Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
A new twist has been added to the obaship crisis rocking Orin Ekiti, Ido/Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti State, as former regent of the town, Ajayi Oladeji, denied signing any document creating a new royal family under the name Ajibewa.
She said the town had operated two ruling houses, including Olubunmo and Famokiti ruling houses for ages, and that the claim that she signed a document creating a third royal dynasty was not only spurious, but a calculated attempt to defraud the community.
The people of the town, led by its kingmakers, had protested a couple of weeks ago, over Governor Kayode Fayemi’s intention to pick an oba-elect in Ajibewa ruling house. The governor, according to his deputy, Bisi Egbeyemi, based his action on the white paper on Morgan Chieftaincy Report of 1995 under the old Ondo State and Ekiti State official gazette of June 3, 1999, which recognised Ajibewa as the third ruling house in the town.
Speaking during a town hall meeting, yesterday, to clear the air on the document, Oladeji said it was criminal to have linked her to such document by Ajibewa’s family, saying doing so would be tantamount to sacrilege and mutilation of the town’s rich history.
“I was a regent in this town two times spanning 25 years. I was here between 1968 to 1974, and 1980 to 1995. I know the history very well and I would not have signed any document establishing a third dynasty that never existed. Ajibewa was never a royal family. I cannot even read, let alone signing any document as a regent,” she said.
She urged the government to discountenance the document and pick a new king from Famokiti dynasty to replace the late Oba Oluwole Olubunmo. A kingmaker and Onikare of Orin Ekiti, Bamidele Fasuyi, said the statement made by the former regent had corrected the rumour being peddled around, that the town has three ruling houses.
But, the patriarch of Ajibewa’s family, Samuel Ajibewa, while reacting to the development, said: “The old woman the Olubunmo and Famokiti families brought is over 95 years and is having partial stroke, and has become so old that she has forgotten that she signed the document.
“To say that Orin Ekiti didn’t have a stamp as at 20 years ago is a fallacy and a slap on the face of many intellectuals produced by the town, bearing in mind that the then monarch, Oba Oluwole Olubunmo, was a respectable accountant. All that the Olubunmo and Famokiti are doing now amounts to medicine after death, as they ought to have challenged the gazette that directs that a new monarch must come from Ajibewa family in a law court within 10 years of its production in 1995.”
“Having failed to do that after 20 years now, their cries now amount to medicine after death. They should stop wasting Orin-Ekiti community’s money which we have all contributed.
“We urge them to go to court and challenge the Gazette if they are sure of all their claims. We advise them as brothers to obey constituted authority by following the directives of Egbeyemi to install the new Olorin from the Ajibewa family.”