Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The suspended kingmakers of Orin Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti State have threatened to take legal action against the state Governor, Kayode Fayemi, if their suspension is not reversed.
The embattled kingmakers perceived their suspension, which led to the appointment of warrant chiefs saddled with the task of selecting a new Olorin, as a desecration of tradition of the town.
The selection of a new Olorin has been dogged with crisis caused by insistence of a section of the town and chiefs that the town has only two ruling houses, Olubunmo and Famokiti, and rejected the third one called Ajibewa created by the government.
The suspended chiefs passed a vote of no confidence in the appointed warrant chiefs, describing them as political tools to destabilise the town.
The position became vacant following the demise of Oba Oluwole Olubunmo in 2015.
Addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday, the Onikare of Orin Ekiti, Chief Bamidele Fasuyi, and the Eletin, Chief Francis Falua, alleged that they only heard about their suspension on radio, which they described as Illegal, null and void in the face of the law.
Fasuyi, who spoke on behalf of the chiefs, accused the state government of acting like a ‘Mafia’ in the handling of the obaship tussle in the town, “by allegedly sidelining those that matter and pivotal to the selection of Oba.
“Soldiers and policemen just invaded our town, particularly the palace and Apelua hall, where we revered as sacred places. They forcefully went there and took away some of the paraphernalia relating to the installation of Oba in Orin.
“In fact, just take a look at the calibre of warrant chiefs they brought, they were nonentities.
“At the demise of the Olorin in 2015, the local government authority wrote to us and requested that we select someone from Ajibewa ruling house, basing it on a gazette generated in 1998 under Navy Capt Atanda Yusuf reign.
“But we replied on behalf of the town that the twe only knew of Olubunmo and Famokiti royal dynasties, and that Ajibewa was a product of illegality. The gazette they relied on was a fake.
“The government should leave Orin alone. The Morgan commission of enquiry of 1978 established two ruling houses, so we didn’t know where they got the 1998 gazette that overrode the Morgan’s report.
“We want our suspension reversed with immediate effect, and if they fail to act accordingly, we will have no other option than to go to court to seek redress.”
Fasuyi urged the state government to make public the recommendations of the Justice Jide Aladejana Judicial Commission of enquiry on chieftaincy issues.