Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the alaafin of Oyo has asked Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti state, to tread softly in his handling of the leadership crisis rocking the state traditional council.
The governor had issued warning letters to 11 first-class traditional rulers over alleged non-cooperation with government and leadership of the traditional council.
The monarchs had boycotted state functions and monthly meetings of the state council of traditional rulers after Fayemi appointed Ajibade Alabi, alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, as chairman of the state traditional rulers council. The first-class monarchs were said to be displeased with the way the governor appointed a subordinate king to lead them and headed to the court to challenge the appointment.
However, in a letter dated March 12, alaafin described the development as a sad one and warned the governor against treating the traditional institution with levity.
“Let me start by saying that the sacrosanct of the Pelupelu that grades the sixteen crowned obas in Ekiti land is not in doubt. Suffice to say Your Excellency that in any human society and more so in Yoruba Land, order of hierarchy and seniority are of vital consideration in position placement,” the alaafin said.
“From time immemorial, Obaship leadership in Ekiti Land had been within the sixteen Obas without any dispute or quarrel among them and indeed to the admiration of other Yoruba kingdoms.
“It was therefore with total displeasure and indeed total discomfort that we learnt of Your Excellency’s neglect of the hierarchical order by appointing a subordinate Oba as the Chairman of the Council of Obas and Chiefs in the State over and above the recognized order.
“It is in this note that I along with my fellow Traditional Rulers across Yoruba Land feel very sad that Your Excellency issued a query to the sixteen Ekiti Crowned respected Traditional Rulers of high esteem in Yoruba Land for not bowing their heads to their subordinate by not attending the council meeting under their subordinate. That exercise and without mincing words is to say the least sub judice.
“It is on this basis that we will advise against any attempt to treat traditional institution in Yoruba Land with levity and to avoid any attempt of importing any subculture of traditional degradation into Yoruba Land. Your Excellency as one of the beneficiaries of the legacy bequeathed by these Kings of Yoruba history is now embarking on an exercise that will rubbish the contributions of your ancestors.
“Finally, as fathers, we should like to advise Your Excellency to tread softly any relationship with traditional institution in the name of Oduduwa and our other ancestors in Yoruba Land. Let us employ diplomacy to settle this issue. We have the mechanism of conflict resolution in ways of our ancestors.”
The disagreement with Ekiti monarchs comes after Abdullahi Ganduje, Fayemi’s counterpart in Kano, dethroned Muhammadu Sanusi as emir.
Ganduje’s action has attracted widespread criticisms.