Princes in Ikere-Ekiti under the auspices of the Council of Omowas have warned Governor Kayode Fayemi against engaging in actions that could set the community ablaze.
The princes, who decried the recognition granted Odo-Oja community Ikere Ekiti as an autonomous community and its head, the Olukere as monarch, said the decision by the State Government was alien to Yoruba traditions.
The government on Friday granted Odo Oja community autonomous status and recognized the head as a monarch.
It consequently presented instrument of appointment and staff of office to the Olukere, Oba Ganiyu Obasoyin.
But the Omowas, in a statement in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday jointly signed by their chairman, Prince Samuel Ogunleye; Secretary, Prince Adesuyl Ezikiel; and Treasurer, Prince Alademomi Michael kicked against the decision.
They explained that Ogoga of Ikere Ekiti is the only traditional head of the town since the inception of the town, saying that the conversion of Olukere, a mere Chief priest title to a monarch flagrantly negate the custom and tradition of the community.
“We, the princes and princesses of Ikere origin reject the state government’s decision in its totality. We appeal to the state government to retrace its step as its pronouncement could heat up the polity.
“The Ogoga of Ikere has always been the traditional head since the beginning of Ikere history. As heirs to Ikere throne, we consider the decision of the Fayemi-led administration as robbery on our primordial right and heritage.
“The appointment of Olukere as an Oba of Odo-Oja is an absurdity and alien to Yoruba tradition which has spanned several centuries as Olukere was never a Prince” as they alleged that what happened was “conversion of a priest to a monarch” by the state government without any precedent or place in the Chieftaincy laws,” they added.
But the Olukere, Oba Obasoyin dismissed the Omowas, saying that his progenitors founded Ikere before the coming of the Ogoga of Ikere, who came into the community as a hunter.
“They are not princes in the first place. The stool of the Olukere is the first traditional stool in Ikere Ekiti because my forefathers founded this town.
“The intelligence report of this community stated it clearly that Ikere Ekiti was founded by Olukere Oloje, who was the first Olukere of Ikere Ekiti. Somehow along the line, my forefathers, by way of omission or commission accepted Ogoga here as a guest,” Oba Obasoyin said.
The monarch, who maintained the Omowas were on their own, said: “I am not a member of the Ogogas, so their Omowa has no issue here. They should be preoccupied with how to convince the world about their forefathers who were not princes but came here as hunters and were accommodated”.