By Dupson Collins, 30th August, 2022
The Government of Ondo State has denied allegation of imposition of traditional ruler on the people of Ifira Community in Akoko South East Local Government Area Council of the state.
Addressing the Protesting youth at the Governor’s Office in Akure, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry Of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Segun Odusanya, clarified the allegation of imposition of one Mr Dare Aruwajoye by the state government, saying Governor Akeredolu has no preferred candidate on who becomes Onifira of Ifira Akoko.
Following the death of Oba Anthony Olugboja two years ago, the stool of Onifira of Ifira Akoko became vacant, untill recently when the kingmakers wrote to the government of their readiness to install a new monarch.
It could be recalled that, the youth of the agrarian community staged a peaceful protest some week ago in Ifira, showing their grievances on the choice of Mr Aruwajoye against the popular will and tradition of the town.
Mr Odusanya assured the protesterst that the government will look into their grievances and urgently do the needful. ” We are going to look into the selection process and ensure its comply with the extant law on how to select a King”.
The PS refuted the claim that Mr Governor has an overiding interest in Aruwajoye who was allegedly link to Owo, asking the people of Ifira to disregard such narrative.
He lauded the peaceful disposition of the youths, charging them to be law abiding and shun whatever that could jeopardize the peace and harmony being enjoyed in the state.
” Governor Akeredolu has no hands in selection process of Onifira; anybody that is using the governor’s name is doing so at his own risk. Arakunrin is the first governor in the state to live his office and went to the domains of traditional rulers to present them with Staff of Office”.
Speaking with the Newsmen, the protesters rejected the nomination of one Mr. Oluwadare Ariwajoye as the next monarch of the town, saying he was not an indigene of the community and alien to the royal Stool of Ifira Community.
Expressing their dissatisfaction with the selection process that was against the tradition of the community, the youths demanded urgent intervention of Governor Akeredolu to prevent future crisis in the community.
The youths noted that,Mr Aruwajoye was a total stranger to the community with no traceable record, alien to the tradition and custom, and couldn’t speak Ifira dialect.
” We cannot allow a stranger to become our King; you can’t compare politics with tradition. Selection by the kingmakers and government is just a process, what of others traditional rites? Are we going to employ interpreter that will explain our dialect to Mr Aruwajoye?
They asked Governor Akeredolu to address the injustice and abberation to the reverred Stool of Onifira. ” We have tradition and custom of how a king should be selected far from the clandestine selection that produced a stranger from Owo”.
” Mr Dare Aruwajoye is not from Ifira; we don’t know him. Aruwajoye is a chieftaincy title from Owo and if he wishes to become king, he can go somewhere else and not in Ifira.
The placards carried by the youths have different inscriptions such as, ‘We say no to Ariwajoye as king of Ifira, ‘Ifira people need a competent king’, ‘We don’t want person who doesn’t understand our dialect,’ among others.
The protesters asked Governor Akeredolu to call some of his aides using his name to lie to order, alleging that they are using the governor’s name to cause confusion and manipulate the selection process, pretending to be acting the governor’s script.
While commending Governor Akeredolu for not interfering in the affairs of who becomes king in the various towns in Ondo State since assumption in office, they requested for urgent solution that will bring peace and harmony to Ifira.
They cautioned those planning to desecrate the stool of Onifira with the imposition of Aruwajoye to desist, saying the consequences and aftermath effect might be distrastrous.