Ekiti Monarchs Tackle Alaafin, Accuse Him of Undue Interference

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Alaafin of Oyo, LAMIDI ADEYEMI
  • Say his letter is borne out of ignorance
  • Ask Makinde to call him to order

Idowu Sowunmi

Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers saturday disputed a letter Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III addressed to Governor Kayode Fayemi, accusing him of “an undue interference” in the internal affairs of Ekiti Obas.

The monarchs described Alaafin as a “meddlesome interloper,” declaring that the Oyo monarch’s letter to the Ekiti governor was “borne of out ignorance.”
In a five-page letter written to the Oyo State governor, Mr Seyi Makinde by the Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti and Chairman of the council, Oba Adebanji Alabi, the Ekiti monarchs asked the Oyo governor to call Adeyemi’s to order.

Adeyemi had through a three-page letter warned Fayemi against treating the traditional institution in Yorubaland with levity and disrespect.
Alaafin had said unlike in some tribes, where there was nothing attached to their traditional institutions, the Yoruba traditional institution was “ancestral and spiritual.”

Adeyemi wrote the letter following a query issued by the Fayemi administration to some prominent traditional rulers in the state over alleged insubordination.

Reacting to the letter yesterday, Alabi described Alaafin’s action and letter as unbecoming, noting that the monarch’s letter was absolutely unwarranted.
He said the attention of Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers “has been drawn to an undue interference of His Majesty Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the Alaafin of Oyo in the internal affairs of Ekiti Obas through a letter written to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, dated 12th March 2020 and well circulated in the social media the following day with respect to the administration of chieftaincy matters in Ekiti State.

“This is to say the least unbecoming of one of your monarchs in Oyo State. Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers takes strong exception to the whole content of Alaafin’s letter, which is absolutely unwarranted as Alaafin cannot superintend over the monarchy in Ekiti State.
“Ekiti State was never and can never be part of Oyo empire. It is on this note that Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers is respectfully requesting your Excellency to stop the Alaafin from his meddlesomeness in the internal affairs of Ekiti Obas.”

He explained that Adeyemi’s letter to Fayemi contained “a lot of misrepresentation of facts and inaccurate accounts of events between the state government and the traditional institution in Ekiti State, which cannot be in consultation with, and occurrence of the highly revered and venerable traditional rulers mentioned in the letter but who did not sign same.”

Ekiti Obas added that grading, classification and composition of council of Obas in Ekiti State and perhaps anywhere in Nigeria is governed by law through government gazette even during the colonial era.
“From his letter, Alaafin is unable to define what qualifies an Oba to be a PeluPelu Oba. He is not aware of the fact that among the first group of Obas that formed the association in 1900 were Deji of Akure (Ondo State) and Owalobo of Obo Ayegunle (Kwara State) who have since left the association.
“Alaafin is also not aware of the fact some Obas joined he group in 1909 – Atta Ayede, 1929 (Elemure), 1947 (Alawe, Arajaka, Olujido Ido Ile and Olosi). In 1971, Olomuo was admitted to the PeluPelu status by the then Governor of Western State, the late General Adeyinka Adebayo.

“17 Obas are presently laying claim to Pelupelu Obaship in Ekiti State, adding that by the gazette of October 2018, “government recognised 22 Obas as PeluPelu in Ekiti and no one raised an eyebrow when (former) Governor Ayo Fayose added the 22nd member, the Oluyin of Iyin-Ekiti in August 2018.”
Questioning Alaafin over the number of PeluPelu Obas put at 16, the monarchs said: “We therefore say with all sense of authority and responsibility that Alaafin goofed to say that from time immemorial, Obaship leadership had been with 16 Obas who he could neither name nor mention. He only pretends to know that the number of PeluPelu Obas has never be static.

“Unfortunately and appallingly, Alaafin stated that his source of information was by ‘hearsay’ yet he refused to verify his erroneous fact before falsely accusing Governor Fayemi of neglect. He refused to say those he considers as subordinate Obas. Subordinate to who?” the letter explained.
The letter added that Alaafin “is no doubt an Oba who enjoys stirring controversies and crisis where there are none. Alaafin is without doubt a meddlesome interloper who is bent on exporting the crisis he engineered in old Oyo State during which the traditional council was unable to hold a single meeting as a result of leadership tussle between him and the Ooni of Ife until Osun State was carved out of old Oyo State.

“Worse still and under him, the Oyo State Council of Traditional Rulers has not held a meeting once in four years under his chairmanship as a result of his inability to foster peace, unity and cohesion among the Obas. How does he give what he does not have? Ekiti monarchs are not Alaafin’s Ajeles hence his current voyage into an internal affairs of Ekiti Obas is highly unwarranted.”

It said they were “highly offended by the vituperation poured on Fayemi through Alaafin’s unsolicited intervention in a purely domestic affairs” of Ekiti council. Alaafin has no moral right nor justification to interfere in the matter of traditional rulers’ administration in Ekiti State.”
He, therefore, urged to call Alaafin to order and to desist forthwith from meddling in the internal affairs of Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers, especially as the matter is pending before a court of competent jurisdiction, saying Alaafin’s letter to Fayemi was “clearly subjudice to the matter in court.”