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Deji : Thugs disrupt rites for new monarch

*Govt, kingmakers’ meeting deadlocked

By Dayo Johnson

AKURE—THE crisis trailing the deposition of the Deji of Akureland, Oba Adepoju Adesina, has deepened as the peace meeting convened by the Ondo State Government with the aggrieved kingmakers and high chiefs ended in a deadlock.

Also, no fewer than 50 thugs yesterday disrupted a meeting of the kingmakers in the palace of the Olisa of Akureland, High Chief Folorunso David and prevented some traditional rites to be carried out as a prelude to the installation of another Deji.

Those at the meeting ran for their lives as the thugs invaded the venue, leaving only the kingmakers who later relocated to another place.
Meanwhile, the removal of the traditional ruler  has been linked to high wire politics.

But the kingmakers, who sent a letter to the governor after the deadlock with the commissioner, debunked insinuations that the monarch’s removal is political.

In the letter, signed by David, the kingmakers said: “we are solidly behind your government and our actions so far over the Deji of Akure chieftaincy are mainly traditional and to send Akure back to the path of honour, integrity and concord.

“We want to establish the image of Akure which had been dented and bastardised. So, the action taken by the Akure Council of Chiefs has no political consideration as some people are trying to allege.”

Governor Olusegun Mimiko had instructed the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Oye Alademehin, to meet with the kingmakers and find solution to the imbroglio.

Notable personalities including the leader of the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti and a  former presidential candidate, Chief Olu Falae, met with the kingmakers late on Monday.

Dependable sources at the meeting said while the kingmakers stood their grounds that the monarch deposition was final the government disagreed, saying that due process was not followed by the kingmakers.

David led other kingmakers to meet with Alademehin at 1p.m. on Monday but they failed to reach a consensus on the crisis.

Vanguard learnt that while the kingmakers were affirmative that their decision was purely traditional and had no political undertone, the government reportedly believed that the action was sponsored by politicians.

The government was quoted as saying that allowing the kingmakers’ decision would send a wrong signal to  kingmakers in other towns who could also sack their kings unilaterally.

Alademehin was said to have told the kingmakers that the deposition of a  ruler has a regulated process and that they have no power to depose him.

But the kingmakers were said to have pointedly asked the government should hands off the matter.

They were said to have told the commissioner that they would not attend any meeting again on the deposition of the Deji as “the Akure people had spoken.”

It was after the commissioner had briefed the governor on the kingmakers’ stance, that the government issued a statement declaring that the stool of the Deji of Akureland is not vacant.

The Information Commissioner, Mr.  Ranti Akerele, told Vanguard yesterday that monarch  has not been deposed, insisting that the government was on top of the situation.

He asked the warring factions in the chieftaincy squabbles not to allow themselves to be used for political vendetta.


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