BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
Kingmakers and traditional Chiefs of Iree town, Boripe Local Government Area of Osun State have accused the state Commissioner of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Bayo Adeleke of imposing a new monarch on the town.
They said, as against the norm, they were not allowed to be part of the election of a 49-year-old Prince Raphael Ademola who was announced on Friday as the newly elected 16th Aree of Iree in Osun State, adding that Adeleke co-opted some of his fellow politicians to elect Ademola.
The new Aree, who hails from the Oyekun Ruling House, was reportedly elected by Warrant Chiefs at a meeting supervised by some officials of the Boripe North Local Council Development Authority, Iree.
He succeeded Oba Jimoh Olayonu who passed on July 8, 2018.
Meanwhile, kingmakers in Iree have rejected the process that produced the new monarch, accusing Adeleke and the chairman of the local council simply identified as Bamigbesin of imposing their preferred candidate, whom they said is a member of the All Progressives Congress.
It was gathered that 11 aspirants were asked to pay N500, 000.00 to the Boripe Local Government while N150, 000 was paid by the aspirants each to Osun State Government with each paying for three years tax clearances.
One of the kingmakers in the town, the Aogun of Iree, Saliu Atoyebi, who addressed journalists on behalf of other five kingmakers said: “They have not elected any king in Iree as far as we are concerned. What they should do is bring the contestants who are Princes to us (kingmakers) from the four ruling houses… for us to consult the oracle.
“All these were not done. What they claimed they did was not the proper process by which the Aree of Iree would emerge. On 24th of October 2022, the government brought a notice to us indicating that they wanted to appoint Iyalode as a warrant chief as a result of the death of one of the kingmakers, which we rejected vehemently because a woman cannot be part of the kingmakers.
“Afterwards, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Bayo Adeleke, summoned a meeting at the palace where he threatened all of us and promised to return on October 28th to force us to do his bidding. We recorded his threat against us; hence we have to go into hiding.”
Also speaking on behalf of the Aree-in-Council, counsel to the Chiefs and kingmakers, Folorunso Apantaku, said Adeleke and Bamigbesin installed their preferred candidate despite that the Aree stool is still under litigation at the High Court of Osun State, adding that the kingmakers would further approach the court for another suit to nullify the purported election of the monarch.
“The principle of law is so clear that when a matter is pending before a court, status quo ante must be maintained. So, despite the service of those processes to the Commissioner for Local Government, Attorney General of Osun State, and the Local Government, they ought not to have taken any step at all in the selection process.
“Then, selection of a king is only the responsibility of the kingmakers and not the civil servants or government officials. What has happened in Iree is abnormal. We will approach the court to set aside every exercise they have done to be null and void,” he said.
When contacted, Adeleke said the kingmakers abdicated their duties, adding that the appointment of the warrant chiefs became necessary since it was within the government’s power to act when faced with such a circumstance.