Governor of Ekiti state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Thursday swore in the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, as the chairman of the Ekiti state Council of Traditional Rulers.
Oba Alabi’s inauguration took place in spite of protestations of some senior traditional rulers in the state. The aggrieved rulers, called the 17 ‘pelupelu Obas’ or the ‘Alademerindinlogun’, had gone to court to challenge the appointment of Oba Alabi as the council chairman.
They claimed that Fayemi contravened the Ekiti state chieftaincy law which stipulated that the chairman can only be appointed among Alademerindinlogun/pelupelu Obas with his action.
In their deposition in the suit filed before the Ekiti state High Court, the aggrieved Obas claimed that the promotion of Alawe to Pelupelu status was political and that could not grant him the power to become the chairman of the traditional council.
However, the 17 aggrieved pelupelu obas boycotted the ceremony that was largely graced by first class and other kings under the aegis of ‘Majority Obas’ of Ekiti state.
Fayemi, who spoke at Alawe’s inauguration held in Ado Ekiti, Thursday, said time has come for the traditional rulers to bring their powers to bare to resolve the vicious insecurity level across the nation.
Alawe, whose appointment is being challenged in court was appointed on the 1st of August, 2019, following the expiration of the tenure of Oloye of Ote, Oye Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju on July 31.
The state governor charged the traditional rulers to maintain security and peaceful co-existence in their domains, adding that their cooperation will help in curbing anti social activities with strong partnership with government.
He said the constitution of the council became inevitable owing to the fact that the traditional rulers play pivotal roles in the stability of every community and the nation in general.
“I want to charge you to cooperate with this government and be at the forefront of the fight against anti social behaviour, because what we need to promote development is peace .
“I want you to be protectors of your people as custodians of culture and tradition in your domains. Despite modernity, you remain the rallying point and you will ever remain relevant.
“I want to appreciate the immediate past council for putting in their best in piloting the affairs of the council. I have no doubt that the new council will collaborate with government for more development in our state.
“You must ensure that you unite the traditional institution and eschew baseless rivalry. Don’t be used by fifth columnists that don’t understand that elections are over in Ekiti. Don’t also allow unnecessary communal clashes that could destabilise the state.
“Ekiti has been lucky since its creation and in this period of its history when I was appointed the chairman of governor’s forum despite that Ekiti is not the oldest state in Nigeria. Whatever we must have achieved or got in life, is an act of God, who knows the end from the beginning”, he said.
Oba Alabi promised to be fair to all Obas regardless of status. He urged his members to restrict themselves to giving advice to governors and not to criticise since “we are not running a labour union”.
He said: “We can’t afford any form of antagonism and bickering as we are not in competition with the governor. We are advisory body in line with the law that established this council. We assure the governor of our unalloyed loyalty to be able to move Ekiti forward.”
The new council chairman explained that the security challenges in the country can only be tackled with the cooperation of the Obas with the government at all levels.