Onijoko Of Ijoko, HRH Oba Fatai Alani Matanmi Returns To Palace Amidst Glamour 10 years After Taking Cover
The Onijoko of Ijoko-Ota, HRH Oba AdbulFatai Alani Matanmi today returned back to his palace in Ijoko with glamour ten years after taking cover in order to protect his life.
The monarch who appeared comfortably relaxed alongside his family, friends and the people of Ijoko land all spoke with Voice of Awori.
Kabiyesi, how do you feel coming back home several years after you have left Ijoko?
I feel alright, I thank God that i am still alive, one need to praise God for sparing our lives. It is an example to people that when God did not kill you, no human being can kill you. This is my 10 years outside this town and i thank God that i am back safely.
Can you briefly explain to us the event that made you seek cover?
I left here because of the killer. I left because i did not want to be killed. I thank God that i am still alive.
You mentioned killer, who are you referring to?
I have countered the rumour that there are two Obas in Ijoko. God has presented me as the Oba in Ijoko. A gazette is being issued which certified me as the legitimate Oba and the state government recognize me as the authentic Oba, my salary is being paid by the state government. I am not a ceremonious Oba.
Have you now finally come to stay or you just came for a visit?
I left Ijoko on a Friday, 6th of March, 2006 for the people i earlier mentioned. This time around, I am finally here to stay without any fear.
When you see Ijoko, some parts are not okay. I am here to make things alright. I want to build a station for this men in blue khaki(NSCDC) like i have built for the Police too.
There was no one to talk to the government on people’s behalf since the law does not recognize them.
Now that you have returned back to your palace, what message do you have for the people of Ijoko?
They should rally round us so that the things were damaged can be restored.
The son of the monarch also spoke with Voice of Awori;
In his words, Prince Matanmi Semiu Ayobami expressed his happiness seeing the monarch returning to the palace. He said he was surprised when the king called to inform him that he was in Ijoko. ‘Kabiyesi came to Ijoko today like Jesus’.
A retired Police officer and also a residence of Ijoko who spoke with VOA have this to say;
‘I am an Egba man from Abeokuta, I came to Ijoko in 1989 after i retired from service. I bought my land from Matanmi and we have been living peacefully. Kabiyesi was the Olori of Ijoko as at then before his palace was burnt down by usurpers. There was a time NEPA disconnected our light, the monarch came to our rescue and fixed the light back. They came and burnt down over 58 houses as if they were gods. They threatened me that i should leave the town. Since then, they destroyed Ijoko. Ijoko could have been the best town in this Ado-Odo/Ota area’.
The chief Imam of Ijoko who is also from Egba extraction while sharing his thoughts with Voice of Awori said, ‘I am very happy. I am excited. From today, peace is restored back in Ijoko.
Responding to question on why he is not aligned with the camp of his kinsmen, the chief Imam have this to say,’I can not. When they came with their Obaship whatever, i told them that he was the king of hunters. I told them it was not possible for them to rule in Ijoko. They sent me packing from my house, burnt my house, but today, truth has prevailed. Allah knows exactly what i feel today because i never dreamt of this day. When Kabiyesi called me that he was at Ijoko, i felt so happy. It was during Jumat service the day they unleashed their mayhem and today too, kabiyesi returned during Jumat service. It is a great connection’.
Alhaja Abibatu Shaibu also confided in VOA. In her words, ‘we thank God Almighty. We followed him to Ijoko and he took us wholeheartedly. We are very happy ‘. Lastly, she prayed for the king.