By Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has presented the staff of office to a 32-year-old doctoral student, Oba Ayodeji Williams Adesoye, as the new Elepe of Epe Ekiti, in Ijero Local Government.
The Governor while presenting the young monarch with the Staff of Office and Certificate of Appointment urged him to see his ascension as a call to service and an opportunity to make a difference in the life of his people.
Fayemi who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, said he was confident that the new Elepe possessed the necessary experience required to steer the ship of the town and attract more development to it.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, the throne of the Elepe became vacant following the demise of the last occupant, Oba Emmanuel Agbeleoba on 30th November, 2018.
The new Oba who emerged as the 15th Elepe is also a journalist and a lecturer, at present studying for his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Ibadan.
The Governor explained that the process to fill the stool commenced on 24th June, 2019 when the Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs directed the next Ruling House to commence the selection process in line with the Chiefs Law of Ekiti State.
Fayemi disclosed that the selection of Oba Adesoye was in line with the provisions of Paragraph 1, Section 8 of the Ekiti State Chiefs Law 2012 stressing that the process was completely devoid of any colouration or manipulation.
The Governor reiterated that his administration had no special interest in any particular candidate that vied for the royal seat saying merit, transparency, fairness and due diligence were the factors that led to the emergence of the new king.
While expressing satisfaction with the peaceful selection process, Fayemi enjoined the new royal father to tread the path of reconciliation with co-contestants for the stool and extend a hand of fellowship to them.
Fayemi also called on the indigenes of Epe Ekiti to cooperate with their new Oba saying that “experience has shown that no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere of rancour and acrimony.”
Wishing the monarch a peaceful reign, Fayemi said: “It is my prayer that God will grant you the required wisdom, courage and good health to lead the people of Epe Ekiti aright.
“Your Royal Majesty, you have today been permanently conferred to be custodian of the tradition of Epe people. You must accommodate, ensure, persevere, tolerant and diligent in your day-to-day administration of your people.
“May your ancestors guide you so that your reign can usher in monumental social, economic and industrial progress as well as unprecedented peace in your domain.”
The Chairman, Ijero Local Government, Mr. Ropo Ige, said the process that led to the selection and appointment of the monarch was generally accepted by sons and daughters of Epe Ekiti.
Ige stressed that the prevailing peaceful atmosphere in the town must be maintained while the bond of friendship with other neighbouring communities in the local government area must be maintained.
In his acceptance speech, Oba Adesoye said he accepted the staff of office with utmost sense of fulfillment and responsibility to open a new chapter in the history of his kingdom.
He said: “Today is an important history making in the life of Epe Ekiti, the land and its people. It is a day long-awaited, and its realisation comes as a benevolence from God through the government of our state.
“As such, it completes my launch into the full administration of our community. It is therefore an overstatement that the occasion we here witness marks a new day and a new turn in the history of our land.”
The traditional ruler promised to always be in synergy with relevant stakeholders in ensuring the peace, stability, growth and development of Epe Ekiti.
He restated his determination to reach up on the scale continually, as an example of contemporary and future-bound leadership, yet with a consciousness of history, traditional and custom.
Oba Adesoye appealed to the state government to rehabilitate the road linking Ijero, Epe, Araromi and Iropora which is in a deplorable condition regretting that its state has hampered commercial and farming activities.
Other roads linking his domain with other communities which required attention, according to the monarch, include Epe-Osi Road and Epe-Ara Road to promote grassroots trade.
The ceremony was witnessed by the Owa Ajero of Ijero Ekiti and Chairman of Ijero Local Government Traditional Council, Oba Joseph Adebayo Adewole; some Epe Ekiti chiefs and family members of the new monarch.