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Ekiti Govt rejects deposition of traditional chief by monarch

The Ekiti State Government, on Tuesday rejected the deposition of a kingmaker and Oisajigan of Ejigan Quarters in Efon Alaaye, Efon Local Government Area, Chief Kehinde Oladapo, by the Alaaye of Efon and paramount ruler of the kingdom, Oba Emmanuel Aladejare.

The government made its position known while presiding over a complaint lodged by Oladapo over his removal by Alaaye over irreconcilable differences without following due process.

However, in the letter written by Alaaye rationalizing his action, the monarch accused the chief of disrespect by dressing in beaded crowns and other royal regalia, and also abdicating his duties in the palace, which he said were acts of insubordination.

Presiding over the matter, the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, asked the monarch to comply with the government’s position and reverse the chief’s removal in the interest of peace.

Afuye, in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Victor Ogunje, told Oladapo to comply with the government directive that no chief should wear beaded crowns, caps and other traditional insignia exclusively reserved for royalty.

“The Ekiti State Chiefs Law is very clear and unambiguous, if you want to remove any traditional ruler or chief, the government that appointed him must be aware. Nobody can remove any traditional chief without the government knowing about it.

“On this basis, we reject the action and plead with Kabiyesi Alaaye to reverse it and reabsorb the chief back to his cabinet in the interest of peace. The chief had even displayed enough penitence by sending emissaries to Alaaye to plead on his behalf.

“Nobody can just depose a king or chief without consulting the government. It is the government that can ratify this. Again, Governor Biodun Oyebanji wants peace in all the towns in Ekiti,” the deputy governor said.

Warning traditional chiefs against adorning themselves with beaded crowns and other royal fabrics, Afuye noted that the government has not granted the autonomy requested by Ejigan Quarters and stressed that they should continue to be under the full control of Alaaye pending the time the request will be approved.

Lending credence to the position canvassed by Afuye, the Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Home Affairs, Ojo Atibioke, said the request for autonomy by Ejigan Quarters does not connote that the chief should be disrespect the paramount ruler .

Atibioke appealed to Alaaye to pardon the chief as part of the fence-mending measures, adding that government must also be notified before disciplinary action in the form of deposition can be taken against any traditional chief.

“Before any deposition can take place, they ought to set up a committee to try the chief and notify the government before he could be deposed.

“He is not just a chief, but a kingmaker. On this basis, the government rejects the deposition,” he said.

Speaking about Oba Aladejare’s absence at the parley, the commissioner expressed annoyance at the manner some traditional rulers willfully turn down government’s summons for a peace initiatives on chieftaincy matters, describing such conduct as a show of disrespect to the state government.

“When we invited any town or monarch for a peace meeting, it is the government that does that.

“We want our monarchs to understand this. We don’t like the idea of monarchs turning down government’s summons; this must stop.

“We won’t tolerate it any longer.”

In his defence, the Asao of Efon Alaaye, Chief Adewale Dada, who represented Oba Aladejare, said the deposition of the chief was based on his unruly attitude towards the monarch.

The monarch promised to mend fences with the chief as long as he displays readiness to respect tradition and live up to his responsibilities in the town.

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