The Ekiti State government has issued queries to some prominent traditional rulers (Obas) in the state to explain why they should not be punished for “acts of insubordination.”
The monarchs were alleged to have stopped attending government functions and Traditional Council meetings in the state since the Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, became Chairman of the Council of Traditional Rulers about eight months ago.
The queries, dated March 11, 2020 and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr A. O. Adeoye, were addressed to the Obas individually.
The government has asked the rulers to respond to the queries within 72 hours.
“Your conspicuous absence at the Council meetings and State official functions, without any excuse or justification, is considered inimical to the proper administration of the chieftaincy institution you represent,” the queries stated.
It would be recalled that 16 Ekiti Obas, called the ‘Pelupelu/Alademerindinlogun’, had challenged Governor Kayode Fayemi’s action in court when he appointed the Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, as Chairman of the Council of Obas in the state.
The Obas rejected the governor’s appointment, saying the Alawe-Ekiti was not one of them.
The rulers had gone ahead to sue the state government last year over the action and had since allegedly boycotted all State functions and Traditional Council meetings.
The petitioners, in the suit number HAD/76/2019 filed before an Ado-Ekiti High Court, are seeking nullification of the appointment, saying the governor’s action of “picking someone outside the 16 Obas” as Chairman was “a violation of the Ekiti State Chieftaincy Law.”
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode, however, said that contrary to insinuations, the query was “merely an administrative matter, which is neither contentious nor confrontational”, adding, “it is definitely not a ploy or plan to remove any Oba from office.”
Oyebode said the query affected “only about 11 Obas whose absence could not be explained, and not the 16 ‘Pelupelu’ rulers, as erroneously reported.”
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