By John Tega
The family of Mr. & Mrs. Oluwaseun Idowu, their daughter and son, Miss Boluwatife and Master Oluwapamilerin, aged nine and seven years respectively, are said to be on the run after their family and community leaders in Ogun State declared them wanted when they refused to allow their extended family carry out circumcision rites for their daughter.
At the time of filing this report, sources said that the whereabouts of the couple, Mr. Oluwaseun and his wife, Funmilayo were still unknown.
Narrating the whole episode, a family source under conditions of anonymity, said that a letter of invitation from the family, Idowu Royal Family was sent to the Mr. Oluwaseun on the matter.
The letter of invitation read: “I provide this letter of invitation on behalf of the family to invite you to the family Ayelala shrine come Saturday, September 30, 2017. The invite is therefore to enable you illuminate your innocence as regards to your wife and children non-fulfillment to the family custom on circumcising of your daughter and their disappearances.
“It is the family tradition and custom to perform circumcision and ritual rites to the first female born into a family when she is eight year old.
“Your inability to provide your daughter in the month of April, 2017 before the family for the ritual rites is prohibited and punishable under the tradition and custom hence your invitation to the family deity Ayelala shrine to take an oath in order to prove to be innocent before the family High Priest. Consequences of false oath are dangerous and have no remedy.”
Idowu Royal family, we gathered are a ruling lineage in Egbado/Yewa South in Ogun State, Nigeria, and are from a Muslim background and very traditional in nature, with a strong believe in tradition laid by their forefathers, that female child circumcision and deity festival are highly practiced in the family and community.
But, being devoted Christians and educated, the couple resisted every such attempt as they cannot imagine its physiological effect on their beloved daughter, our source revealed.
According to this source, the said family head and paramount ruler, High Chief Alhaji Lateef Balogun Idowu, invited the parents of Mr. Oluwaseun for a family meeting on June 30, 2017, on the same issue by mandating them to provide their son before the family shrine “Ayelala” to take oaths that he was not a part of the plans to hide his wife and children from the family.
Oluwaseun is said to have fled for fear that he could be killed in the shrine, with the claim by the priest and other shrine worshipers that Ayelala struck him out to put fear in other community and family members not to disrespect the tradition because of religion or any other issue.
High Chief Lateef Balogun Idowu, is a retired Custom Officer and Major Forestry and a landed wealthy businessman.
We gathered that the family has notified the police and other security agencies in Nigeria as they are still in search of the said family and intend to arrest them to force them to yield to the demand of the land and also face persecution whenever they are found.
Our source added that: “The men of the Nigerian Police on hearing the matter from the victims Mr. and Mrs. Oluwaseun when the whole issue started took a neutral posture, saying that it was a domestic affair and that the fleeing couple must conform to the family and community wish as tradition exists nationwide.