The suspended kingmakers of Orin Ekiti in Ido/Osi local government area of Ekiti state have threatened to take legal action against Governor Kayode Fayemi, if their suspension is not reversed.
The kingmakers said their suspension leading to the appointment of warrant chiefs saddled with the task of selecting a new Olorin, is a desecration of tradition of the town.
The selection of a new Olorin has been dogged with crisis caused by the insistence of a section of the town and chiefs that the town has only two ruling houses, Olubunmo and Famokiti and rejected the third one called Ajibewa created by government.
The suspended chiefs passed a vote of no confidence in the appointed warrant chiefs, describing them as political tools coming to destabilise the town.
The position became vacant following the demise of Oba Oluwole Olubunmo, in 2015.
Addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti Monday, the Onikare of Orin Ekiti, Chief Bamidele Fasuyi and Eletin, Chief Francis Falua , alleged that the chiefs heard about their suspension on radio, which they described as Illegal, null and void in the face of the law.
Chief Fasuyi, who spoke on behalf of the chiefs, accused the government of acting like a “mafia” in the handling of the Obaship tussle in the town, by allegedly sidelining those that matter and pivotal to the selection of Oba.
“Soldiers and policemen just invaded our town, particularly the palace and Apelua hall where we revere as sacred places. They forcefully went there and took away some of the paraphernalia relating to installation of Oba in Orin.
“In fact, just take a look at the caliber of warrant chiefs they brought, they were riff-raffs and nonentities.
“At the demise of Olorin in 2015, the local government wrote to us and requested that we select someone from Ajibewa ruling house, basing it on a gazette generated in 1998 under Navy Capt. Atanda Yusuf.
“But we replied on behalf of the town that the town only knew of Olubunmo and Famokiti royal dynasties and that Ajibewa was a product of illegality. The gazette they relied on was a fake.
“The government should leave Orin alone. The Morgan commission of enquiry of 1978 established two ruling houses , so we didn’t know where they got the 1998 gazette that overrode the Morgan report.
“We want our suspension reversed with immediate effect and if they fail to act accordingly, we will have no option than to go to court to seek redress”, he said.
Fasuyi urged the government to make public, the recommendations of the Justice Jide Aladejana Judicial Commission of enquiry on chieftaincy issues that warranted the present action and stop being partisan by releasing to only Ajibewa group.
Chief Fasuyi on behalf of the Orin people described the concocted white paper generated in 1998 as a product of illegality.
But the commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Professor Adio Folayan, justified the action taken by government, saying the chiefs were suspended upon realising that they were not passionate about the selection process.
“The government had no vested interest in who becomes the Oba. But we have to act in public interest because there must not be any vacuum in the Obaship stool after five years.
“The chieftaincy law permits us and gives the powers to government to appoint warrant chiefs and we acted within that powers,” he said.