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Fayemi Vs Ekiti Monarchs: Alawe writes Gov Makinde to call Alaafin to order; saying Ekiti is not part of Oyo Empire

There are indications that the crisis between the Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi and 11 most prominent traditional rulers takes another dimension as Alawe of Ilawe has blasted the father of Yoruba Monarch, the Alaafin of Oyo over what it termed “undue interference” by the Oyo monarch in Monarchial affairs in Ekiti.

The Ekiti State chairman of the council of traditional rulers, Alawe of Ilawe, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi has written the letter to the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde to warn the Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi over his Meddlesomeness in Ekiti traditional matters, saying Ekiti was never and can never be part of Oyo empire.

In a five-page letter written and signed by the Alawe of Ilawe, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi to Governor Seyi Makinde titled:Request to stop undue interference of His Majesty, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi in the internal affairs of Ekiti Obas, the chairman asked Makinde to stop Alaafin from his “meddlesomeness in the internal affairs of Ekiti Obas.”

The letter was evidently a reaction to a previous letter written by the Alaafin of Oyo to Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, on 12 March 2020, with respect to the administration of chieftaincy matters in Ekiti State.

The Ilawe queried that the letter from Oba Adeyemi contained a lot of misrepresentation of facts and inaccurate accounts of events between the State Government and the traditional institution in Ekiti State.

The Alawe of Ilawe said: “… we, therefore, with all sense of authority and responsibility that the Alaafin goofed to say that from time immemorial that Obaship Lordship had been with the 16 Obas whom he could neither name nor mention. He only pretends not to know that the number of Pelupelu Obas has never been static.”

Recall that there has been an intractable crisis between the governor Fayemi and the most prominent traditional rulers over the rejection of Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, as the new chairman of Ekiti traditional Council.

The prominent monarchs had on August 9 instituted litigation with registration number HAD/76/2019 before an Ado-Ekiti High Court, challenging the appointment of Oba Alabi by Governor Fayemi.

Newsflash247 had earlier reported that a query was issued to the 11 Ekiti Monarchs, giving them 72 hours to explain why they should not be removed for shunning government functions since August 2019.

The query dated March 11, 2020, was signed on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs by Mr. A. O. Adeoye.

The affected Obas include Ewi of Ado-Ekiti Oba Rufus Adejugbe; Oloye of Oye Oba Oluwole Ademolaju; Elekole of Ikole Oba Adewumi Fasiku; Elemure of Emure Oba Emmanuel Ogunleye; Ajero of Ijero Oba Joseph Adewole; Alara of Aramoko, Oba Adegoke Adeyemi.

Others are: Ogoga of Ikere-Ekiti Oba Samuel Adejimi; Olomuo of Omuo Oba Noah Omonigbehin; Alaaye of Efon Oba Emmanuel Aladejare; Ologotun of Oguntun Oba Samuel Oyebade and Olujudo of Ido-Faboro, Oba Ayorinde Ilori-Faboro.

The monarchs, according to a reliable source in the Government House, Ado-Ekiti, might be dethroned for their absence at Government functions and Obas Council’s statutory meetings.

In a writ of summons file, the 17 Obas urged the court to reverse Fayemi’s action on the premise that Alawe was not recognised by statute to chair the council.

They claimed they had the exclusive rights to head the council, among the 22 members, in line with the extant tradition and the State Chieftaincy Laws.

The aggrieved 17 monarchs said they were opposed to the appointment and threatened they won’t attend the inauguration of Alawe as Council Chairman and any meeting of the council where he presides.

However, five out of the 17 aggrieved prominent monarchs- Onisan of Isan Ekiti Oba Gabriel Adejuwon; Attah of Ayede-Ekiti, Oba Abdulmumin Orisagbemi; Onitaji of Itaji-Ekiti Oba Idowu Babalola; Owa of Oke-Imesi, Oba Gbadebo Adedeji and Arinjale of Ise-Ekiti, Oba Ajayi Adetunji back-pedaled and have been attending the council meeting presided over by Oba Alabi.

But, since the appointment was made on July 31, the other 11 aggrieved Obas, shunned the council meeting and government function owing to the impression that Alawe was politically promoted to that rank and that he was not qualified to occupy the exalted seat.

Read full letter

His Excellency,

Engr. Seyi Makinde,

The Governor of Oyo State,

Governor’s Office,

Ibadan.

REQUEST TO STOP UNDUE INTERFERENCE OF HIS MAJESTY, OBA LAMIDI ADEYEMI IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF EKITI OBAS.

The attention of Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers has been drawn to an undue interference of His Majesty Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, The Alaafin of Oyo in the internal affairs of Ekiti Obas through a letter written to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, dated 12th March 2020 and well circulated in the social media the following day with respect to the administration of chieftancy matters in Ekiti State. This is to say the least unbecoming of one of your monarchs in Oyo State. Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers takes strong exception to the whole content of Alaafin’s letter which is absolutely unwarranted as Alaafin cannot superintend over the monarchy in Ekiti State. Ekiti was never and can never be part of Oyo empire. It is on this note that Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers is respectfully requesting your Excellency to stop the Alaafin from his meddlesomeness in the internal affairs of Ekiti Obas.

(2) The letter of Oba Adeyemi contained a lot of misrepresentation of facts and inaccurate accounts of events between the State Government and the Traditional Institution in Ekiti State which CANNOT be in consultation with, and concurrence of the highly revered and venerable Traditional Rulers mentioned in the letter but who did not sign same.

(3) It is a matter of fact and law that Grading, Classification and Composition of Council of Obas in Ekiti State and perhaps anywhere in Nigeria is governed by Law through Government Gazettes even from the Colonial era. From his letter, Alaafin is unable to define what qualifies an Oba to be a PeluPelu Oba. He is not aware of the fact that among the first group of Obas that formed the Association in 1900 were Deji of Akure (Ondo State) and Owalobo of Obo Ayegunle (Kwara State) who have since left the Association. He is also not aware of the fact that some Obas joined the Group in 1909 – Atta Ayede, 1929 (Elemure), 1947 (Alawe, Arajaka, Olujido Ido Ile and Olosi) (Minutes of the Pelupelu meetings for those periods are available) In 1971 Olomuo was admitted to the Pelupelu status by the then Governor of Western State, the Late Gen Adeyinka Adebayo.

(4) It should be noted that, seventeen (17) Obas are presently laying claim to PeluPelu Obaship in Ekiti State. And by Government Gazette of October 2018, Government recognized twenty two (22) Obas as PeluPelu in Ekiti and no one raised an eyebrow when Governor Ayo Fayose added the 22nd member, the Oluyin of Iyin – Ekiti in August, 2018. What is therefore sacrosanct about the number of pelupelu Obas which Alaafin put at sixteen?

(5) We therefore say with all sense of authority and responsibility that Alaafin goofed to say that from time immemorial, Obaship Leadership had been within the sixteen (16) Obas who he could neither name nor mention. He only pretends not to know that the number of Pelupelu Obas has never been static.

(6) Unfortunately and appallingly, Alaafin stated that his source of information was by “Hearsay” Yet he refused to verify his erroneous fact before falsely accusing Governor Fayemi of neglect. He refused to say those he considers as subordinate Obas. Subordinate to who?

(7) Alaafin is no doubt an Oba who enjoys stirring controversies and crisis where there are none. He is without doubt a meddlesome interloper who is bent on exporting the crisis he engineered in old Oyo State during which the Traditional Council was unable to hold a single meeting as a result of leadership tussle between him and the OONI of Ife until OSUN was carved out of old Oyo State.

(8) Worse still and under him, the Oyo State Council of Traditional Rulers has not held a meeting once in four (4) years under his Chairmanship as a result of his inability to foster peace, unity and cohesion among the Obas. How does he give what he does not have. Ekiti Monarchs are not Alaafin’s AJELES hence his current voyage into an internal affairs of Ekiti Obas is highly unwarranted.

(9) Ekiti State Council of obas is highly offended by the vituperation poured on our Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi through Alaafin’s unsolicited intervention in purely domestic affairs of our Council. Alaafin has neither moral right nor justification to interfere in the matter of Traditional Rulers administration in Ekiti State.

(10) The Traditional Council of Obas in Ekiti State is therefore passionately appealing to His Excellency Engr. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to call Alaafin to order and to desist forthwith from meddling in the internal affairs of Ekiti Obas, especially as the matter is pending before a Court of competent jurisdiction. Moreover, the little disagreement amongst Ekiti Obas has not affected the functionality of our Traditional Council. We hold our meetings statutorily unlike the Traditional Council under Alaafin that has long been grounded.

(11) It is pertinent to put on record that, Governor Kayode Fayemi met the present classification of Obas on ground in Ekiti State and has not added one Oba to the class of PeluPelu Obas. The various classifications had been done by previous Administrations through the 1947 Gazette, 1948 Gazette, 1959 Gazette, 2004 Gazette and 2018 Gazette. The present Chairman of Ekiti Traditional Council is listed and classified among the PeluPelu Obas in the Gazette.

(12) It is not out of place if in a Council of over Seventy (70) members, only eleven

(11) Obas are aggrieved, and have gone to Court. More so that the aggrieved Obas have informed the Court that they are in an “advance stage” of settlement out of Court even though unknown to Government and their Chairman. Why Should Alaafin judge a case without seeking the views of the other party? Why did Alaafin not exercise restraint and caution before writing a letter based on misinformation?

The letter of Alaafin to Governor Fayemi is clearly subjudice to the matter in court.

(13) We say with all sense of authority and responsibility that Alaafin’s letter is borne out of ignorance. Let him remove the log in his eyes before seeking to remove the speck from others.

(14) Finally, the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers has therefore advised our Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi NOT to dignify Alaafin’s letter with any response because it is clearly ill-motivated and in bad faith.

(15) Please accept the assurances of the Highest regards of Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers.

HRM OBA ADEBANJI AJIBADE ALABI, AFUNTADE I,

ALAWE OF ILAWE – EKITI AND CHAIRMAN, EKITI STATE COUNCIL OF TRADITIONAL RULERS.

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Victor Akande

Victor Akande, a blogger by profession for the past 7 years. He studied Mathematics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Contact: +2348053316946 Twitter: @Newsflash2471

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