Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Some women in Orin Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti State yesterday staged a protest against their traditional ruler, Oba Adeniran Ajibewa, for allegedly masterminding the arrests of some indigenes of the town over arson attacks.
The women called on the state Governor, Kayode Fayemi to rein in on the monarch against alleged dictatorship and flagrant abuse of power.
They also accused the monarch of committing contempt of court by parading himself as the Olorin despite the court injunction restraining him from exercising such power pending the determination of the suit against his installation.
Five indigenes of the town, who are mainly youth leaders, were arrested a couple of weeks ago by the police over alleged connection with arson attacks on some buildings and vehicles belonging to perceived loyalists of the monarch in the community.
Sequel to the foregoing, the police were said to have swooped on the victims based on a petition written by the community, which led to the arrest and incarceration of the youths.
Addressing journalists during the protest, the women appealed to the monarch to stop intimidating those challenging his installation by Fayemi in court.
Spokesman of the protesters and the Eyenasin of Orin Ekiti, Mrs. Anthonia Oniyelu-Olubunmo, said those arrested had nothing to do with the arson attacks.
According to her, “What we are saying is that enough is enough! How can people be intimidated like this? The town has Obaship crisis and the arson attacks was as a result of a boy that died, so there is no connection.
“But we want to say that those who were arrested were majorly those that had been visible in the fight against the installation of Oba Olubunmo as Olorin.
“The question we are asking is that what is the relationship between an arson attack and a litigation against someone’s installation?
“Majority of our people are still on the run now. Many of them were even out of the town when the attacks happened and they are being chased about on the premise that they were the ones who masterminded the attacks.
“We appeal to the monarch to leave our youths alone. We also call on the state Governor, Fayemi, to prevail on the police and other security agencies to allow peace in the town and stop the indiscriminate arrests of our youths.
“We are not against arrest of whoever commits crime, but those pursuing litigation against the Oba shouldn’t be made their targets.”