Osogbo Progressive Union, the umbrella association of indigenes of Osogbo has been engulfed in leadership crisis that has made the body moribund for some years now.
Investigation conducted by newsmen revealed that the crisis has crippled the association to the extent that more than half of its property which the union rely on to finance its activities through rents had been allegedly sold off and proceed allegedly diverted to private purse and some individual pockets.
It was also gathered that the leadership crisis had resulted in litigations most of which have not been disposed off despite that pleads by some elders of the community to settle out of court.
At the peak of the crisis, another association known as Osogbo Descendant Progressive Union (ODPU) was formed to replace the original OPU and all its property and secretariat located at Osogbo Town Hall had been taken over by the new body allegedly engineered by the current traditional ruler of the town, Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun Oyetunji Larooye 1.
The crisis rocking the union, according to investigation, got to the peak in 2015 when the monarch, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun Oyetunji who is the patron of the union, allegedly directed that Ambassador Siyanbola be made automatic head of the new executive of the union for second term in office and it resulted in litigation which lasted for more than six years without any headway.
In 2018, the monarch dissolved Ambassador Siyanbola led executive and formed Osogbo Descendants Progressive Union (ODPU) and asked the union to hand over to the newly created association which did not enjoy the acceptance and support of the majority of the indigene of the town.
“Siyanbola wrote to the leadership of the new body against tampering with property of the union and it lost lots of resources during the period of litigations while many others lost hope and confidence in the affairs of the union.
A reliable source told our reporter that One Afolabi Fatai allegedly wrecked havoc on the property of the union as he claimed to have been appointed a consultant over the union’s property, terrorising tenants and collect certain percentage of the rents paid by tenants claiming same to be his commission.
In January 2021 some prominent elders intervened which brought relative peace to the union asking the union to settle out of the court. Some selected people that are neutral to form caretaker committee were contacted to run the union for one year after which credible election will take place.
This was after the court accepted terms of settling out of court on 20th January 2021. The chairman of that caretaker committee was Hon. Justice Kunle Adeigbe while others are Alhaji Gasali Kasmo, Alhaji Akeem Woleola, Mr. Suleiman Bodunrin, Bashir Gbodupe and Barrister Bode Babalola among others.
At this point, ODPU was still fighting on union’s property and Oba Jimoh Oyetunji was said to visited the Osogbo Town Hall where the secretariat of the union was located along with traditional chiefs, local hunters and traditional town crier going round the premises that henceforth rent to union’s property should be paid to the new union formed by Ataoja, ODPU through Fatai Afolabi.
Afterwards, the home branch body of the union organised an election which produced Alhaji Lamar Makinde as the new President of the union but the former caretaker committee claimed that it had already conducted another election through electoral college with Justice Kunle Adeigbe as Chairman an exercise which other people claimed was not known to them.
Kunle Adeigbe later petitioned the police alleging that Makinde led executive burgled into the secretariat of the union and carted away some vital items, the allegation was dismissed by the police after the conduct of investigation which was said to be false.
Oba Oyetunji was said to have not been happy with the new association which he formed, ODPU was not given free hands to operate and instructed one Alhaji Ajadi Badmus who is one of the living members of Board of Trustees of OPU to go and change OPU to ODPU.
The traditional ruler was also said to have directed the new President of the union, Alhaji Kamar Makinde to hand over key to the union’s property to him but Makinde tacitly begged him to allow him to consult the elders that he will do so at appropriate time.
When contacted, the President of Home Branch of the union, Alhaji Akeem Woleola confirmed the development and said his wish for the union is an independent OPU which would be detached from so many conflicting interests that have held Osogbo down for a long time.
Woleola stated that he and his team contributed more than enough resources to the union just to ensure a united OPU that is devoid of attracting undue influence such that do not good for Osogbo.
He cited some federal government projects that skipped Osogbo all because people who are suppose to fight for these projects got themselves engrossed in who become what in OPU just to protect hidden interest they plunk from the instability of the union.
Also, the current President of the union, Alhaji Kamar Makinde described the development as unfortunate noting that part of the land and property of the union were just sold off to one person stressing that his administration will ensure that all the property are legally recovered.
However, efforts to get across to Justice Adeigbe was unsuccessful as calls put across to him were not picked.
When contacted, Ataoja of Osogbo told our Correspondent to allow him to consult some people before saying anything as regards the issue.
The Monarch said: “I have to consult some people before could say anything. I’m having some rests now due to Asiwaju visit to my palace on Friday”
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