By Dayo Johnson
CRISIS seems to be brewing in the riverine Arogbo- Ijaw, in Ese-Odo area of Ondo State over the plan to install a new monarch for the community, 11 years after the demise of its traditional ruler.
Reports had it that some indigenes of the community have elected Chief Zacchaeus Doubra Egbunnu as Agadagba-elect to replace Pere D. M. E. Eperetun, who died in 2007.
However, the Perebiri Ruling House of Arogbo has asked the state government to halt the installation of the monarch as there were cases over the authentic name of the Ruling House.
Secretary of the ruling house, Ronland Oriamaja, while addressing newsmen in Akure, disowned Egbunnu as the Agadagba-elect.
Oriamaja called on the Ese-Odo Local Government and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to prevail on some agents of the state government not to pervert justice in the kingship process of the community.
He disclosed that the stool had been subjected to a series of litigations, which some were still pending in court, while the Peribi House was a ‘judgement creditor’ in Suit No: HOK/1M/2009.
Oriamaja alleged that some persons were making efforts to subvert the Chieftaincy Law and order of succession to the throne by creating Perebiyenmo Ruling House, which he said, was a contravention of the customs and traditions of the community.
The Secretary lamented that the Ese-Odo LGA and some influential persons disregarded the judicial process by electing Egbunnu as Agadagba-elect at a meeting last Saturday, and to be crowned within 14 days.
“Some mischief makers in and outside government, for selfish reasons, are misinforming the government and using the cloak of government to brew crisis in Arogbo Ibe on the subject of the Agadagba of Arogbo Chieftaincy.”
He disclosed that armed security personnel, including soldiers and naval officers, were deployed to the community allegedly by Chief Bibopere Ajube, whose cronies and allies supported Egbunnu.
He said it did not make sense that Mr. Donald Ojogo, the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, “who is not the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs attended the meeting and purported election as a representative of the state government.
“It is manifest that he is collaborating with Chief Bibopere Ajube to set Arogbo Ibe on fire over the Agadagba vacant stool,” he said, describing it “as an affront on the judicial process and is condemned in strong terms.”
The Perebiri Ruling House emphasized that pending the outcome of the matter in court, its members would continue to be law-abiding citizens, saying “we won’t fight; whosoever it favours, we will support. We are all brothers.”
The indigenes implored Governor Akeredolu to “call to order all the agents of government and their cronies in order to avoid a breakdown of law and order over an attempt to impose Chief Doubra Egbunnu as Agadagba-elect.”
Govt dispells rumours
In his reaction, the Commissioner for Lands, Donald Ojogo, dispelled the allegations against the government and its functionaries, saying the emergence of Egbunnu as the Agadagba-elect was in accordance with the Chieftaincy Law and tradition of the community.
Ojogo said: “The government followed due process. When government follows due process to do anything, there is bound to be aggrieved persons. Those people making these allegations are only trying to raise eyebrows where there is no issue.”
He acknowledged the fact that he was present during the meeting where a new Agadagba-elect was picked, but stressed that he “didn’t go there as a Commissioner. I went there as a member of the ruling house.