By Sulaiman Salawudeen in Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has said the new Oba for lkere Ekiti, the second largest town in the state, would be announced in the next 14 days.
Fayose maintained such a move would settle all ongoing ill-feeling and misunderstanding which currently surround the choice of the new Ikere monarch.
This disclosure was made by the Governor during a meeting in Ado-Ekiti with the town’s kingmakers and lkere Council of Elders who were in support of Adejimi Adu, the Oba-elect for the community, and a faction loyal to Mr. Gbenga Aruleba, one of the contestants for the vacant stool.
The governor who restated that he had no interest in who becomes the next ruler of the community, however, noted that he was in hurry to lay the controversy surrounding the vacant stool to rest in order not to allow the situation degenerate.
He, however, promised to be open and transparent to all factions involved in the crisis.
He recalled that a leader in the community, Chief Olusola Bayode, and a lawmaker, Mr. Akiniyi Sunday, had come to the State House to tell him to reverse his decision on the choice of Adejimi Adu as the Oba-elect, alleging that Adu had lost the support of all the kingmakers in the community all of whom they alleged had moved to the camp of Gbenga Aruleba, who is one of Adejimi’s opponents, in the race for the vacant stool.
The Governor who said his mission was to find out the truth, called for another round of election in his presence, and out of the 13 kingmakers present, 10 stood up in support of Adejimi while three stood up for the opposing camp.
While seeming to have smelt complicity on the side of the opposing camp, he asked Bayode to produce the kingmakers who he said had withdrawn their support for the Oba-elect.
But Olusola Bayode remorsefully pointed accusing fingers to one Chief Bobade Shittu who he alleged misled him into the conspiracy.
After the mild drama, Fayose declared that he would announce the next Ogoga within the next 14 days after due consultation based on the information at his disposal.
“l will announce the next Ogoga within the next 14 days and any attempt to cause trouble by anyone will be resisted by security operatives in the state. Anyone who is not pleased should approach the court for redress,” he stated.
Speaking after the meeting, the Ologotun of lkere-Ekiti, Chief Ayeni Oluwafemi, lauded the Governor for his transparency and his statemanly disposition throughout the crisis.
His words: “It is evident to everyone here that the Governor was only concerned about doing things right. At the end of the day, falsehood has taken a bow…What should have prompted Chief Bayode into this mess? He has been on a self-imposed exile from Ikere community for a decade. He prefers to build a house and live in a neighbouring town.
“It is disgraceful for somebody of his age to be romancing with falsehood that could plunge his community into crisis because of certain gains. Why should a person of his age be running an errand of deceit for a man of the age of his own son? he queried.
The head of Ogbenuote Ruling House, Chief Ojo Abioye, also berated Olusola Bayode for orchestrating a devilish plot against the Oba-elect, adding that for somebody who is neither a kingmaker, a traditional chief nor a prince to be meddling in the affairs that have to do with the selection of a new king in such a compromised manner called for questioning.
Abioye said: “What leadership does Bayode has in this town? He has run away from this town over a decade. He has had no meaningful contributions to Ikere development over the years. What credential does he has that some people think that they can use a man of questionable character like him to hoodwink the Governor? What he sought was a disgrace and l think he thankfully got one today,” he stated.
One of the supporters of the camp opposed to the Oba-elect, Mr. Ezekiel Ayoola, charged Adejimi to bring all the warring factions in the dispute together if he is eventually announced as the new Oba for the community.
While praising the Governor for upholding the truth, he noted that lkere is a large community and as such crisis may not be inevitable in the process of choosing a new king.
Ayoola who said he was opposed to the Oba-elect because his mother was from the Okekere axis of the town said he had seen reasons to embrace peace in the interest of the development of community.