Ekiti Town Protests, Wants Oba Deposed over Alleged Dictatorship

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Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Crisis is now brewing in Iyemero Ekiti in Ikole Local Government Area, as the residents of the town Monday staged a public protest against their monarch, the Olu, Oba Agboola Ogungbemi, over alleged illegal sales of lands belonging to some people.

The residents, including traditional chiefs, youths and women, accused Oba Ogungbemi of misappropriating money meant for the payment of monthly stipends of traditional chiefs and involving in illegal sale of land in the community.

President of the town’s union, Mr. Fatoyinbo Idowu, urged Governor Ayodele Fayose to depose the monarch for alleged breach of trust.

He said the monarch allegedly withheld the stipends due to the traditional chiefs of the town in the last 10 years, describing this as the highest point of highhandedness.

The protesters threatened to petition the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should the monarch jettison the appeal of well meaning sons and daughters of Iyemero Ekiti.

Also, two youth leaders of the town, Odeleye Adeleye accused the monarch of shortchanging the town.

Another youth leader Francis Olayinka urged Fayose to remove the Olu
for allegedly desecrating the throne.

In a swift reaction, the spokesperson to the monarch, Prince Michael
Ogungbemi, said the protest is the handiwork of some disgruntled
individuals in the community.

He said the monarch is not selling lands in the community and community chiefs have been collecting stipends from the monarch.

The prince urged the subjects to cooperate with the monarch and should
not allow themselves to be used to cause chaos in their hometown.

The lingering crisis rocking the town over the removal of the traditional ruler of the town began about two years ago and every attempt made to settle the feud has not yielded a positive result.