, and it begs logic for anyone to have wickedly and curiously attempted to tarnish the good name and disparage my personality and the noble traditional history our family (Lerin-Aiku Families )is known for in Orile Ilawo by claiming I have been responsible for making Orile Ilawo ungovernable for him.

“While the instrumentality of the Law will definitely be activated to seek redress, we have written the governor, council of Oba in Ogun State, and other governmental agencies. We hereby remind all evildoers that posterity is an unforgiving judge and awaits all humans at the nick of time.”

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Anonymous said…
We don’t want Macgregor. Leave us in Ilawo alone. Stop forcing yourself on our people