Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti Council of Elders, yesterday, sued for peace on the festering crisis between Governor Kayode Fayemi and the 16 Obas under the Pelupelu, over the appointment of Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, as chairman of the state council of traditional rulers.
The elders appealed to both Fayemi and the aggrieved monarchs to find a way of resolving through dialogue to save the state from crisis and prevent the situation from being hijacked by miscreants.
Fayemi, a couple of weeks ago, appointed Alawe, who was promoted to Pelupelu by government in 1947, as chairman of the council.
The 16 aggrieved aboriginal Pelupelu Obas kicked against the development and filed a suit against it at the Ado Ekiti High Court, saying Alawe was not eligible to chair the council, since he was promoted to the rank.
They urged the court to nullify the appointment, saying only the aboriginal Pelupelu Obas, who pioneered the council in 1887 are eligible to be chairman.
At a press conference addressed by the chairman of the council, Joseph Oluwasanmi, the elders appealed that time has come for the two warring factions to sheathe their swords and dialogue.
They said: “We, as senior citizens, have had the opportunity to discuss with the governor once and the Obas twice. Each side, we must admit, quoted relevant portions of documents, ancient and recent, to support the chairmanship being extended beyond the 16.
“The problem we now face is that the situation, which has assumed proportions beyond anyone’s estimation, must be brought down for Ekiti to be in peace and harmony.
“We refuse to visualise a situation whereby the government and traditional rulers are at loggerheads, a situation which can be exploited by miscreants.
“Looking back into history, we must consider ourselves lucky to have a political entity of our own, contestants from other parts of the country with huge financial muscles and influences failed to beat us to the game.
“We appeal to our royal fathers to continue to display maturity and remain fathers of all,” he said.
Lending credence to the need to shift grounds, Deji Fasuan said the two sides must be willing to dialogue.
“We are appealing to our son, Governor Fayemi, and our fathers, to be committed to peace, because we know what will happen but we don’t want it to happen.
“Ours is to stay at the middle and mediate between the two parties. Government action is not being seen as reversible, but we want to make peace,” he said.