Festering Obaship tussles in three communities in Osun took a new turn on Tuesday.
Leaders in one of the communities, Iree, expressed support for Gov. Ademola Adeleke’s reversal of the enthronement of the traditional ruler.
The “Aree-in-Council’’, Iree Council of Elders, and the Iree Progressive Association on Tuesday declared support for the Gov. Adeleke’s decision to suspend the Aree of Iree, Oba Ademola Oluponle.
On his first day in office on Monday, Gov. Adeleke issued an Executive Order setting aside the enthronement of the Aree of Iree, the Akirun of Ikirun, and the Owa of Igbajo.
The suspension would hold pending the review of their appointments, the governor declared.
Adeleke also directed security operatives to take over the palaces of the three traditional rulers immediately.
Support for Gov. Adeleke’s decision is contained in a statement issued by the Asiwaju of Iree, Engr. Ade Afolabi and the National President of Iree Progressive Association (IPA), Engr. Oluwole Taiwo.
They stated that the governor’s decision would bring sanity to the Iree, a community in Boripe North Local Government Area of Osun.
They called on the governor to carry out proper investigation into how the Aree emerged as the traditional ruler.
They argued that Boripe North Local Development Area did not follow due process in selecting Prince Oluponle from among other contestants.
“According to custom and tradition, Iree has six kingmakers known as Afobajes (Iwarẹfa Mẹfa). Their primary assignment is to elect a new Ọba (tradition ruler) when the incumbent joins his ancestors.
“The kingmakers include the Eesa, the Ọjọmu, the Ọsọlọ, the Aogun, the Inurin and the Jagun. All these king makers, except the Eesa, are still actively alive today, but were not consulted,’’ they stated.
Signatories to the endorsement of Adeleke’s decision also stated that Iree indigenes kicked against the use of warrant chiefs in selecting the traditional ruler, contrary to custom.
“The elders observe that the use of warrant chiefs to elect an oba is alien to Iree custom and tradition.
“It is equally worrisome that the procedure of jettisoning the authentic kingmakers may likely stall the growth and development of the town,’’ they stressed.
They appealed to the governor to disregard anyone calling for the reinstatement of the Aree.
Similarly, the Olubonku Ruling House in Iree also supported and commended the governor for his decision to suspend Oba Oluponle.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Prince Ali Afolabi, the Ruling House said the decision of the governor had saved Iree from a crisis that might engulf the town following the imposition of Oba Oluponle.
He argued that before the selection of Oluponle, the kingmakers had instituted a suit at an Osun State High Court, sitting in Ikirun, asking the court to stop the immediate past administration from appointing warrant chiefs.
In another development, Pa Micheal Fajinmi, on behalf of five ruling houses in Iree, said Iree community is peaceful and orderly and urged Gov. Adeleke to allow the town to enjoy the breath of the fresh air with the new king.
He appealed to the governor to ignore politicians determined to mislead him for selfish interests on the appointment of the Aree.
He said the desire of the people of Iree was to have an oba that would preside over the affairs of the town with the fear of God and the love of the community.
He said God had provided the oba for the town with the installation of Oba Ademola Rapheal Oluponle.
Pa Fajinmi called the attention of the governor to on-going litigations at the Ikirun High Court which, he said established that no court order or process was abused as at Nov. 7, 2022 when the Aree of Iree was appointed.