Kwara 2023: Ghost Of Partisan Politics Haunts Olusanlu Of IsanIlu-Isin
Sunday, March 26, 2023 made it the third day that the irate youths of Isanlu-Isin, a community in Isin Local Government Area (LGA) of Kwara State, blocked its ruler’s palace for allegation of partisan politics.
The youths who blocked the entrance of the palace, were protesting against the lucid activeness of the community’s monarch, Olusin of IsanIlu-Isin, Oba Solomon Olugbemiga Oloyede Atobatele II. The social media were awashed with pictures and videos of aggrieved youths who barricaded the palace entrance with leaves – a Yoruba hieroglyph-like that means ‘no entrance’ and as well held them in their hands.
The monarch, as I was reliably informed, has left the town till the dust to settle, as well as flocked the very town he is the monarch with the police.
Any onlooker would but ask, “is this a protest, revolt or revolution?” “What are the discourse of this?”
Oba Solomon Oloyede reportedly participated in partisan politics. Isanlu-Isin is simply telling the monarch to mind his administrative-cum-fatherly roles and leave politics for politicians and the decision to elect political leaders to the public.
Core role of a king in Yorubaland is ‘belonging to everybody and belonging to nobody’.
A source personally told me, “be it not for Kabieesi, APC won’t have that number of votes in the town.
“It is understood that kings are humans and have political inclinations, but Olusanlu went the extra mile. There are reports of intimidation of the opposition in the community. This was not expected as the PDP’s candidate is from Isanlu-Isin, yet here was the king of the same place working effortlessly for the one his own son was contesting against.
“Although PDP won landslide in Isanlu-Isin, the protesters believed that APC was able to garnered that number of vote because of the Kabiyesi. If not for the vote, it would have been victory for the Isanlu-Isin guy.
“They wanted the Olusanlu to address them, but he is not in town. Some allege he ran away. There is heavy presence of operatives of the Nigeria Police Force in the community. The Kabiyesi’s loyalists are saying that the protesters wanted to burn the palace……”
A son of the soil, Ambassador Alabi Solomon Rotimi was contesting Kwara State House of Assembly on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Ipso facto, the Olusin has tilted towards a political climate. For example, at the 14th anniversary Olusanlu in February 2023, the title of Atunluse of Isanlu-Isin was conveyed on Kwara State Governor Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq and his wide, the First Lady Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq was coronated Yeye Atunluse of the kingdom.
Speaking on behalf of the community, the Olusin of Isanlu-Isin commended AbdulRazaq’s contributions to the growth of the state, particularly Isin land.
He assured the Governor of overwhelming votes at the polls.
Oba Solomon said inter alia: “Your Excellency (addressing Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq), this 14th year coronation anniversary was organized to honour and appreciate your good performances, especially in Isin local government area in general and Isanlu-Isin in particular……” (quotes from Voice of Nigeria and New Dawn Nigeria)
[Organizing an anniversary to honour sitting Governor?]
Oba Oloyede also pledged that the people will cast their votes for the Governor and other APC candidates at the polls.
One should stop here and mediate if the good people of Isanlu-Isin wanted to reciprocate the good gesture of Governor AbdulRazaq – out of free will – as ‘instructed’ by the monarch or they were being induced by Oba Solomon Olugbemiga Oloyede Atobatele in collaboration with the Kwara State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Roles of traditional rulers can’t be overlooked in the Nigeria politics. Before this time, monarchs roles were not so confrontational. They were “fencers”. We were brought up to think kings give silent nodes to political candidates. We were even told that kings were given two or more ballots to vote because all the candidates are his children.
In fact, a South-West Nigeria monarch told a sitting governor that he won’t win his re-election bid. The governor did not!
Another king said on camera that he was enthroned by the opposition party, hence the party owns his loyalty. This king stood his ground even when the government of the day threatened fire and brimstone, dethronement included. Another one told a gubernatorial candidate that it was not his turn yet to be Governor; even the blind know who this latterly-mentioned king supported.
This is a departure from the traditional ‘fencers’ roles of kings, depicting decay in the African traditional system.
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