Group seeks Akeredolu, Adetimehin’s intervention to avert crisis in oil-rich Ugboland
Dayo Johnson – Akure
The ticket for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ilaje/Ese-Odo House of Representatives in Ondo State is causing a rift between two royal families in the oil-rich Ugbo kingdom.
If care is not taken, the seat would result in a renewed conflict between the families of the Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Oba Fredrick Akinruntan, and the deposed Olugbo, Prince Adebanjo Mafimisebi.
Prince Abayomi Akinruntan, who is the son of the Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan, and Prince Idowu Mafimisebi, a younger brother of the deposed Olugbo, Prince Adebanjo Mafimisebi are poised to engage themselves in the imminent clash as they are ready to slug it out for the ruling party’s ticket.
The decision of the two princes to join the race, according to Vanguard’s findings was already causing palpable fear in the oil-rich community.
Political leaders in the oil-rich community opined that their ambitions may resurrect the bad blood between Oba Akinruntan and the deposed Mafimisebi and again electrify the community.
Recall that since the Supreme Court verdict which removed Prince Adebanjo Mafimisebi in 2007, there had been clashes between their supporters.
Vanguard gathered that Prince Abayomi, who is a current lawmaker, representing Ilaje constituency 1 in the Ondo State House of Assembly has the support of his father and the entire Ugbo Kingdom to seek the Green Chamber’s ticket.
However, the Prince Idowu Mafimisebi campaign’s train, Vanguard learned came as a counterforce to confront the Akinruntan dynasty.
A source alleged that Mafimisebi is being oiled by his in-law who was a former Deputy Governor of the State.
A leader of APC from Ilaje told Vanguard in confidence that “the party in the local government is now in a dilemma on how the ambitions of the princes won’t tear the party and the Kingdom apart.
According to him “the leaders of Ilaje APC are worried about the involvement of the former deputy governor of the state on who emerges as the APC candidate for Ilaje/Ese-Odo federal constituency.
“So many of us understand the frosty relationship between the former deputy governor and the Oba Akinruntan’s family.
“In fact, when he was still the Deputy Governor and whose office was in charge of Local Government and Chieftaincy affairs ministry, he attempted to remove Oba Akinruntan and return his in-law. We were told that it was Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu who warned him not to set the community on fire.
“His intention to sponsor his in-law in APC, not in his party (PDP) is to spite Oba Akinruntan and cause a political crisis in the Ilaje and APC.
“He is one of the leaders of PDP in Ondo. He has the political party power to impose his in-law Mafimisebi as the candidate of his party but financing him in APC is simply to cause confusion and war in Ilaje”
Meanwhile, a group, Ilaje Patriotic Youths Vanguard (IPYV) has called on Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and other leaders of APC, especially the State Chairman, Ade Adetimehin to prevail on the two princes, Abayomi and Idowu to withdraw from the race in order to avert war in Ilajeland.
A statement jointly signed by IPYV President, Comrade Edamisan Agbudeloye, and Secretary, Comrade Benjamin Ajimuda, said the withdrawal of Abayomi and Idowu would douse the tension that their ambitions have already generated and bring peace to the Kingdom.
The group insisted that it is high time the governor of the state calls these princes, who are members of his political party to a meeting and let them know the danger ahead if they insist to go on with their ambitions.
It warned Ilaje APC leaders to distance themselves from the princes, saying that there are other illustrious sons of the kingdom, like Hon Oyebo Aladetan, Barrister Taiwo Orisabinone, Mr Tayo Sadare, and others that can throw their weight behind
The statement reads: “These princes intend to lead us back to Eygpt but we won’t go back to Eygpt and the only way to stop this setback is by prevailing on these people to bury their ambitions so that we can have peace in Ugboland.
“The rivalry between these two royal family camps, the Akinruntan and Mafimisebi have caused a lot of retrogression in the oil-rich community.
“It is an attempt by outsiders to deny Ugbo Kingdom of its rightful place at the House of Representatives come 2023 because it is the turn of Ilaje constituency 1 to go to the Green Chamber of the National Assembly.
“Enough is enough, we are not ready to bury our wives, kids, siblings and lose our properties again due to animosity between these royal families.
The statement added “That is why we are calling on Governor Akeredolu who is the leader of APC and other leaders of the ruling party to stop Prince Abayomi Akinruntan and Prince Idowu Mafimosebi from contesting Ilaje/Ese-Odo federal constituency poll for peace to reign in our community.”