The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, on Wednesday, presented staff of office to the first Oloja Owa of Owatedo Ekiti in Ijero Local Government, Oba David Olawumi Olofinlade, seven months after the community was granted autonomy
Speaking at the event held at the Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, Ado-Ekiti in line with COVID-19 protocols, Fayemi charged the new Oba to see himself as a father to all his subjects irrespective of their political, religious and social affiliations.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, who represented the Governor congratulated the traditional ruler and the people of Owatedo on the autonomy granted the community, urged them to use their new status to unite for the task of greater socio-economic development.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, Oba Olofinlade became the first recognised traditional ruler for Owatedo Ekiti after the community was granted autonomy by the state government on 19th December, 2019.
The appointment of Oba Olofinlade of Arulogun Ruling House was approved by the State Executive Council on 12th February, 2019 with the autonomy fulfilling Section 6A(1) and (2) of the Chiefs Law of Ekiti State, CAP C5 of 2012.
Oba Olofinlade who hailed the Governor for presiding over the administration that granted autonomy to the community pledged to justify the confidence reposed in him by using his new position to speed up its development.
The Governor called on the new monarch to use the autonomy granted to rally his subjects for execution of community projects that will accelerate its pace of development.
He emphasizesd that granting an autonomy to any community was not an attempt to unreasonably factionalise or disintegrate a hitherto compact community for any ulterior motive or political gains but a response to the genuine demand that such recognition would enhance development.
While tasking the Oloja Owa on the responsibilities ahead of him, Fayemi counselled the monarch to see his enthronement as a divine call to service noting that his new status demands diligence, sacrifice, initiatives and perseverance to succeed on the throne.
Fayemi enjoined Oba Olofinlade to ensure that peace reigns in his domain and also lewd his subjects in ensuring a harmonious relationship with neighbouring communities, particularly Ipoti Ekiti and Ejiyan Ekiti.
The Governor who further reiterated the commitment of his administration to infrastructure and industrial development, affordable qualitative education, efficient healthcare delivery and increased agriculture and rural development said the cooperation of the entire people of the state is needed to achieve them.
The Chairman, Ijero Local Government, Mr. Ropo Ige, expressed satisfaction with the selection process of the Oloja Owa which he said was devoid of strife, rancour and acrimony which used to characterize similar exercises in Yoruba land.
Ige have kudos to the Fayemi administration for its impact on community development in the last 21 months pledging the support of the people of the council area to the realisation of the five pillars development agenda.
The Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Adeniyi Familoni, advised the monarch to exercise his powers with decorum and carry the community along in day-to-day administration.
In his acceptance speech, the Oloja Owa, Oba Olofinlade, said his ascension to the throne marked the beginning of a new era on the history of Owatedo promising to discharge his royal duties to the beat of his ability.
The royal father described the autonomy granted his community as a vehicle aimed at attracting progress from all walks of life calling on his subjects to abhor hatred, bitterness, hostility and other acts that can impede peace and progress.
He showered encomiums on the Governor whom he said God had used to restore the lost values, culture, tradition and glory of Owatedo expressing joy at being the custodian of the town’s culture and tradition.
Oba Olofinlade promised to channel his energy towards making his kingdom a sight of attraction to the outside world and also ensure that peace and harmony are maintained with all neighbouring towns.
The event was witnessed by the Chairman, Ekiti Council of Traditional Rulers/Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi; the Owa Ajero of Ijero Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Adewole; the Attah of Ayede, Oba Mumini Orisagbemi; the Olu of Sekinde in Osun State, Oba Adebayo Adekanmi who represented the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and other government functionaries.
Very limited number of people were allowed into the hall, while physical distancing was also observed in line with COVID-19 regulations.