Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State Government has given the kingmakers in Iworoko Ekiti in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government in go-ahead to commence the process to produce the next Alaworoko.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, urged the kingmakers to perform the assignment with fear of God, unbiased mind and utmost sense of responsibility.
Egbeyemi gave the directive at a peace meeting held with the kingmakers and members of the royal families eligible to produce monarch for the town at his office in Ado-Ekiti.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, the directive was sequel to the submission of a report by the Irepodun/Ifelodun Traditional Council to determine the eligibility of families that can field candidates for the royal stool.
At the meeting, the families in Oganyan, the only Ruling House in the town eligible to produce the next Alaworoko were identified, after a panel of Obas in Irepodun/Ifelodun Traditional Council saddled with the assignment submitted its report.
The assignment was given to the Irelodun/Ifelodun Traditional Council at the last meeting of stakeholders on the vacant Alaworoko stool held on 17th August 2020 at the Office of the Deputy Governor.
Reading out the reports, Egbeyemi said the Chairman and members of the local government traditional council after careful findings and scrutiny based on historical facts.
He explained that the committee was set things by the government under his purview to ensure that unbiased decisions are taken in the process of selecting a new Oba for Iworoko Ekiti.
The report made by about 10 Obas in the council area recommended that the ruling families of Aladejana, Ojukaja and Farinde are all qualified to contest for the vacant stool.
It also read that the agitation of Ayeni Ojukaja as part of the ruling family be included as their progenitor was an Oba in Iworoko Ekiti around the year 1914 to substantiate their claims.
Furthermore, the council recommended that Prince Michael Farinde’s claim as a prince is sacrosanct and he also has contributed to all portions to the royal family.
Egbeyemi stressed that no one has been selected as an Oba for the town as the government does not choose an Oba as the function belongs to the kingmakers who are expected to present their choice to the state government for ratification in line with the law.
He said: “The Government will not choose for you people and will not disqualify any prince.
“It is the duty of the Kingmakers to select and present their choice candidate to the government in a transparent manner while the Chiefs Law should be strictly followed.”
Egbeyemi stressed that the kingmakers should not betray the trust of the people of the town in choosing the right candidate who will use the throne to work for progress and development of the community.
While noting that the task of selecting a new king for Iworoko was time-bound, Otunba Egbeyemi reminded the kingmakers that all eyes are on them and they should be conscious of the need to leave a good name based on their choice for their people.
Egbeyemi urged the Kingmakers to strictly adhere to the Chiefs Law in performing the duties in choosing the new monarch from the princes jostling for the stool.
The Deputy Governor harped on the need for interest groups in the town to abide by the extant law and carry relevant government organs along in the course of filling the vacant stool.
The stakeholders hailed the state government for the intervention promising to go back home and conduct the process in line with the extant law and tradition.
The stool became vacant following the demise of the last occupant of the throne, the late Oba Michael Olufemi Aladejana in January 2019 after reigning for 54 years.