By Demola Atobaba in Ado-Ekiti
Following the persistent supremacy battle between the Ogoga of Ikere-Ekiti, Oba Adejimi Adu, and Olukere of Ikere, Oba Ganiyu Obasoyin, the former may initiate a court action against Olukere in order to seek redress and lay the long-drawn tussle to rest.
Olukere has always had a running battle with Ogoga over who is the real traditional ruler in the town, which is the second largest in Ekiti State. Governor Ayo Fayose is known to have thrown his weight behind Ogoga, whom he sees as the main traditional ruler and had been fingered in the destruction of Oba Obasoyin’s billboard in the heart of the town last week. The destruction of the billboard had sparked protest in the ancient town.
The historical puzzle has always been that whereas the Ogoga is the traditional ruler of the town, the Olukere is touted as the founder and the one whose title derives from the name of the town.
Speaking with newsmen in Ikere-Ekiti at the weekend on the recent protest over the destruction of the billboard, Ogoga pleaded with the people to shun violence, assuring that such won’t be tolerated again in the town.
The monarch warned Olukere to stop parading himself as a king, saying he remains a classless chief, whose job is to appease the gods.
“Olukere is being misled because none of his predecessors flexed muscles with me. But if all alternative means of resolving this matter fail, then I shall go to court to seek redress, because I can’t allow this to continue”.
The Odolofin of Ikere kingdom, Chief Ayodele Alonge, who spoke on behalf of Ogoga-in-Council, insisted that his rival, who is laying claim to founding the town remains the chief priest and occupy number 44 in the chieftaincy hierarchy.
On the claim by Oba Obasoyin that Ogoga is not a crowned prince, the chief said Ogoga inherited his crown from Benin from time immemorial, being a direct son of Oranmiyan , who established the kingdom.
He said: “Ikere was founded at about 11th century by one Aladeselu, so the claim by Olukere that he owns the land does not hold water.
“That was why every elected Ogoga must spent seven days as part of the rites at Aladeselu’s house, representing the seven years Ogoniga (Ogoga), a Benin prince spent with him when he arrived the town.
“The first Olukere is called Oloje and this meant that he was a masquerade worshipper. Though, he was a powerful herbalist and that was why he was made the chief priest of this community and his main job is to worship the Olosunta, which Ikere people see as their saviour.
“As far as the history is concerned, Olukere is not a ranking chief. He is just a chief priest and he should stop referring to himself as a king. He is not even recognized by the state government.
“Even Ile Ife ,where he claimed to have got his crown, history shows that he hailed from Obalorin compound in Ilode and this family was never a direct descendant of Oduduwa,” he said.