WOMEN groups, including the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), yesterday stormed Akure, the Ondo State capital, to protest
against the conduct of the town’s monarch, Oba Oluwadare Adesina, the Deji of Akure, who engaged his wife, Olori Bolanle, in a bloody street brawl last Sunday.
This development came as kingmakers in the town said the conduct of Oba Adesina had been reported to senior citizens of the town and the state government.
Also yesterday, the battered wife, who is recuperating at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, wrote a petition to Governor Olusegun Mimiko over the attack and demanded for justice.
The monarch had gone to the family house of his estranged wife, a mother of two, in a convoy of cars during which he engaged her in a violent fight, leading to the pouring of hot ashes suspected to be mixed with acid on parts of her body.
But, the Oba’s Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), among others, was damaged by an alarmed mob, who repulsed his attack on his wife.
The women groups stormed the office of the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Bukola Tenabe, to protest the maltreatment of Olori Bolanle and demanded justice from all relevant government agencies.
Led by Princess Iyabo Akinnagbe and Mrs. Fatima Muraina, the women asked the kingmakers to, as a matter of urgency, begin deposition process against Oba Adesina.
They were armed with various placards, some of which read: “Stop violence against women”, “Stop molestation of women”, “Women in Ondo State say no to inhuman attitude”, “We say no to zero tolerance against women”, “Ondo Council of Obas should bail women out of violence” and “Women’s maltreatment should be stopped”.
While speaking to reporters after visiting the commissioner, Mrs. Akinnagbe said the state Council of Obas should step in quickly to stop women across the state from protesting naked over the situation.
The woman leader said the situation would be reported to the wife of the governor, Mrs. Olukemi Mimiko, and later to the Olowo of Owo, Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi, who is the Chairman of the Council of Obas.
She said: “Don’t let me take the laws into my own hands. If we cannot fight it in Ondo State, we will take the fight to the national level and if it is beyond them, we will proceed to the international level. In the name of peace, I cannot fold my hands on this issue.
“We are working in partnership with the government and the government is not happy. How will the citizens live such a person on the throne? An undisciplined person cannot maintain discipline. A leader in the community must live an exemplary life worthy of emulation. A man that cannot control his own house is not fit to lead a whole town.”
According to Mrs. Akinnagbe, if Oba Adesina is no longer interested in his wife, he should seek legal redress in the court, “instead of defacing her under the pretence of divorce in a traditional way”.
Mrs. Tenabe said the government was not happy with the attitude of the monarch in molesting his wife, adding that members of the State Executive Council will have to sit and decide the next action on the issue.
Olori Adesina’s petition, written by her solicitors, Olatunbosun Aganun & Co. and dated June 2, was entitled: “Public Attack on Olori Bolanle Adepoju Adesina by Oba Oludare Adepoju Adesina: A Royal Show of Shame and a Demand For Justice”.
It reads in part: “In a Gestapo-like manner, the Deji with the aid of his cohorts barged into our client’s apartment without her consent. He dragged our client from upstairs to the always busy Hospital Road and beat her blue and black in the public glare.
“Save for divine intervention and the response of passers-by, who held the Kabiyesi as he was having a field day on the street like Hulk Hogan on a wrestling ring, it would have been a story of sorrow, pain and wailing in the household of the mother of two boys, if the Kabiyesi had succeeded with his nefarious, devilish and clandestine plan to pour acid on the entire body of our client.
“We wish to state with great sense of responsibility that our client is presently receiving medical attention for chemical burns and other injuries sustained during the melee at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, after the first aid she got at the State Specialist Hospital, Akure.
“From the foregoing, we most humbly submit in strong and clear terms that the paramount ruler’s acts are contrary to royal native norms, values and traditional dictates. We demand justice on behalf of our client as the matter is beyond a domestic affair. We wish you use your good offices to instruct the police to order a full-scale investigation into the matter without fear or favour.”
Meanwhile, the head of the town’s kingmakers, Chief Folorunso Davies, said they have taken steps against the monarch by first of all reporting him to senior citizens of the town, including Chiefs Reuben Fasoranti and Wumi Adegbonmire.
Davies also said all relevant government agencies had been alerted on the conduct of the Oba before the kingmakers would sanction him.
Oba Adesina had been deposed early this year “for conduct demeaning to his office”, but the decision was reversed by the state government, which said that it was not carried along by the kingmakers.