By Victor Ogunje
The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has given the kingmakers of Ipao Ekiti in Ikole Local Government Area a 14-day ultimatum to fill the royal stool of Obanla, which has been vacant for four years.
Fayemi, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, gave the directive at a meeting with the kingmakers in his office, and expressed dismay that the town had been without a traditional ruler since 2016.
The immediate-past Obanla of Ipao Ekiti, Oba Joseph Bolaji Aina, who ascended the throne in 1962, died in 2016 after reigning for 54 years.
The deputy governor stressed that the state government would abide by the 1982 Ipao Ekiti chieftaincy gazette which stipulated that it was the turn of the Adesogan Ruling House to produce the next Obanla.
Speaking at the meeting with the kingmakers, he explained that the development and progress of any town without a traditional ruler would be adversely affected, hence the need to fill the stool as early as possible.
Egbeyemi said the Governor Fayemi administration was desirous of promptly filling vacant stools to ensure smooth running of communities and the need to give them direction at all times.
He explained that the four surviving kingmakers formed a quorum to select a new king for the community, urging them to perform the function with utmost sense of integrity and fear of God.
The deputy governor, however, warned that the state government may be compelled to appoint warrant chiefs to select a new monarch if the kingmakers failed to perform their duties within the time allowed by law.
“The four available kingmakers have formed a quorum to choose a new oba for the town, and there is no reason to further delay it after four years without a king.
“We can’t deviate from what is in the gazette produced in 1982. We are giving you 14 days to let us know your Oba-elect,” he said.
Egbeyemi added that the government had no interest in who emerges as the next Obanla, urging the kingmakers to carry the Local Government and Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs along in the selection process.
He said the government would ensure that due process is followed in the selection of the new Obanla in line with the Chiefs Law and the tradition of the community.
The kingmakers, who spoke one after the other at the meeting, promised to carry out the assignment with utmost sense of responsibility within the stipulated time.
The two other ruling houses are Angbesi Arojojoye and Ogungbuyi.