The traditional tussle in Ekiti State that culminated in some top traditional leaders being issued query by the state government, is fast snowballing into a rife tussle as Chairman of Ekiti State traditional Council, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi, the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, accused the intervening Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, of being a ‘meddlesome interloper’ and parochial in sense of history.
The Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Adeyemi had written an advisory letter to the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on the heels of the controversial query, admonishing him to tread with caution in finding a truce to a lingering squabble between his government and some top 16 traditional rulers in the state, so as not to be on collision course with history.
But, the Alawe in response says: “with all sense of authority and responsibility, the Alaafin’s letter is borne out of ignorance,” and went further to state that: “let him (Alaafin), remove the log in his eyes to remove the specks from others.”
In the five-page letter which purported to be the response to Alaafin earlier letter to governor Fayemi, the Alawe, signing on behalf of Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers, told the governor to discountenance the Alaafin’s letter as responding would amount to dignifying him.
“The Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers has therefore advised our Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, NOT to dignify Alaafin’s letter with any response because it is clearly ill-motivated and in bad faith.”
Oba Alabi further accused Alaafin of claiming authority over the hierarchy of Obas in Ekiti, noting that all the Oyo king was claiming in his letter to the governor were mere fabrications of a man desperately clamouring to benefit from the lingering crisis within the traditional institutions in Ekiti State.
“Alaafin is no doubt an Oba who enjoys during controversies and crisis, where there is none. He is without doubt, meddlesome interloper, who is bent on exporting the crisis he engendered in Old Oyo State, during which the traditional council was unable to hold a single meeting as a result of a leadership tussle between him and the Ooni of Ife, until Osun was carved out of Old Oyo State,” the letter reads.
Eyebrows were raised when some traditional rulers in Ekiti State were issued query on the order of the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, shortly after the dethronement of the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and his subsequent banishment to Awe, Nasarawa state, over issues bothering on disregarding traditions and the orders of the Kano State government.
Earlier, 16 Ekiti traditional rulers, who constituted the highest decision making body of the state traditional council, named Pelupelu, had been in court to challenge the abrupt recruitment of five more traditional rulers into the Pelupelu, the Alawe, being one of them, by governor Fayemi, and also installing the Alawe immediately as Chairman of the body.
The change of order, drew the ire of the original 16 who were in court since last year, pleading that status quo should be revisited.
The query served the dissident kings barely 48 hours after the dethronement of Sanusi, fueled suspicions that the state government might be planning to visit same punishment on the 16, most of who have vowed not to sit in any meeting called by the Alawe of Awe, the emerging Chairman of the Ekiti State Traditional Council, whom they see as a junior Oba to them in line with tradition.
Copies of Alawe’s letter: