December 4, 2023

Ekiti Govt restores traditional ruler, pacifies angry chiefs

Ekiti Govt restores traditional ruler, pacifies angry chiefs

The Ekiti State Government has restored Oba Damilare Olajide Gabriel to his throne on Thursday after apologising to his chiefs for the alleged abdication of his royal duties.

The embattled Obasaoye of Isaoye had been locked in battle with his chiefs in Moba Local Government Area since 2018 for allegedly trying to abrogate all traditional festivals in the community, which prompted the chiefs to angrily begin a process of deposing him and installing a successor.

The monarch, in the heat of the crisis, had abdicated the throne and stood his ground not to participate in the worship of deities on the strength of his religious belief.

The matter was resolved in Ado Ekiti on Thursday by the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs Monisade Afuye, who called a parley between the warring parties to resolve the lingering crisis.

Afuye, in a statement by her media aide, Victor Ogunje, described as inappropriate a statement allegedly attributed to Oba Gabriel at a peace meeting held on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, where he avowed not to participate personally or financially in any traditional festival.

Based on his pledge to change and partake in all traditional activities in the community, Afuye pleaded with the chiefs to allow the monarch to return, saying this remains the best way to foster peace and development in Isaoye.

She also directed the embattled monarch to sign a document that would lend credence to his readiness to support all traditional festivals based on the request of his subjects to resolve the matter permanently.

“The government will watch our Kabiyesi for six months before releasing his outstanding salaries to him. If he doesn’t cooperate with the town, then we can begin a process of deposition, but I know that things will not get to this level. Please give him a second chance.

“Monarchs are the custodians of our culture and tradition. The essence of being a monarch is to be the leader of all religions, particularly the traditional ones. You can’t be a king and work against your subjects’ wishes and interests; you must cooperate with them.

“If you are removed from this throne, it will affect your lineage. Try and mend fences by cooperating with your chiefs to celebrate your culture and tradition,” she said.

While apologising to his chiefs, the monarch promised to sign a document compiled by his chiefs, indicating his readiness to embrace tradition.

“Let me also appeal that they forgive all my past mistakes and cooperate with me to move the town forward. As a sitting Obasaoye, I have a date with history, and I don’t want anything that will affect my lineage in the future.

“I am ready to cooperate with you by fulfilling all your requests. I also thank the state government for intervening several times in this matter,” he said.

The Obaisa of Isaoye, Chief Joseph Ogidi, said the town had no issue with the monarch other than for him to rescind his decision to obliterate all traditional deities in the town.

Ogidi promised that the chiefs and the town would be ready to cooperate with the monarch if he softened his earlier hard posture and demonstrated his readiness to abide by their demands.

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