Osun, APC Bicker Over New monarchs 

Ademola Adeleke, Governor of Osun State
Ademola Adeleke, Governor of Osun State Google

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Osun State government clashed on Saturday over the appointment of new monarchs for Iree and Igbajo communities.

In a statement by its chairman, Tajudeen Lawal, the APC accused Governor Ademola Adeleke of increasing tensions in Igbajo and Iree by interfering with the selection of legally installed monarchs in the two towns.

A white paper released by the Ademola Adeleke administration, following an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the installation of monarchs appointed by the immediate past governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, declared vacant the stools of Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo, calling for a fresh selection process.

The party alleged that when Adeleke’s administration faced resistance from the kingmakers of Igbajo to conduct a re-selection for another Owa of Igbajo, five non-indigenes of the town were recruited on Friday and immediately appointed as warrant chiefs.

These individuals, the party claimed, posed as kingmakers at the Multi-purpose Conference Hall of the Local Government Service Commission, State Secretariat, Abere, Osun State, to elect a new Owa of Igbajo.

At the conclusion of the re-selection exercise, Prince (Dr) Ademola Makinde, believed to be an associate of the Adelekes, was chosen as the new Owa of Igbajo, according to the APC.

The statement emphasized the continued recognition of Oba Phillips Adegboyega Famodun as the Owa of Igbajoland, legally installed and bestowed with a staff of office after completing the necessary traditional rites. It stated that the traditional stakeholders in the town had asserted that performing another series of traditional rites for another person while the substantive monarch is alive would be taboo.

The APC urged the people of Igbajo to refrain from taking laws into their own hands and to trust in the rule of law and divine intervention to resolve the situation peacefully.

Regarding the controversies surrounding the Aree of Iree stool, the APC warned against Governor Ademola Adeleke's actions, urging him not to incite crises in Igbajo and Iree.

Osun govt reacts

In response, Osun State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi, asserted that the appointments made by the Adeleke administration adhered to tradition and chieftaincy laws.

Regarding the Aree of Iree stool, Alimi explained that the government discovered the previous administration intentionally circumvented the town’s kingmakers and utilized warrant chiefs to select and approve the Aree.

The statement elaborated, “The White Paper indicated that a fresh selection process would occur in Igbajo to allow all eligible princes from the Owa Oke Odo Ruling House to participate in a fair and equitable selection in accordance with Igbajo's customs and traditions.

“As a result, a fresh selection process commenced, with all interested princes from the eligible ruling house taking part.

“When it became necessary for the Igbajo Kingmakers to convene their selection meeting to appoint an Owa-elect, five out of the six recognized Kingmakers by the Owa of Igbajo Chieftaincy Declaration deliberately abstained from doing so.

“After repeatedly declining invitations to attend meetings organized by the Local Council, the government invoked Section 17 of the Chiefs Law of Osun State, which allows for the revocation of any delegated function and the appointment of other individuals to perform such a function.

“Consequently, warrant kingmakers appointed in accordance with the law executed their duty and selected an Owa of Igbajo-elect, whose appointment awaits ratification by the State Executive Council.

“We affirm that, as a government, we acted within legal and traditional parameters, as well as in the best interest of the affected townspeople.”

Adeleke sacks monarchs

In November 2022, Adeleke issued an executive order directing security agents to assume control of the palaces of the Owa of Igbajo, Aree of Iree, and Akinrun of Ikirun.

This directive was among the executive orders signed by the governor and sparked a wave of protests and controversies.

However, in January 2024, the state government ordered a fresh selection process to fill the stools of the Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo after nullifying the initial processes.

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