By Kayode Fasua
Palace chiefs in the agrarian community of Aiyede-Ogbese in Akure North Local Government area of Ondo State, have begun an indefinite boycott of all palace activities, in protest against alleged intimidation and land-grabs by some princes.
Announcing the decision in a statement made available to THISDAY on Tuesday, the third-in-rank to the Aiyede-Ogbese monarch, the Odopetu, High Chief Oladimeji Abitogun, said the chiefs had had enough of oppression from some of the princes.
Aiyede-Ogbese is currently without a substantive traditional ruler and is headed by a regent, Princess Catherine Oluyede.
Giving grounds for the palace boycott, Abitogun stated, “The Council of Chiefs in Aiyede-Ogbese has begun an immediate boycott of the palace to protest the intransigence of the royal family.”
He also said, “The chairman of the council of chiefs, the Olisa, High Chief Femi Fajembimo led his subordinates in removing all paraphernalia of royalty and staged a walk-out from the chambers of the palace, to protest a patterned insolence and tyranny of the princes in the community.”
Abitogun particularly said he had initiated moves aimed at stopping land-grabbing by some princes and chiefs in the community, as a result of which attempts were made on his life.
He also noted that the last straw that broke the carmel’s back was the recent sale of the community’s land, running to over 1,000 acres, solely by a notable prince.
He stressed that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in the area had tried, on many occasions, to broker truce and restore order in the princes-chiefs’ feud, but that “the agents provocateur would have none of it”.
Abitogun thus appealed to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, the state’s Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs, and the Ondo State Council of Obas and Chiefs, to wade in, to bring about peace in the tension-soaked community.
However, attempts to reach a leading prince, whose name featured prominently in allegations by the chiefs, proved abortive, as he was said to be out of town when THISDAY visited the community.
His phone was also switched off, up till press time.