Palpable tension is building up in Igbesa town in Ado-Odo Local Council of Ogun State over an alleged attempt by the state government to impose an Oba there.
The people of the town have kicked against an alleged plan by the state government to foist a traditional ruler on them. They have therefore issued 3-days ultimatum to government to appoint the right regency to create way for the emergence of new Oloja Ekun of Igbesa land.
In a press statement issued by Chief M. K. Akapo, the Ajana of Igbesa and other chiefs, they accused the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Waliu Jide Ojuko and two other chiefs in the town of making an attempt to distort the selection process for the emergence of an Oba for the town.
According to them the Commissioner has appointed the following to do his bidding; a Chief Imam, Chairman of CAN, Iya Agan, Afose, Osunba, the only surviving kingmaker and none indigene of Igbesa in person of Olaide Ajose from Ikogbo, in violation of section 26 sub-section 3 paragraph a-e of Ogun State Chiefs law of 2005.
They said” “There are four kingmakers in Igbesa. Only one is surviving. But he is trying to appoint eleven Chiefs, which is outrageous. He is to appoint a minimum of five Chiefs according to section 26 sub-sections 3(a) of Ogun state Chiefs law.”
In their estimation, the Chiefs that should makeup the regency council, according to the Chiefs law, are: Elero of Igbesa the most senior traditional Chief and chairman Adele Oba, Ajana of Igbesa, Aro of Igbesa, Ojomo of Igbesa representing Ipetu from Idomo quarters, Afose of Igbesa , the secretary Igbesa council of Obas, Osunba of Igbesa, the only surviving kingmaker, Odemo of Igbesa.
Rather the Commissioner, they alleged, has appointed his stoggies in the persons of the Chief Imam of Igbesa, Chairman, Christian Association Of Nigeria, Head of traditional worshipers, Iya Agan for masquerade, Osunba of Igbesa as he is automatic to the council being the only surviving kingmaker, Afose of Igbesa , the secretary Igbesa council of Obas, Pa Olaide Ajose an indigene of Ikogbo nominated as warrant Chief in Igbesa, Timothy Ojugbele, Rasheed Bantefa, Yisa Aro
“For the first time in history we would be hearing of an Imam or Pastor been appointed as warrant Chiefs to elect an Oba.”
They alleged that money had passed hands in the affair and the Commissioner had gone ahead to screen his preferred appointees.
“The demise of Oba Banuso in 2014 has caused Igbesa a lot and the whole town is interested in appointing a regency council, a development the commissioner has been told since his inception in office. He delayed until January 2017 when the coast was clear for him to appoint unexpected people, some of whom are non-indigenes.”
When contacted on phone, the Commissioner, Mr Wadi Jide Aluko described the allegations of the Chiefs “as lies and nothing but lies”. He directed the newspaper to his Press Secretary, Mrs Mofe, who repeated his boss, “It is all lies”, she said.
Investigation however shows that the chiefs and the Commissioner had met officially and attempted to resolve the matter. The process started in August through November of 2016.
In an October 31, 2016 letter written by the Igbesa Chiefs and Elders Council to remind the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs of an August 3, 2016 earlier meeting, on the issue, they urged the Ministry to expedite action on the appointment of warrant chiefs to fill the three vacancies and recommended a proposal as an option for government approval.
The names submitted in that proposal are Chiefs R.O Ogunbiyi, the Osunba of Igbesa and only surviving kingmaker, J.A Igeoya, the Elero of Igbesa, M.A Sanusi, the Aro of Igbesa, M.K Akapo, the Ajana of Igbesa, all three of whom are surviving chiefs with registered declaration and M.A Dada, the Ojomo of Igbesa, representing Idomo quarters whose chief with registered declaration is late (Pate).
Chief M.A Makinde, Secretary of the community council and Okanlomo of Igbesa, signed the October 31, 2016 letter. The Ministry acknowledged the letter, which was addressed to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry and copied to the Commissioner, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and Otunba Bolanle Gbeleyi, on November 10, 2016.
In its reply, the Ministry in a letter with reference CHM 3/47 Vol.11/734 and signed by J.A Omoyayi, invited the aforementioned Chiefs to a meeting with the Commissioner on Tuesday 6, December, 2016. There meeting made no headway. Thereafter, allege the Chiefs, the Commissioner started holding meetings with his selected chiefs in the bid to carryout his designs for the town.