Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi on Thursday inaugurated the newly constituted State Council of Traditional Rulers under the chairmanship of Alawe of Ilawe, His Royal Majesty Oba Adebanji Alabi, with a call on the obas to support the present administration’s efforts at bringing development to every part of the State.
The Governor also charged the traditional rulers and all Ekiti indigenes against unnecessary and baseless rivalry which can lead to communal clashes; adding that every well-meaning Ekiti-kete should aim at the peace and progress of Ekiti State.
While stating that his government has immense regard for traditional institution, Dr. Fayemi said his administration relies on the traditional rulers for “maximum support to ensure that every community feels the impact of this government of restoration”.
“I therefore use this opportunity to call on our royal fathers and elders to continue to help address anti-social behaviours in their domains. The most important ingredient of development in the State is peace and security and you all have an important role to play as custodians of the culture and tradition of our people. As our Royal Fathers, you are to be at the forefront of the State’s campaign for peace and security”.
“It is important to restate that the traditional institution of kingship in our society, regardless of the advent of modernism remains a rallying point for the generality of our people. It has also been serving as one of the veritable vehicles for dissemination of our policies, programmes and mobilization of the populace for same and it will continue to remain relevant to the government”, he said.
While thanking the immediate past council under the chairmanship of the Oloye of Oye Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju for the commitment displayed while in the saddle, Fayemi reiterated his commitment to the welfare of traditional rulers “within the limits of the resources available” to government.
Earlier, the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi had said that the reconstitution of the Council of Traditional Rulers became imperative following the expiration of the tenure of the outgone council in july 2019.
Egbeyemi said Fayemi’s approval to reconstitute the council was in tandem with section 2(3) of the Council of Traditional Ruler Law no 3 of 2000.
He disclosed that government had painstakingly selected 26 rotational members alongside 32 permanent members to make up the new council whose tenure will end in 2021.
In his acceptance speech, the chairman of the newly reconstituted council and Alawe of Ilawe, Oba Adebanji Alabi said traditional institutions must be responsive to emerging global trends by proffering solutions to societal problems.
Oba Alabi said the security challenges being faced by the country could be reduced substantially or resolved ultimately if government partners traditional rulers who are closer to the grassroots.
He thanked Governor Fayemi for appointing him as the chairman of the council; saying that the council will not shirk its responsibilities in ensuring that government delivers the goodies of democracy to the people.
Meanwhile, Ekiti monarchs have instituted a suit against Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi over the appointment of the Alawe of Alawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi as the Chairman of the State traditional council of Obas.
The suit, filed before an Ado-Ekiti High Court is asking the court to nullify the appointment of Oba Adebanjo, describing the action taken by Fayemi to appoint someone outside the stipulated 16 Monarchs called ‘Alademerindinlogin’ to occupy the prestigious seat, as a flagrant disregard of the Ekiti State Chieftaincy Law.
The governor had on July 31st appointed Oba Alabi as the Council Chairman to serve for a period of two years following the tenure expiration of Oloye of Oye Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju.
Joined in the suit registration number HAD/76/2019 are; Governor Kayode Fayemi(1st defendant), Attorney General of Ekiti State, Wale Fapohunda (2nd) and Oba Adebanji Alabi(3rd).
An originating summon filed by Dr. B.A.M. Ajibade((SAN) on August 7, 2019 and deposed to by Ajero of Ajero, Oba Joseph Adewole, on behalf of other 15 Obas, sought an interlocutory injunction restraining Fayemi from swearing-in Alawe as the Chairman of the Council.
The claimants sought the following declarations: whether the 1st defendant is empowered under Council of Traditional Rulers Law, Cap 15, Laws of Ekiti State 2012 , to appoint the chairman of Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers on a bi-annual rotational basis from amongst only class of Obas constituted Alademerindinlogun/Pelupelu Obas of Ekiti State.
That the claimants are the only valid authentic Obas or traditional rulers under the classification of Alademerindinlogun qualified to be so appointed as Chairman.
Also requested was a declaration ” that the 3rd respondent can’t be appointed as Chairman of the council in consonance to the Ekiti State Traditional Council Law.
“A declaration that the appointment of the 3rd defendant by the 1st was a flagrant violation of the law , unlawful, null and void, unjustifiable, illegal and unsustainable.
“An order nullifying the appointment of the 3rd defendant as the Chairman of the council of traditional rulers.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st defendant as chairman of the traditional council and other relevant orders as deem first by the court”.
By composition, the Council of Ekiti State Traditional Council has Permanent and rotational members.
The statute stipulated that : “The permanent and rotational members shall be appointed by the Governor from among the recognised traditional rulers In Ekiti State.
“There shall be a chairman for the council who shall be appointed by the Governor on bi -annual rotation among the Pelupelu Obas in the state”.
In a letter earlier written to the Governor in August 2 and signed by 15 Pelupelu Obas with the exception of Oore of Otun, Oba Adedapo Popoola, who traveled abroad, the monarchs told Fayemi to reverse the action, saying a court had earlier struck out a suit filed by five monarchs who were promoted to Pelupelu and seeking recognition of that status .
They said the promotion of Alawe, Olosi , Olojudo (Ido Ile) , Arajaka and Oluyin to that Pelupelu rank by government, was an erosion of the tradition, saying all the appointments were done in violation of the tradition and existing laws.
The aggrieved pelupelu Monarchs said they are opposed to the appointment and threatened that they won’t attend the inauguration of Alawe as Council Chairman and any meeting of the council where he presides.
“We respectfully state that we would be creating a bad precedent to accept to sit under a chairmanship of Alawe as it would amount to a disregard for the tradition on earth and a sin against our forefathers”, they said.
While reacting, the first class monarch Oba Adebanjo said “the 22 officially designated pelupelu Obas in the state are in a peace talk to resolve the differences, stressing that there was no cause for alarm”.