By Ayobami Agboola, Osogbo
Unless the Osun state Government intervenes in the lingering Chieftaincy tussle rocking the Ipetu community in Ife-North Local Government Area, with a view to proffer lasting solution, the agrarian community may soon be consumed by violence.
There is a palpable tension presently in the town, as youths and other interest groups, including the royal families are threatening fire and brimstone should the kingmakers go ahead in their ‘strange’ selection of a successor to the vacant throne in the town, which they described as “unacceptable and a negation of age long tradition in the selection process”.
Recalled that the late monarch, the Apetu of Ipetumodu, Oba James Adedokun Adegoke( Akunradoye 11), joined his ancestors on November 26th, 2017, after years of peaceful reign.
CityMirrorNews reliably gathered that few days after the completion of burial rites of the late king, the next ruling house (Aribile lineage ) was contacted by the kingmakers through the Local Government to submit names of interested persons for the throne, in which 13 candidates expressed interests to contest for the vacant stool.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, Prince Taiwo Ayoola, who is a National Leader of Aribile ruling house, in company of representatives of other ruling houses called on the state government to intervene and prevent the kingmakers from going ahead with the installation process to forestall full fledged violence.
Ayoola said names of 13 interested candidates were later presented to the 4-man kingmakers for screening through Ifa Oracle divination and in line with the age long customs and traditions.
According to him, rather than allowing age long tradition and norm of selecting a new monarch for the community to hold sway, the kingmakers opted for an unconventional method of selection.
He accused the kingmakers of setting aside the tradition and age long process of selecting new king in the town and succumbed to monetary inducement by endorsing one Joseph Gbenga Oloyode on July 26, 2018, who is not from a royal patriarch as the candidate to ascend the throne.
” This decision of picking a stranger to ascend the throne was completely rejected by the majority of the people from Aribile ruling house, which comprises five royal families of Ajiga, Arowoosun, Elewa, Kiaje, and Latimogun as a total negation to the custom and tradition of the ancient community”.
The chairman of Ife-North Local Government, Hon. Taiwo Orosanya and three out of the four kingmakers were also accused of conniving with the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi to impose the candidature of Oloyede on them without recourse to the wish of the people of the community and tradition of the town.
Orosanya was further accused of exploiting contestants by compelling them to buy plots of land which amounted to over a million of naira, before they could be qualified to vie for the stool, just as they alleged that each of the candidates was compelled to pay a sum of #800,000 as intention fee.
The aggrieved princes expressed their discontentment over the role they said the Ooni of Ife played in the selection of the Oloyede, saying Ooni, despite the fact that he was fully aware of court injunction still went ahead and granted consent to Oloyede to ascend the throne as Apetu.
According to the princes, “On 4th April , 2018, the head of Aribile , Chief MO Oyetade forwarded the names of the 13 successful candidates to Ife-North local Government Sectary for onward transmission to the kingmakers. The council Chairman for reason best known to him on receipt of the letter unilaterally removed the name of one candidate (Aseyeba Ayoola) and replaced it with one Rueben Olaolu Babalola, who never took part at the meeting held on 12th, April, 2018 and sent to the kingmakers to act upon.
“There was a pending injunction of high court of justice Ile-Ife in Suit No JKF/19/2018 granted on 7th June, 2018 against Chief Sunday Afolabi Adedeji(Asalu of Ipetumodu and head of kingmakers) Chief Rufus Babalola(Molefon of Ipetumodu) Chief Titus Olanrewaju (Morigi of Ipetumodu) and Chief J A Akande (Olukotun of Ipetumodu) which was not vacate until 21st November , 2018 when it was struck out pursuant to letter of withdrawal written by 2nd plaintiff in that case.
“The kingmakers started their illegality when they erroneously and fraudulently promoted Chief Olanrenwaju to Moriji from Olukotun and promoted Chief J.A Akande who was never part of kingmakers. This illegality was reversed upon petition written to the ministry of chieftaincy and local government affairs.
“They also went ahead to make the least of the chiefs in Ipetumodu (Lofidi) Chief Kehinde Orosanya as warrant kingmaker, when his twin brother , Taiwo Orosanya is the Ife-North Local Government Chairman and has a vital role to play in the process of selection and installation of a news monarch .
“The kingmakers jettisoned court injunction restraining them from going ahead with the illegality to pick Oloyede Joseph Gbenga, without recourse to the head of Aribile and other members of the family.
They further explained: “When we got the hint of their wrongful and illegal selection , as law abiding citizens, we approached High Court Ile-Ife in suit number HIF/17/2019 to seek redress which is still pending. We enclosed letter written to his Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and PS Ministry of Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
“Despite the pending cases in court and series of letters to appropriate quarters, we were shocked that Arole Oduduwa, Oba Ogunwusi who is the 5th Defendant being a prescribed authority and who had been served with all the processes in the suit including Motion for Interlocutory injunction in an attempt to subvert justice and strangulate the rule of law connived with Chief Sunday Adedeji, the Asalu of Ipetumodu, chief Rufus Babalola, Poju Akintayo, Chief Aresa , Hon Taiwo Orosanya, Chief Kehinde Orosanya and granted consent to Mr Oloyede a defendant in the pending case for installation as the Apetumodu of Ipetumodu”.
The aggrieved princes therefore called on the state governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola to call the individuals to order in order to avert anarchy and chaos and by extension heat up the polity unnecessarily the state.
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