Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State Government has given the kingmakers of Ipao-Ekiti in Ikole Local Government a fourteen-day ultimatum to fill the royal stool of Obanla that had been vacant for four years.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, who gave the directive at a meeting with the kingmakers in his office expressed dismay that the town had been without a traditional ruler since 2016.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, the immediate past Obanla of Ipao Ekiti, Oba Joseph Bolaji Aina, who ascended the throne in 1962 , joined his ancestors in 2016 after reigning for 54 years.
The Deputy Governor stressed that government would abide by the 1982 Ipao-Ekiti Chieftaincy Gazette which stipulated that it was the turn of the Adesogan Ruling House to produce the next Obanla.
Speaking at the meeting with kingmakers, the Deputy Governor explained that the development and progress of any town without a traditional ruler would be adversely affected hence the need to fill the stool as early as possible.
Egbeyemi said the Kayode Fayemi led- administration was desirous of promptly filling vacant stools to ensure smooth running of communities and the need to give them direction at all times.
He explained that the four surviving kingmakers formed a quorum to select a new king for the community urging them to perform the function with utmost sense of integrity and fear of God.
The Deputy Governor, however, warned that government may be compelled to appoint warrant chiefs to select a new monarch if the kingmakers fail to perform their duties within the time allowed by law.
He said: “The four available kingmakers have formed a quorum to choose a new Oba for the town and there is no reason to further delay it after four years without a king.
“We can’t deviate from what is in the gazette produced in 1982. We are giving you fourteen days to let us know your Oba-elect.”
Egbeyemi who added that government had no interest in who emerges as the next Obanla urged the kingmakers to carry the Local Government and Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs along in the selection process.
He said government would ensure that due process is followed in the selection of the new Obanla in line with the Chiefs Law and the tradition of the community.
The kingmakers who spoke one after the other promised to carry out the assignment with utmost sense of responsibility within the stipulated time.
The two other Ruling Houses are Angbesi Arojojoye and Ogungbuyi.