The office of Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II has debunked the claim on the video and voice note in circulation on the social media that he was involved in the sale of a land where the Idosun Community, Ibeju-Lekki have their traditional place of worship to Dangote Refinery.
In a chat with the Publicity Secretary to the palace of Ooni, Moses Olafare, said the Ooni of Ife was not part of the sale of the land but only heard about the issue between the land owners and Dangote when it was brought to him at the palace.
“I am sure the person that made the video and voice note knows the truth but wanted to tarnish the image of the king since they cannot resolved the issue they had with Dangote on the said land.”
He explained that it was 15 communities that sold the land to Dangote over a decade ago but the affected community, Idosun had a rift with Dangote Refinery on a particular section of the land where they had a tree where they worship.
According to him, the community pleaded with Dangote to leave the side of the land where they had the tree for easy access during worship but the organisation refused that the tree is within their premises and cannot allow them have access to it but they will rather cut the Iroko tree.
“From what we heard all the communities has equity in the company, they are all partners in progress and they are supposed to settle it amicably.”
He explained further that it was after many kings around Epe and Ibeju-Lekki had intervened but couldn’t resolved the issue that it was brought to Ooni of Ife and he tried to resolved the matter amicably but the community refused that the land must be exempted while Dangote Refinery insisted its part of their land and they will cut the tree.
“The Ooni even explained to the community representatives at the meeting that under the law Dangote is right since he bought the land many years ago but the only way is to shift the place to another part of their land through some atonement but they still refused.”
Olafare added that it was after the two parties couldn’t resolved it that the organisation cut the tree and Ooni was not part of the process or was he present, “So I am surprised at this outburst by this faceless person who knows the truth but wanted to circulate fake rumour about the king.”
“I am not against activism that is why I will implore the person to come out and say it openly instead of hiding but I am sure the person knows the truth about the issue but want to circulate fake rumour.
“No king in Nigeria and of course the Yoruba land take the tradition of Yoruba dear than the Ooni of Ife, so why will he be the one to sell the land that belong to a deity or support the cutting of the tree.
He added that Ooni will not do anything that will tarnish tradition of Oduduwa land because every king in Yoruba land knows that the throne they were sitting on is the culture of our forefathers therefore they will not go against tradition.
On the visit to Dangote Refinery, Olafare said Ooni visited the organisation after both parties came to his palace for settlement and it cannot be resolved and on the invitation of the organisation to him that he should come and see the massive refinery the organisation is putting up in Yoruba land.
“And I must say he was not the only one that had visited the place, several Governors had visited before him, so why the lies that he helped them cut the tree after Dangote had tried several times,” He said.