From Priscilla Ofunre, Ado-Ekiti
The people of Iloro-Ekiti in Ijero Local Government Area of Ekiti State have petitioned Governor Kayode Fayemi over alleged interference and imposition of a traditional ruler on the town by the Finance Commissioner, Mr. Dapo Kolawole.
The town frowned on how the Finance Commissioner, had allegedly gone against the wish of the town and forcibly installed Prince Oluwafemi Olugbesoye as the new Oluloro under a militarised atmosphere.
The town accused the commissioner of working in cahoots with a first class traditional ruler in Ijero council to truncate the installation of the town’s preferred candidate, Prince Oluwasanmi Aje as Oluloro.
The stool became vacant following the demise of Oba Michael Arowolo, in May, 2015.
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The petition dated October 22, 2019 and addressed to Fayemi, was signed by Oluwo of Iloro Ekiti, Chief Michael Ogundele, Chief Alice Eegunjobi (Eyebaasa), Chief Ayo Joseph (Inunrin) and Hon Segun Ogundele (Youth representative).
They accused the commissioner of militarising the town on September 9, 2019 and coerced the kingmakers to begin the process of installation for Prince Olugbesoye.
The petition stated how the town had rejected three nominees from Arojojoye ruling house under Governor Ayodele Fayose’s government and urged him to allow the next ruling house to produce the Oba, in line with the norms guiding the rotation of obaship title in the town.
“Unfortunately, the government of Fayose failed to accept the people’s wish throughout his tenure despite the overwhelming support shown .
“It is a known fact that the last government was a one man show led by an emperor. Every Ekiti man knows your government came to restore our values. We thought those you put in position of responsibility will live above board. Alas, how mistaken we were. Mr. Dapo Kolawole stepped in and started using his influence in government to settle old scores with his old friend and cousin, who incidentally is the people’s choice and ensured that the wish of the town never materialised”.
Stating the alleged divisive action being taken by Kolawole and how he muzzled the kingmakers to submission in the Obaship tussle, the community added that he also imported a foreign Ifa divinator into the town to manipulate the process in favour of his anointed candidate without contributions from the home-based Ifa priests.
“We hereby urge the Governor to reverse the process and order a legal review of our demands and approve our request as contained in the kingmakers’ report and their letters requesting for selection of new Oba from Arojojoye ruling house or allow the two ruling houses to participate in the process”, he said.
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But the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prof. Adio Folayan, described the allegation of imposition as spurious and unfounded, saying the state government or its appointees had never interfered in any obaship tussle.
“There is no iota of truth in the allegation. The government of the day and its appointees have never imposed any Oba since we came.
“We used to follow the Chieftaincy law strictly in whatever we do. Before we select an Oba, we used to observe the procedure of selection and always carried the town along in a transparent manner, so the accusation is not true”, he said.