Ondo Ruling House Raises the Alarm over Looming Obaship Tussle

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James Sowole in Akure
A ruling house in the riverine Arogbo Community of Ese  Odo Local Government area of Ondo State has raised the alarm of a looming crisis in the area unless the state government nips it in the bud.

The Perebiri Ruling House said the crisis may erupt over an attempt by some government officials and their agents to impose one Chief Zachaeus Doubra Egbunnu as the Agadagba elect.

The ruling house at a news conference at the Press Centre alleged that some government officials were trying to pervert justice which can cause crisis in the riverine area.

Addressing journalists, the Secretary of the Perebiri Ruling House, Prince Rowland Oriamaja, who led other members, kicked against the purported emergence of one Chief Egbunnu as Agadagba-elect through the back door and without regard to the due process.

The stool of the first class traditional ruler, Agadagba of Arogbo, has been vacant since the demise of the last king, Pere D.M.E Eperetun in February 2007.
Oriamaja disclosed that the stool has been subjected to series of litigations, some of which were still pending in court, while the Perebiri House is a judgment creditor in Suit No: HOK/1M/2009.

He alleged that some persons were making efforts to subvert the Chieftaincy Law and order of succession to the throne by creating Perebiyenmo Ruling House, which was a contravention against the customs and traditions of the community.

The Secretary lamented that the Ese-Odo Local Government and some influential persons disregarded the judicial process by electing Egbunnu as Agadagba-elect at a meeting last Saturday and to be crowned within 14 days.

“Some mischief makers in and outside government, for selfish interests are misinforming the government and using the cloak of government to brew crisis in Arogbo Ibe on the subject of the Agadagba of Arogbo Chieftaincy.”
He disclosed that armed security personnel, including soldiers and naval officers, were brought to the community on the influence of a chief of the area to ensure that Egbunnu emerged as the new monarch.

“It smacks off reason that the Commissioner for Land,  Mr. Donald Ojogo, an illegal indigene of the town who is not the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs attended the meeting and purported election as a representative of the state government.

“It is manifest that Ojogo is in collaboration with the chief to set Arogbo Ibe on fire over the Agadagba vacant stool. It is an affront on the judicial process and is condemned in strong terms”, the secretary said.

The Perebiri Ruling House emphasised that pending the outcome of the matter in court, its members would continue to be law-abiding citizens, saying “we won’t fight; whosoever it favours, we will support. We are all brothers.”

The ruling house implored Akeredolu to “call to order all its agents and their cronies in order to avoid a breakdown of law and order over an attempt to impose Chief Egbunnu as Agadagba-elect.”
In his reaction, Ojo dispelled the allegation saying the selection of the Agadagba elect followed the laid down procedure.

“The government followed due process, when government followed due process to do anything, there is bound to be aggrieved persons. And those people making this allegation are only trying to raise eye-brows where there is no issue.”

He acknowledged the fact that he was present during the meeting where a new Agadagba-elect was picked, but stressed that “I didn’t go there as a commissioner, I went there as a member of the ruling house.”