Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has presented the staff of office and instrument of appointment to the new Olorin of Orin Ekiti, Oba Olufemi Adeniran Ajibewa.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony on Tuesday held at the Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, Ado-Ekiti in line with COVID-19 protocols, Fayemi urged Oba Ajibewa to see his new position as a call to duty to serve his people and move the town forward.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, the Governor described the throne as a sensitive position that calls for considerable wisdom, diligence, sacrifice, initiative and perseverance.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, the Olorin stool became vacant on 10th February 2015 following the demise of the last monarch, Oba Oluwole Olubunmo, who reigned for 20 years.
Oba Ajibewa’s appointment as the Olorin was approved by the State Executive Council on 11th June, 2020, after satisfying all conditions to ascend the throne.
The Governor who commended the stakeholders for their cooperation which led to Oba Ajibewa’s selection after five years without a king in the community urged them to allow peace to reign and cooperate with their traditional ruler for Orin’s accelerated development.
Fayemi further hailed Orin indigenes for maintaining and sustaining the needed peace and their display of maturity and decorum during the delay in filling the vacant stool after the transition of the late Oba Olubunmo.
The Governor promised to always accord the traditional institution with respect describing it as agents of grassroots development hence the desire of his administration to always fill vacant stools promptly
He said: “Let me use this opportunity to reiterate this administration’s respect for the traditional institution in Ekiti State. The institution is a revered one and our government will continue to accord it the deserved respect.
“We are not unmindful of the vital roles being played by our royal fathers. It is the realisation of this that our administration has been ensuring the filling of vacant stools in accordance with the extant rules and regulations.”
The Chairman of Ido/Osi Local Government, Mr. Ayodimeji Adeola, expressed satisfaction with the filling of the Olorin stool by the Fayemi administration after it had been vacant for over five years.
Adeola urged the people of Orin to shun any act that can cause unrest and civil disobedience appealing to those aggrieved with the emergence of Ajibewa to bury the hatchet and cooperate with the new Oba to move the community forward.
The Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Adeniyi Familoni, explained that the bureau supervised over a transparent exercise which led to the choice of the new monarch after an initial delay occasioned by misgivings on the applicable chieftaincy declaration by some critical stakeholders.
He disclosed that the Fayemi administration had coronated eleven new traditional rulers in 2020 alone commending its resolve to always fill vacant stools as soon as possible in compliance with the Chiefs Law.
In his acceptance speech, Oba Ajibewa, who was flanked by his wife, Olori Oluwayemisi, commended the Governor, the Deputy Governor and the State Executive Council for upholding the truth throughout the process of his selection as the Olorin.
He appealed to the state government to consider upgrading the stool of the Olorin of Orin Ekiti from Grade C to Grade B Oba which he described as long overdue.
Oba Ajibewa noted that he had accepted the noble call to serve pledging to be fair and just to everyone and to work with all Orin indigenes to ensure that outstanding successes are achieved and the lost glory of the community recovered.
The traditional ruler identified peace, progress and unity as his watchword during his reign to stimulate patriotism, prosperity and undisputable achievements.
According to Oba Ajibewa, his intention is to bring touch of modernity, international exposure and dynamic mind to bear on the throne promising to make his palace “a market of ideas” where every indigene can contribute to its development.
The monarch hailed the Fayemi administration for developing the Orin Farm Settlement and engagement of foreign investors to make the centre a major hub for agribusiness and job creation for the youths.
The royal father also lauded the Governor for recently appointing a daughter of the community, Dr Adebimpe Aderiye, as the Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology describing the developments as signs of greater things to come.
Oba Ajibewa who said his town is endowed with mineral resources that can be harnessed to boost the economy of the state also urged the state government to link Orin with Isan to further open up the axis for development.