James Sowole in Akure
Prince Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye yesterday emerged the new traditional ruler elect for the ancient town of Owo in Ondo State.
In the election held within the courtyard of the ancient palace, Ogunoye scored 14 votes to defeat other 17 contestants. Fifteen kingmakers known as Senior Omolowos voted during the poll.
Ogunoye, who would succeed the late monarch of the town, Oba Victor Olateru Olagbegi will be the 32nd Olowo of Owo.
The voting exercise was preceded by accreditation during which the head of the Senior Omolowos who also doubled as the Ojomoluda of Ijebu Owo, Oba Koforola Oladoyinbo addressed contestants.
Ojomoluda said the kingmakers had kept to their promise to be fair to all the contestants and not to monetised the process, while no life would be lost.
According to him, the people of the ancient town would not pray for the repeat of what happened during the selection of the last Olowo some 20 years ago when lives and property were lost during the process.
He disclosed that the state government had maintained its neutrality in the process, saying the state government has stayed away from the selection process.
The monarch urged anyone who emerges as the new Olowo to see the position as an onerous task of bringing the people who are divided over issues and ideas together
He called on the new monarch not to go on vengeance mission but to extend hand of fellowship to other contestants in building Owo kingdom.
Speaking after his emergence, the new monarch said this would be the first time the selection of a monarch will be peaceful
He commended other contestants for their spirit of sportsmanship and promised to work with every stakeholders for the development of Owo Kingdom.
He assured the people of the kingdom that his reign would usher new development to the town and solicited for the support of the people