Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi on Thursday rebuffed protestations by the aggrieved 17 prominent traditional rulers arising from the appointment of Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, as the Chairman of the council.
Dr. Fayemi, despite the pending litigation and controversy trailing the appointment, inaugurated Oba Alabi as the chairman of the Ekiti State Council Of Traditional rulers.
The aggrieved Monarchs had filed a suit at Ado Ekiti High Court seeking for the nullification of the appointment, claiming that Fayemi contravened the Ekiti State Chieftaincy Law, which stipulated that the chairman can only be appointed among Alademerindinlogun/pelupelu Obas with the appointment.
They claimed in their deposition that the promotion of Alawe to Pelupelu status was political and that could not grant him the power to become the Chairman of the traditional council.
The 17 aggrieved Pelupelu Obas shunned the inauguration ceremony attended by many first class and other monarchs under the aegis of Majority Obas’ of Ekiti State.
The governor, who spoke at the inauguration at the Conference Hall, Governor’s Office, Ado Ekiti on Thursday called on all royal fathers to support the present administration’s efforts at bringing development to every part of the State
Fayemi equally urged the aggrieved monarchs to eschew baseless and unnecessary rivalry that can led to communal clash, saying peace was the most important ingredient of development.
He said time has come for the traditional rulers to bring their powers to bare to resolve the vicious insecurity level across the nation.
While charging the Obas on the need to maintain security and peaceful co-existence in their domains, Fayemi said their cooperation will help in curbing anti social activities with strong partnership with government.
He said the constitution of the council became inevitable owing to the fact that the traditional rulers play pivotal roles in the stability of every community and the nation in general.
“I want to appreciate the immediate past council for putting in their best in piloting the affairs of the council. I have no doubt that the new council will collaborate with government for more development in our state.
“I enjoined our royal fathers and Ekiti ketes to eschew baseless and unnecessary rivalry that can lead to communal clash.
“And avoid being used by the fifth columnist that are yet to understand the fact clear as it cities that elections are over in Ekiti State.The most important thing is the peace and development of the State.
“Ekiti has been lucky since its creation and in this period of its history when I was appointed the Chairman of Governor’s forum despite that Ekiti is not the oldest state in Nigeria. Whatever we must have achieved or got in life, is an act of God , who knows the end from the beginning”, he said.
Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi had said that the reconstitution of the Council of Traditional Rulers became imperative following the expiration of the tenure of the outgone council in July 2019.
Egbeyemi said Fayemi’s approval to reconstitute the council was in tandem with section 2(3) of the Council of Traditional Ruler Law no 3 of 2000.
He disclosed that government had painstakingly selected 26 rotational members alongside 32 permanent members to make up the new council whose tenure will end in 2021.
In his acceptance speech, the chairman of the newly reconstituted council and Alawe of Ilawe, Oba Alabi promised to be fair to all Obas regardless of status.
The monarch urged his members to restrict themselves to playing advisory roles to governors and not to criticise since the council is not a labour union.
He added further: ”We can’t afford any form of antagonism and bickering as we are not in competition with the Governor. We are advisory body in line with the Law that established this council. We assure Mr Governor of our unalloyed loyalty to be able to move Ekiti forward”.
He told his members that the security challenges in the country can only be tackled with the cooperation of the Obas with the government at all levels.
”The best way to cooperate with government is by ensuring that we don’t allow criminal elements to infiltrate our communities.
”If we do this, we will be able to insulate security threat whether in form of banditry, kidnapping, robbery or insurgency . We can also help government pursue a deliberate policy of disarmament as part of the ways to overcome the present situation”.
Alawe, whose appointment is being challenged in court, was appointed on the 1st of August, 2019, following the expiration of the tenure of Oloye of Oye Oye Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju on July 31.