By NBF News

Deji and the embattled queen
Human rights groups, a lawmaker and the Akure kingmakers on Tuesday said the alleged street fighting between the Deji of Akure, Oba Oluwadamilare Adesina, and his wife, Bolanle, on Sunday night in Akure, the Ondo State capital, was a desecration of the monarchical institution and unacceptable to customs and traditions of Akureland.

The monarch, a first class traditional ruler in Nigeria, in company with his newest queen, Remi, and some people believed to be thugs, beat up his estranged wife, Bolanle, in her father's house. She was also bathed with a substance suspected to be acid.

The development, which attracted public attention on Tuesday, forced the traditional kingmakers in the town to summon an emergency meeting to decide the next line of action on Monday.

President of Women Alert, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, in a telephone interview on Tuesday, condemned the king's conduct and described it as embarrassing and inhuman.

Odumakin, who is also the President, Campaign for Democracy said the traditional ruler's action was a reflection of the intolerant attitude of many Nigerian leaders.

She said, 'In a sane society, anyone no matter how highly placed should not be allowed to carry out such act against a woman and allow to go scot-free. The police should take immediate action and ensure that the king is punished.

'Our organisation will mobilise other Nigerian women groups to ensure that the case does not die and this will be also be a litmus test for the Nigeria police.'

Similarly, the head of the traditional kingmakers, who is also the traditional Prime Minister of Akure kingdom, Chief Folorunsho Davies, described the monarch's action as unacceptable.

Davies, who is also the Lisa of the ancient town, in a telephone interview on Tuesday said, 'If the claims are true, it is wrong for a first class monarch to have descended so low.

'We are meeting on the matter to decide what will be our next line of action. It is unacceptable in the custom of Akure for a Deji to fight in public places.

'We once reported his behaviour to the state government and we are going to report him again so that necessary action will be taken on the matter.'

A former leader of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Kunle Agunbiade, described the Oba's behaviour as repulsive and uncalled for.

'The action of Oba Adesina is not only an embarrassment to himself but the entire Akure people who are noted for hospitality and good conduct,' Agunbiade said.

But a former Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria, who is also an indigene of the town, Chief Olu Falae, refused to make any comment on the issue.

On his part, the leader of Afenifere, who is also a prominent indigene of the Akure, Chief Rueben Fasoranti, said the monarch was free to do whatever he liked.

The Chairperson of Grassroots Women Emancipation Movement, Mrs. Phebean Adejuyi, called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the monarch.

Meanwhile, Bolanle has been transferred from a private hospital to the Owo Medical Centre.

Recounting her ordeal in a telephone interview, Bolanle said, 'He (Oba) told me in October last year that he wanted to marry another wife. He said the woman is a former wife of the late Chief MKO Abiola and that she is very rich and I discouraged him from doing so.

'That was how we started. Since then he has been castigating me. The day he wanted to drive me out of the palace, we had no quarrel, he just sent me on an errand, before I came back, he had changed all the keys to my room. I had to sit outside. Since then people had been appealing to him on my behalf but he refused. That was how I started living in my father's house.

'When he came to my father's house on Sunday evening, he climbed the stairs with his wife, Remi Abiola and four hefty thugs, he just ordered that those boys should be beating me, and my friends that were around opposed them.

'He also brought out powder and wanted to pour it on my face but I blocked him with my hands so it poured on my hand and since then my hands have been peeling,' Bolanle stated.