The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and other prominent monarchs in the Southwest have waded into the crisis between the governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and 11 aggrieved most prominent monarchs in the state.
Oba Ogunwusi, who is the permanent Chairman of the Council of Obas in Osun State, said no efforts would be spared to ensure that the warring parties sheathe swords to strengthen the virtues of togetherness of Ekiti and the entire Yoruba nation.
Ooni, who spoke through the Chief Press Secretary, Moses Olafare, said a peace parley has been scheduled for Monday to meet with both Fayemi and the aggrieved monarchs with a view to finding a lasting solution to the impasse.
He urged them to embrace peace and unity to ensure rapid socio-economic of the state and the Yoruba nation.
Confirming the peace meeting, a source in the Government House, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, told The Nation that the governor has been intimated on the reconciliation meeting to broker peace between his principal and the aggrieved monarchs.
He expressed optimism that the parley which would have in attendance the Ooni of Ife and other prominent traditional rulers in Yoruba land would resolve conflicting differences between the warring parties.
“I hope you are aware of the outcry that the imbroglio between Governor Fayemi and some prominent monarchs in the state has generated. To this end, eminent personalities like Ooni of Ife, Alaafin of Oyo and other stakeholders have waded into the imbroglio to broker peace.
“Barring any last minute changes, a reconciliation meeting will hold on Monday to look at the issues at hand. And we believe every difference can be resolved in the interest of peace in Ekiti State,” the source said.
There has been an intractable cold war between 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 Fayemi.
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, claiming 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 ‘Pelupelu’ said they are opposed to the appointment and threatened that 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 had back-pedalled 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 had shun 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.
The aggrieved 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.
Fayemi had on Wednesday queried 11 aggrieved monarchs in the state demanding explanation for their prolonged absence from the council of traditional rulers monthly meeting and state official function for the past six months.
The governor, through the Bureau of chieftaincy Affairs, in a letter dated March 11, 2020 and signed by its Permanent Secretary, Mr. A.O Adeoye, gave the affected traditional rulers 72hrs ultimatum to reply the query.
A copy of three paragraph letter marked P&E/CH/118/Vol.VII and entitled “Re: Absence from State functions and Council of Traditional Rulers’ Monthly Meeting”, said the monarchs’ deliberate actions and inactions without any justification flagrantly negated the administration of chieftaincy institution in the state.
To this end, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, in a letter to the state governor dated March 12, 2020, warned Fayemi against treating the traditional institution in Yorubaland with levity.
Alaafin said unlike in some tribes, where there was nothing attached to their traditional institutions, the Yoruba traditional institution was “ancestral and spiritual.”
He said the letter was written on behalf of other prominent traditional rulers in Yorubaland, including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona; and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Gbadebo Adedotun.