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Obaship Crisis Splits Ekiti Community

The crisis rocking Imesi-Ekiti in Gbonyin Council Area of Ekiti State has worsened, as indigenes and leaders of the community are divided over the appointment of Mr. Festus Olatunde as Onimesi-elect.

The government on May 15 ratified the appointment of Olatunde as the Onimesi of Imesi-Ekiti to fill the stool after the demise of Oba Oladimeji Adeyeye in December 2018.

The crisis had split the community, as some indigenes rejected Olatunde as Onimesi-elect. Others supported him, it was learnt. 
Addressing reporters in Ado-Ekiti, the Head of Agunsoye Ruling House, Prince Adu Fasunlade, who spoke on behalf of anti-Olatunde group, expressed dismay about his appointment, claiming that the emergence of the monarch contravened the age-long custom and tradition of the community.

He said the appointment of Olatunde at a time four suits were pending in courts over the royal tussle, negated the rule of law, describing such as ‘absolute illegality’ and ‘direct assault on judicial process’.

“It is sad that the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration could ratify the appointment of Mr. Olatunde as the next Onimesi when four suits were still pending in court. The government should have waited for their final determination and thus maintain the status-quo, but it went ahead.

“With this development, there is no doubt that the much expected respect for the rule of law is in danger in Ekiti State. I wonder why a beneficiary of judicial process was bent on strangling the rule of law,” Fasunlade said.

He accused the government of acting like a mafia in the handling of the Obaship tussle by sacking prescribed kingmakers, who are pivotal to the selection of the monarch. 
He said that the ill-motivated and ill-defined suspension of the monarch was a decoy by political gladiators in the town with vested interest to pave the way for smooth emergence of their preferred candidate against the choice of the ruling house.

Fasunlade said members of the ruling house remain resolute and owe that unwavering belief that only the courts have overriding powers “to adjudicate on any contentious issue of this nature.” 
But the suspended kingmakers of Imesi-Ekiti backed Governor Fayemi for suspending and replacing them with warrant chiefs to select the new Onimesi.

They said that the decision had saved the selection process from being stalemated, stressing that the prompt appointment of the warrant chiefs had given the seven quarters in the town a sense of belonging in the selection process.

Speaking on behalf of the kingmakers, Chiefs Joseph Ademuagun and Solomon Adegite said a sectional Onimesi would have emerged, if only four of the seven kingmakers were empowered to perform the selection.

They said that the warrant chiefs made a fair and just selection in Olatunde as Onimesi-elect, adding that he was acceptable to a larger section of the town. 

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