By Niyi Olutunde, Akure
Prince Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye has emerged the new traditional ruler of Owo kingdom in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State out of 18 contestants after the demise of Oba Victor Folagbade Olateru Olagbegi.
Ogunoye got 14 votes out of 15 votes cast by the 15 senior Omolowos, who have sole responsibility to select king for the ancient town, in an election conducted by officials of the local government.
No fewer than 18 princes from the Elewuokun ruling house contested for the position which was conducted by the Director of Local Government Administration in Owo local government area, Mr. Segun Omojuwa, and monitored by the security agents, journalists, people of the town among others.
Ogunoye is from Ogunoye ruling house of the town.
Appreciating his selection, the Olowo-elect said he was elated for being chosen.
Ogunoye, who lauded the electoral process as being transparent and error proof, promised to preserve and promote the customs and traditions of the town.
According to him, there will be a clear departure from the past, assuring that peace will reign during his era and all contentions will be resolved.
He asked for collaboration of other contestants to make Owo town great.
Also speaking, Oba Kofoworola Oladoyinbo, the Ojomo Oluda of Ijebuowo, who is the President of Senior Omolowos Council, tasked the king elect to conduct himself as Olowo-elect until all other things were done.
Oba Oladoyinbo asked him to caution and control exuberance of his supporters so that there would be no trouble, telling him to be magnanimous in victory.
He added that other contestants were also qualified as princes to be king, saying that he should collaborate with them in building Owo.
Earlier before the election, he said the next Olowo designate should work tremendously in uniting those who might have felt aggrieved, divided and ensure to restore the glory of the ancient town.
Oba Oladoyinbo, said that the nominee should not take vengeance nor denigrate achievements recorded by the past kings.
He added that the next Olowo should build and not destroy, saying that ‘power is transient and it is God that gives and takes it.’
According to him, Owo is more important than any individual, saying the selection process was not a contest between Omolowos and the government.
He asked the senior Omolowos to vote according to their choice.
Oba Oladoyinbo recalled that he had promised that the process would not be monetised and that there would be no loss of life nor destruction of properties, which he said had been fulfilled.
He noted that the state governor with his deputy had assured him that they had no preferred candidate.
His words, “Unlike what happened about 20 years ago when many died, properties destroyed over issue of Olowo selection process but I do not want that to happen under my watch.
“No blood of anybody from Owo should be shed”.
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