In responding to a baseless and maliciously sponsored petition (dated October 22, 2019) made to Ekiti State Governor, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prof. Adio Folayan, described the allegation of imposition as spurious and unfounded, saying the state government or its appointee had never interfered in any Kingship tussle.
“There is no iota of truth in the allegation. The government of the day and its appointees have never imposed any Oba since we came.
“We used to follow the Chieftaincy law strictly in whatever we do. Before we select an Oba, we used to observe the procedure of selection and always carried the town along in a transparent manner, so the accusation is not true”, he stated.
The tussle for the Obaship of Iloro-Ekiti has been on since May 2015 after the transition of the last Olu Iloro.
According to one of the documents titled; “MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR DR. PETER AYODELE FAYOSE WITH THE ILORO EKITI OBASHIP STAKEHOLDERS HELD ON THE 23RD OF JANUARY, 2016 AT THE GOVERNOR’S LODGE, AFAO-EKITI,” which was made available in the cause of investigating the story, the then-Governor of the state, condemned the claims of the representative of Iloro Kingmakers, High Chief (Barr.) Olakunle Aluko, Odofin of Iloro-Ekiti that the people of the town demanded that the Arojojoye Ruling House be skipped in favour of the next Ruling House, stating that the government is committed to transparency, patriotism, and accountability.
In the document, Dr. Fayose urged the kingmakers to rescind their decision and conduct a free and fair election that would produce the right Oba.
While investigating the matter, our reporter met with the Seriki-Ogun of Iloro-Ekiti, Chief (Hon.) Joseph Folabi Adaraniwon who affirmed that the issue of Obaship in Iloro-Ekiti is on a rotational basis, saying that there are only three Ruling Houses in the community who are rightly entitled to the throne. He, however, noted that only a true son, eligible by birth can ascend the throne.
“Ifa, after being duly consulted, has given us the right candidate to the throne of Olu Iloro-Ekiti on September 9, 2019, in the person of Oba-Elect, Oba James Oluwafemi Olugbesoye who emerged among the three sons presented by the Arojojoye Ruling House but is yet to be announced by the State Government.
“It is only the Ancestors in collaboration with Ifa that can decide who is King among the eligible sons of the Ruling House who is due to rule the land,” he said.
He said that the position of the true-born indigenes of Iloro-Ekiti is to follow the path of truth and not to rewrite the history of the community.
Chief Adaraniwon outlined the procedures for becoming a king, stating that only a true son, born of royal blood and must be of the lineage any of the three Ruling Houses. He confirmed that the aggrieved person, Barrister Olusegun Aje, who claimed to be the rightful heir to the throne is only trying to be mischievous, adding that he is not of royal blood neither is he the rightful heir to the throne.
“The due process can not be compromised and we must be sensitive to preserve the customs and traditions of our community. I must say that we are not willing to jeopardize the future f our people by allowing an illegitimate son to become king. The due process has been observed, Ifa has chosen the next King and we must respect that. As it stands, we only await the government’s declaration so we can proceed to the next phase in ensuring the Oba-Elect; Oba James Olugbesoye assumes the throne of his forefathers.
He also confirmed that the situation of the Obaship has not affected the people of the town, saying that Iloro-Ekiti is peaceful but the people are yearning for the Oba-Elect to be crowned king. He said 90 percent of the members of the community is solidly behind the Oba-Elect.
Also responding to questions, the President of Authentic Iloro Youth Forum, Hon. Thaddeus Adewole Adebo spoke in the same vein with Chief Adaraniwon that Iloro youths are concerned stakeholders in this issue. He affirmed that the youth, being the future of the community, will not stand and watch the community being robbed of her rightful king.
“The youths are major stakeholders in matters concerning the community. We want to ensure we play our parts in developing the community by following due process. The issue of Obaship in Iloro is a huge concern to us because leadership is everything and we want to also ensure that our elders follow the path of truth by laying good legacies for us to follow.
“To buttress he claims of Chief Adaraniwon, I can confirm to you that there are three Ruling Houses whose white papers are with the government. According to the agreement on rotation, the next in line to be king is Arojojoye Ruling House after the third one, which is Arowolo,” he said.
In a telephone chat, the Egbedi of Iloro-Ekiti, Chief Sunday Ogun Fashola said that the maintenance of rule of law is important in any community. He said Ijero is a community blessed with human and natural resources and is largely known for producing credible leadership even at the state level.
“We will not give room for compromise. We are certain that the mandate of the ancestors, revealed by Ifa, will be duly carried out by the Oba-Elect. The heir must possess good character, charisma devoid of criminal records and must have the intellectual capacity to rule the people,”he said.