There have been palpable fears in Obada-Oko, a community in Ogun state, Nigeria as crisis may soon erupt in the sleepy town following discordant tunes over its vacant monarch stool.
According to sources from the town, contrary to the wishes and expectations of the people, the Secretary to the state government, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa has allegedly been making some underground moves to install his preferred candidate as the new Oba, a move which many of the chiefs and elders are said to have vowed to resist.
While Adeoluwa’s candidate was said to have failed to appear before the screening committee constituted by the Regency Council, it was gathered that the SSG has vowed to jettison the preferred candidate chosen by the chiefs and leaders of Oba-Oko.
The development, it was gathered, has got the chiefs and leaders in the community boiling with anger as they have, therefore, promised to resist any attempt to impose the unpopular candidate, who is not close to the community on them.
According to a reliable source, Adeoluwa has alle thrown his weight behind one Femi Solaja, a staffer of Yewa North Local Government.
The DailyBells Nigeria gathered that the rotation of the stool, according to the Obada Oko-Chieftaincy Law of 2008, is among Igbore, Erunbe, Opelifa and Ogunsolu, with the late monarch, Oba Mufutau Adisa Sofidiya, who died on July 27, 2015 from Igbore.
The source alleged that Adeoluwa had on Thursday presented Solaja to the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, after assisting him to obtain letter of approval from the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
It was gathered that the community had earlier forwarded the names of two candidates – Chief Ajani Ifadairo Adebiyi, the Baale of Erunbe and Chief Kashimawo Ogundare, the Jagumolu of Obada-Oko to the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, after the Regency Council screened the five aspirants who showed interest in becoming the second monarch of the town.
In a letter dated July 2, 2016, the Regency Council presented the two aspirants to Oba Gbadebo to choose one of them.
Others who appeared before the screening committee but lost out are Chief Olawale Oguntoyinbo (Baale of Abule Ake), and Chief Isiaka Bamgboye, Baale of Pakudi, while Chief Femi Solaja shunned the committee.
In the letter sent to the Alake by the Regency Council, it stated, “Kabiyesi we are now forwarding the two to you our Royal Father who is the best judge to select and appoint one out of the two that will be the best to uplift the status of Obada-Oko to greatest height as the next king of Olu Obada-Oko Egbaland and Kingdom.”
The letter was signed by Chief John. A. Adesida, Sakotun of Obada-Oko and Chief Ismaila Rasaki, Jaguna of Obada-Oko, who are the Secretary and Chairman of the Screening Committee respectively.
Others who signed the letter entitled “Report on Screening for vacant stool of Olu of Obada-Oko” are Chief Sina Akinwale (Ogboye), Chief Benjamin O. Akinwunmi (Akogun), Chief Gafar Olatunbosun (Mayegun), Chief Ayinla Adebiyi (Osi) and Chief Ganiyu A. Olatunbosun (Balogun), who is the Chairman of the Regency Council.
The chiefs specifically told Oba Gbadebo that Chief Ajani Ifadairo Adebiyi, Baale Erunbe “was chosen as number one for having the quality to lead, co-ordinate and having better human relationship and he has moved closely with the late monarch, he also understand culture.”
The DailyBells Nigeria further learnt that after the community was advised to present only one candidate to Alake, they met and resolved to submit the name of Adebiyi.
In a letter dated September 21, 2016 and addressed to Oba Gbadebo, the chiefs and Baale of Erunbe Obada-Oko said that they had “universally approved” Adebiyi.
“We are using this medium to reaffirm our unflinching support for our Baale Adebiyi and appeal to your highness for your consideration to select Chief Ifadairo Adebiyi as the next Olu of Obada-Oko,” they told Oba Gbadebo.
The letter, copy of which was sent to the Regency Council, was signed by Chief Yinka Yoriosho (Otun Baale), Chief Dare Gbolahan (Aare), Chief Zachariah Sobodun (Babalaje), Chief Lateef Omidiji (Maiyegun), Chief Adio Shangodare (Akogun), Chief Lateef Shangodare (Akeweje), Chief ‘Deji Akingbade (Bada), and Chief Semiu Oludare (Olori-Odo).
They told Alake: “The two contestants are from female lineage and nobody or no contestant from the male linage showed interest as at the time of final selection.”
“Having explained the selection process sir, the committee members of Erunbe Obada-Oko concluded their assignments, nominated and recommended Chief Ifadairo Ajani Adebiyi from Solaja clan, an incumbent Baale of Erunbe Obada-Oko as the community candidate for the vacant stool of Olu of Obada,” they added.
They further told Oba Gbadebo: “Your royal majesty sir, Chief Ifadairo Ajani Adebiyi being a man of the people loved by all displayed his team work spirit at the screening exercise conducted by Obada-Oko Regency Council in the midst of Ewekoro Local Government Secretary, chieftaincy department and security agents where his qualities were eulogised.
“His closeness to the demised Olu of Obada-Oko and the people made him to understand Obada-Oko’s cultural heritage more than the other contestants as stated in their unequivocal report without division whereby he was selected as the first choice candidate recommended to your highness for approval to the vacant stool of Olu of Obada-Oko, Ogun State.”
They further stressed: “Conclusively Kabiyesi, some of the aforementioned are the reasons that we feel we should intimate you with why we are still queuing faithfully and assiduously too at the back of our Baale, we also joined the Regency Council of Obada-Oko that selected him as their choice to appeal while prostrating to your Royal Highness to take into cognisance all the parameters mentioned earlier in this appeal letter and recommend our Baale, Chief Ifadairo Ajani Adebiyi as the next Olu of Obada-Oko.”
However, attempts to get Adeoluwa to speak on the development proved abortive as his mobile lines were switched off.
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