By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti
Eleven of the 14 kingmakers in Ikere-Ekiti, the second largest town in Ekiti State, have unanimously upheld the selection of Prince Samuel Adejimi Adu as the Oba-elect for the town with a claim that his selection followed due process as stipulated by the extant laws on chieftaincy matters in the state.
The kingmakers who flayed media report, which claimed that the screening process into the Ogoga of Ikere-Ekiti stool, which became vacant after the recent demise of Oba Samuel Adegboye was fraudulent, insisted that the exercise was carried out through the consultation of the Ifa oracle and voting in the presence of two representatives of each of the royal houses and a government representative.
Addressing journalists in Ikere-Ekiti on the issue, with the other 10 kingmakers in attendance, the head of the kingmakers, the Sao of Ikere-Ekiti, Chief Omotosho James, who noted that the appointment of an Oba is a sacred matter, condemned the alleged hiring of newspaper by some disgruntled elements within the town in order to wrestle the vacant Ogoga stool.
He noted that such move was satanic and aimed at truncating the existing peace in the community for selfish reasons.
“Fighting a sacred war which one has failed to win through the due ‘process’ by hiring the media is an insult to our tradition and this belittles our revered throne before the whole world. If anyone is boasting of any media affiliation, he should use such connection to recruit our teeming unemployed youths into the media rather than using the media to steal his way into a position God has not given to him,” he said.
He also stated that the claim that the 14 kingmakers, which presided over the screening exercise that produced Adejimi, were not the authentic kingmakers was baseless as no one could attain the position of a kingmaker by favour or any form of manipulation.
“The Ifa oracle was consulted in the presence of everyone. Out of the six contestants shortlisted his ‘Ifa’ was the best. To fulfil all righteousness, we went into voting, he got 11votes while Prince Oyebanji Olajuyin had three, others had no vote…lf we are not authentic how come they subjected themselves to be screened by us?’, he questioned.
Also, the Head of Agirlala-Ogbenuote Ruling House, Chief Abioye Ojo, popularly known as Atewologun, had bluntly refuted the claim that the acclaimed Oba-elect is not an offspring of the royal family, noting that his father was once a family head of the lineage whose legacies of good leadership and selflessness were immense.
He frowned on the use of Ogoga palace as a platform for a media campaign by a group of people, a matter which he noted had become an issue of concerns and worries among the people noting that tradition behoves on whoever is occupying the throne in the interim, before the emergence of a new king to be neutral and not to desecrate the primordial tenets of non-alignment throughout the transition period.
“Those who are saying those things are rather drunk and beclouded by their thirsts for offices. His father was a family head around 1991. When even he, the father died, His children presented to the family a live cow which we all slaughtered and ate to celebrate his father in line with our tradition. If they have a genuine claim, why have they not raised this alarm before his emergence?’ he queried.
ln the same vein, the Ologotun of lkere-Ekiti, Chief Emmanuel Olajide, under whose auspices the Ifa oracle was consulted according to the tradition also warned on the need to allow peace to reign in the town and the entire state.
”The whole exercise took place in my presence. The Secretary to the Local Government, Mr Wale Olanipekun, the heads and Secretaries of each ruling house were there. Everything was transparent. All these claims are afterthought and not good enough for Ikere and Ekiti State at large. We are tired of crisis in this state. It is our prayer that none of these mischief makers would plunge us into one,” he stated.
Ologotun also flayed the bribery allegation levelled against the kingmakers describing it as spurious and unfounded noting that it is the custom to always stigmatize wealthy people in the name of bribery as a result of their economic wherewithal.
“Those that claimed that we took bribes should show their proofs. Such accusation is baseless and spurious. If we vote 20 times, we are still going to vote the same man who the Ifa oracle has chosen. We cannot bend the tradition because of some people’s selfish interests”, he affirmed.
The kingmakers who described the state Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, as a lover of the town, urged the government to announce the result of the screening exercise presented to it in the interest of peace.