Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, on Wednesday presented the instrument of appointment and staff of office to the new Oore of Otun Ekiti, Oba Adekunle Adeayo Adeagbo, urging the monarch to foster peace and development of his kingdom.
Egbeyemi who spoke at the brief ceremony held at the Conference Hall, Governor’s Office, Ado-Ekiti, urged the new Oore to see himself as a chief servant of his people and a force to reckon with in the development agenda of Otun Ekiti, Moba land and Ekiti State as a whole.
Representing Governor Kayode Fayemi at the occasion, the deputy governor said the selection process that produced the new native ruler was devoid of political colouration or manipulation and was in line with extant Chieftaincy Law of the state.
A statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, said a very limited number of people were allowed into the venue of the ceremony while the rule of physical distancing was observed in line with COVID-19 protocol.
The precaution was taken in respect of COVID-19 directives which bars public ceremonies and to avoid crowding to prevent the spread of the virus.
Oba Adeagbo, however, promised an elaborate ceremony as soon as it is safe to do so.
The deputy governor, speaking on behalf of the governor, said the state government appreciated the contribution of the immediate past Oore, Oba James Adedapo Popoola, to the development of the state during his 19-year reign in which he served as the Chairman of the State Council of Traditional Rulers between March 2005 and July 2007.
While the late monarch, Oba Popoola, was from the Imoya ruling house, his successor, Oba Adeagbo, hails from the Ile Iyaba ruling house.
The deputy governor advised Oba Adeagbo to extend his hand of fellowship to princes who contested the Oore throne with him to ensure peace and development of the town while urging all indigenes to cooperate with the royal father.
Describing Oba Adeagbo as ‘the face of his people’, Egbeyemi further charged him to use his good office in fostering a good relationship with his subjects, calling on all Otun indigenes at home and in the diaspora to rally themselves for community development.
The deputy governor used the occasion to reiterate the commitment of the Fayemi administration to meet the yearnings of every community, particularly in regards to executing life-enhancing projects.
He said ongoing road projects, education development, healthcare delivery, restoration of social stipends to the aged, special feeding programme for senior citizens, distribution of palliatives to the vulnerable to cushion the effects of COVID-19, water projects and payment of salaries and pension are gestures to better their standard of living.
The Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Adeniyi Familoni, said the process leading to the coronation began with the demise of Oba Popoola on the 22nd of October 2019.
Familoni said that the selection process of the new Oore was keenly monitored in accordance with the extant rules and regulations and in line with the tradition of the people of Otun after which it was endorsed by the State Executive Council.
The Chairman of Moba Local Government, Mr Bayo Aborisade, disclosed that seven candidates contested the stool with the kingmakers making the choice in consultation with the Ifa oracle.
Aborisade maintained that the process that produced Oba Adeagbo was transparent, just and fair praising the governor for providing the enabling environment for the selection of the new monarch.
In his remarks, Oba Adeagbo said Providence had made his emergence possible at a time of a global pandemic, which has necessitated a solemn and subdued ceremony away from his kingdom in a bid to avoid a large gathering.
The Oore said the state government’s decision to go ahead with the ceremony despite the public health challenges demonstrated Governor Fayemi’s commitment not to leave the town rudderless for too long following Oba Popoola’s demise.
Oba Adeagbo said: ‘With the Otun kingship race coming to an end, there are no losers, rather, I assure my brothers that we are winning together.’
While saying Providence has been kind to him, Oba Adeagbo promised to make use of counsel of chiefs and advisers, many of whom had served his predecessor for more than two decades, to move the town forward.
‘The celebration of this auspicious event by way of coronation which will be accompanied by pomp and pageantry will come very soon when this pandemic is finally defeated as it is bound to be,’ he stated.