From Ade Lekan, Ado-Ekiti
With the recent dethronement of the Emir of Kano, Muhammad, Sanusi ii by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, the fear of deposition has gripped Ado-Ekiti, as Governor Kayode Fayemi on Thursday issued a 72-hour bound query to the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe and 10 others over insubordination.
The other affected Obas include Oloye of Oye, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju; Elekole of Ikole Oba Adewumi Fasiku; Elemure of Emure; Oba Emmanuel Ogunleye; Ajero of Ijero, Oba Joseph Adewole and 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, Olujudo of Ido-Faboro, Oba Ayorinde Ilori-Faboro.
The royal fathers have been serially absent from government functions and Obas Council’s statutory meetings for the past eight months in protest over the governor’s nomination of the Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, as the new chairman of Ekiti traditional Council on July 31, 2019.
The monarchs have since August last year been protesting the reconstitution of the traditional council by Governor Fayemi, arguing that he violated the relevant statute in taking the decision.
When their absence from state functions and council meetings failed to force the government to rescind its decision, they monarchs sued the government at the Ado-Ekiti high court.
In the suit with registration number HAD/76/2019 the 17 Obas prayed the court to reverse Fayemi’s action on the grounds that his appointee, the Alawe was not recognised by statute to chair the council and his action flied in the face of the extant tradition and the State Chieftaincy Laws.
They thereafter stayed away from state functions in protest, labeling the Alawe a political appointee.
The source, noted the monarchs might be dethroned soon for allegedly desecrating the proper administration of chieftaincy matters and taking dissident action and inactions against the Governor Fayemi-led administration.
“I think Mr. Governor has directed the ministry of local government and chieftaincy matters to issue a query to them demanding explanation on their absence at the statutory Council meeting and government function they were invited to.
“As things stand now, the affected 11 prominent traditional rulers might be dethroned if they failed to respond to the query issued them.
Efforts by Governor Fayemi to broker peace with the support of former governor of the state and now Minister for Trade, Investment and Commerce, Mr Niyi Adebayo and the state Council of Elders have hit a brick wall.
In the event, five out of the original aggrieved 17 prominent monarchs backed down, leaving the current 11 recalcitrant others.
Those who defected are 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. They have since been attending the council meeting presided over by Oba Alabi.
The remaining 11 monarchs even took their protest further by refusing to attend important functions such as Council meetings, the governor’s first year anniversary, the turning of sod of the council chambers, budget presentation, all of which had been carefully noted by the government and which has formed part of the query they are to answer within the next 72 hours
The government is accusing them of desecrating the administration of Chieftaincy matters in the state.
The letter was routed through the Ministry of Local Government and chieftaincy Affairs.
The letter dated March 11, 2020 and signed by its Permanent Secretary, Mr. A.O Adeoye, and titled “Re: Absence from State functions and Council of Traditional Rulers’ Monthly Meeting” with number P&E/CH/118/Vol.VII specifically targeted the Ewi as the arrow head of the allegedly dissident monarch, for he was accused of hosting others in his palace regularly.
The letter read in part,” it has come to the notice of Mr governor that your room has become meeting place of the Obas and your royal majesty has not be attending the monthly statutory meeting of the state council of traditional rulers and state official functions since August 2019.
“Your conspicuous absence at the council meetings and state official function without any excuse or justification is considered inimical to the proper administration of the chieftaincy institution you represent.
“Therefore, Mr governor has directed that your royal majesty should forward your representation for this inaction through his Office within 78 hours of the receipt of this letter”.
The government, according to sources, considers the actions of the monarch inciteful and wants to prevent a possible break down of law and other.