By Rotimi Ojomoyela
ADO-EKITI—GOVERNOR Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, yesterday, ignored the protest and court action instituted by the 17 most prominent traditional rulers, in the State, known as the “pelupelu”, swore in the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, as the Chairman of the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers.
The 17 pelupelu Obas, called Alademerindinlogun, had gone to Court to challenge the appointment of Oba Alabi, claiming that Governor Fayemi’s action contravened the Ekiti State Chieftaincy Law which stipulated that the chairman can only be appointed among Alademerindinlogun/Pelupelu Obas.
In their deposition in the suit filed before Ekiti State High Court, the 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.
But Governor Fayemi, who spoke at Alawe’s inauguration, held at the new Governor’s office, said time has come for the monarchs to bring their powers to bear to resolve the vicious insecurity level across the nation.
Alawe, 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 Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, said the Council will be composed of 32 permanent out of the 58 members that will attend the council meeting, which would be superintended over by Alawe.
Against the expectation of many at the event, Governor Fayemi kept mum about the pending litigation in court.
He said: “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.”
In his remarks, Oba Alabi promised to be fair to all Obas regardless of statuses, urging his members to restrict themselves to giving advice to governors and not to criticise since “we are not running a labour union.”
Also, 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 Mr. Governor of our unalloyed loyalty to be able to move Ekiti forward.”