Suspended kingmakers in Orin Ekiti, in the Ido/Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti State on Monday, explained that the Dr Kayode Fayemi-led government risk facing litigation if it fails to reverse their suspension.
The suspended kingmakers including the Onikare of Orin Ekiti, Bamidele Fasuyi, and the Eletin, Francis Falua, who alleged that they only heard about their suspension on radio, said the step by the state government was unacceptable to them and the community.
The kingmakers told journalists in Ado Ekiti that their purported suspension by the state government and the consequent appointment of warrant chiefs to select a new traditional ruler, the Olorin of Orin Ekiti, was “a desecration of tradition of the town”.
They said, “We want our suspension reversed with immediate effect and if they fail to act accordingly, we will have no option than to go to court to seek redress.”
The selection of a new Olorin, which stool became vacant in 2015 following the demise of Oba Oluwole Olubunmo, had been dogged with crisis caused by the insistence of a section of the town and chiefs that the community had only two ruling houses, Olubunmo and Famokiti as they rejected the third one known as Ajibewa allegedly created by the state government.
Fasuyi, who spoke on behalf of the chiefs, passed a vote of no confidence in the individuals appointed as warrant chiefs, describing them as “political tools coming to destabilise the town”.
He said, “At the demise of Olorin in 2015, the local government wrote to us and requested that we select someone from Ajibewa ruling house on the basis of a gazette generated in 1998 under Navy Capt Atanda Yusuf.
“But we replied on behalf of the town that the town only knew of Olubunmo and Famokiti royal dynasties and that Ajibewa was a product of illegality. The gazette they relied on, to us, was fake
“The government should leave Orin alone. The Morgan Commission of Enquiry of 1978 established two ruling houses, so we don’t know where they got the 1998 gazette that overrode the Morgan report.”
He urged the government to make public, the recommendations of the Justice Jide Aladejana Judicial Commission of inquiry on chieftaincy issues.
But the Commissioner For Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Adio Folayan, justified the action taken by the government, saying the chiefs were suspended upon realising that they were not passionate about the selection process.
“The government has no vested interest in who becomes the Oba. But we have to act in public interest because there must not be any vacuum in the obaship stool after five years.
“The Chieftaincy Law permits us and gives powers to government to appoint warrant chiefs and we acted within that powers,” the commissioner said.