Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
An Ekiti State monarch and Owalogbo of Ilogbo Ekiti in Ido/Osi local Government Area of the state, Oba Edward Ajayi, has been restored to his palace after he was banished by his subjects for six months.
The state government resolved the crisis rocking Ilogbo, where the indigenes were locked in dispute with Oba Ajayi.
The state Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, called on the stakeholders in the town to bury the hatchet and allow peace to reign.
Egbeyemi made the appeal shortly after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to end the crisis last Friday at the Conference Hall of the office of the deputy governor in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
According to a statement issued yesterday by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, the resolution of the conflict followed the signing of the MoU by parties to the crisis and critical stakeholders in the town.
The monarch had been prevented from entering the town and occupying the palace for the past six months.
With the signing of the peace accord, the deputy governor said Oba Ajayi is now free to come back to the throne and resume his royal duties after six months in exile, expressing confidence that the resolution of the crisis will usher in new era of development.
Egbeyemi, who noted that it was not easy for the Owalogbo to leave his throne for six months, urged all parties to fulfill the terms of the peace accord and work together to lift their community to greater heights.
He said he state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, is interested in the development of all communities in the state and would not want to be distracted with one crisis or the other in his desire to better the lots of the people.
According to him, “Our government is that of peace; we don’t want crisis or breakdown of law and order in any part of the state. Kabiyesi, you can now go back to your domain anytime you wish.
“Let us all agree that the crisis is over because we have all signed the MoU, and that you will all allow peace to reign and everybody will go about their business.”
Responding, the Oba Ajayi commended the state government for the intervention and successful resolution of the crisis.
The monarch, who hailed the deputy governor for bringing his wealth of experience to bear in reconciling the various interest groups in Ilogbo, expressed joy that peace has finally returned.
Apart from Oba Ajayi, other signatories to the peace deal included the Alayetoro of Ayetoro Ekiti representing Ido/Osi traditional rulers, Oba Olufisan Ajayi; the Coordinating Director, Ido/Osi Local Government, Mr. Akinola Adebayo; a prominent Ilogbo indigene and former state House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Chief Adetunji Orisalade; chieftain of Egbe Ilosiwaju Ilogbo, Chief Gabriel Fasuyi, and officials of the Ministry of Justice and Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs.
Oba Ajayi was evicted from the palace and chased away from the town on October 21, 2018, during a violent protest which claimed one life while properties worth millions of naira were destroyed.
The monarch was accused by his subjects of alleged highhandedness, autocratic tendencies, withholding of monthly allowances of his chiefs and failure to control his children whom they accused of involvement in cultism and bringing suspected cultists to their town to unleash terror.