Ekiti community protests against monarch’s alleged dictatorship
• Urges Fayemi to depose him • They are blackmailers, says rule
Resident of Iloro-Ekiti in Ijero Local Council of Ekiti State yesterday protested against the monarch, Oba Femi Olugbesoye, over alleged abuse of office and highhandedness. They appealed to Governor Kayode Fayemi to depose him and replace him with another prince who would be the choice of the town, adding that the new candidate must respect tradition and his subjects.
The protesters, mostly youths and women, accused the monarch of sponsoring thugs to beat up and harass those opposed to his installation as a king.They marched round the town with traditional stick called Apasa, which was regarded as a taboo and against tradition for any monarch to witness such a parade.
Addressing journalists during the protest, the Aro of Iloro kingdom, Chief Samuel Agbaje, accused the government of imposing Olugbesoye in a Gestapo manner despite being rejected by Ifa divination and the entire town last year September.He said that since the Obaship tussle began, the embattled king had been baring his fang on those that resisted his installation on the basis that it was an act of imposition and abrasion of the tradition.
Agbaje alleged that some gun-wielding thugs had last week attacked his house and the homes of Adelerin Abioye, Chief Ayo Joseph Osasoke, Chief Michael Ogundele and the head of women wing, Chief Alice Eegunjobi, with intention to banish them from the town.He said: “Oba Olugbesoye was not the choice of the town. He was imposed on us from outside which was alien to our tradition and we won’t accept it.
“When the late Oba Olu Arowolo was installed 50 years ago when there was no modernity and democracy, the process was democratic. People made their own choice. The whole town was involved. If that could happen at that time, why should this happen now? Few people came from outside to install him.“ There must be a review of his kingship. It has not reached the stage when we will go to court because we believe the government will address the issue properly, but if it fails, we will go to court.
Oba Olugbesoye, while responding, said the protesters were only engaging in senseless blackmail, dispelling the allegation that he was imposed by interlopers. He said that it was the turn of his dynasty to fill the vacant stool left by the departed Oluloro, Oba Olu Arowolo.
The monarch said it was the opponents that were heating up the polity by shunning every meeting convened by the police and government to resolve the logjam.Appealing to his opponents to embrace peace and co-operate with him, Oba Olugbesoye said: “They were the ones causing trouble. They cut the trees in the town just to put me at risk of death because that can only be done for a dead king. It is the turn of my house to produce the king. Mr. Olu Aje that they presented belongs to another dynasty.
“All those who contested against me had embraced my kingship. They have been doing all manners of abominable things and I appeal to them to work for the peace of the town because I will be the last person to sponsor thugs to attack any of my subjects.”