Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Consequent upon the approval of the appointment of Prince Adeniyi Adeola Ajakaye as the new Oluyin, the Ekiti State Government has appealed to the people of Iyin Ekiti to toe the line of peace and work for the development of the town.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, who made the appeal at a meeting he held with the contestants and kingmakers, urges all interest groups in the kingship race to come together in the interest of the town.
The peace meeting was summoned following petitions by some aggrieved contestants against the election of the new monarch conducted on July 23 and supervised by the officials of Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government and Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, Ajakaye’s appointment was approved by the State Executive Council at its 17th meeting of the year held virtually on Wednesday, September 2 under the chairmanship of Governor Kayode Fayemi.
The Deputy Governor, in a bid to establish the truth, at the peace meeting asked the kingmakers to indicate the candidates each of them voted for in the July 23 election to choose the new Oluyin.
Egbeyemi said he took the action to clear the air and lay all doubts to rest and for each contestant to know that government did not influence the election of the new Oluyin.
While six (6) of them indicated that they voted for Ajakaye who emerged winner, three (3) of them voted for Prince Rotimi Owolabi and the remaining three (3) voted for Prof Emmanuel Falodun.
The kingmakers led by the Odofinyin of Iyin-Ekiti, Chief Ayodeji Esan, affirmed that they were not influenced from any quarter in voting for the candidates of their choice as they freely exercised their will in the best interest of their community.
A total number of eight contestants vied for the Oluyin stool with twelve kingmakers and warrant chiefs participating in the election.
The Deputy Governor stressed that the kingmakers voted for candidates of their choice according to their conscience before arriving at the choice of the new Oluyin.
He called on the Iyin people not to allow the choice of a new traditional ruler to divide them urging the contestants who lost in the process to accept the result in good faith as the kingmakers had exercised their rights and power by voting for candidates of their choice.
The Deputy Governor said all the contestants were worthy of becoming the Oluyin describing them as achievers in their various fields of endeavour who showed interest in serving their community but pointed out that only one of them could emerge as the occupant of the throne.
Egbeyemi urged the winner to be magnanimous in victory and to those who lost out to allow the interest of their community to be paramount and seek for ways to join hands together to develop their place of birth.
The Deputy Governor said the state government was desirous of ensuring peace in Iyin Ekiti throughout the period of the selection process to engender the development of the town.
Egbeyemi noted that he was not surprised that the process was competitive which he attributed to the status the Oluyin stool confers on the occupant.
He congratulated the kingmakers for freely voting for candidates of their choice noting that government was satisfied that the process did not lead to breakdown of law and order.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Adeniyi Familoni, had briefed the stakeholders on the matter noting that the Deputy Governor called the meeting to clear the air on the issues raised in the petition.