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Why I wrote Fayemi over Ekiti obas – Alaafin of Oyo


The Alaafin of Oyo has revealed why he wrote a letter to the Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, on the Pelu Pelu Obas, charging traditional rulers to henceforth come together and identify with one another in order to protect the traditional institution as contained in their oath during installation rites.

Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi declared that Yoruba culture, especially the Pelupelu that grades traditional rulers in Ekiti State, is too deeply entrenched to be undermined. He said he would not be silent when faced with anything that threatens Yoruba culture and tradition.

He said his letter to the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, was in accordance with his principle to always enlighten government and public office holders on the essence of Yoruba cultural heritage which every ruler is traditionally assigned to defend.

“I considered that letter as a sacred responsibility, based on my status in Yorubaland. The history is there to verify leadership role which the Alaafin had always played in Yorubaland. One of those roles is explained in the letter to the governor, reminding him of the Kiriji War which the Alaafin facilitated to end in 1886.

“This matter is not about ego or playing to the gallery. It is about facts which are well documented by the colonial government in charge of administration then,” he said.

Oba Adeyemi added that he was excited at the responses by those traditional rulers he consulted before he put his pen to paper, saying that the unanimous nod he received from them was indicative of their position on the action of the governor on 16 crowned kings in the state.

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WuzupNigeria reports that Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III had in a letter dated March 12, 2020 warned Fayemi against treating the traditional institution in Yorubaland with levity.

Alaafin said unlike in some tribes, where there was nothing attached to their traditional institutions, the Yoruba traditional institution was “ancestral and spiritual.”

The monarch stated this in a letter to the state governor dated March 12, 2020, following a query issued by Fayemi to some prominent traditional rulers in the state over alleged insubordination.

Fayemi, in the query issued individually to the affected traditional rulers by the Bureau on Chieftaincy Affairs dated March 11, gave the monarchs 72 hours within which to reply.

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The query, which was entitled, “Re: Absence from State Functions and Council of Traditional Rulers’ Monthly Meetings,” was signed by A.O. Adeoye on behalf of the Permanent Secretary of the bureau.

However, in a letter reacting to the query, the Alaafin said he wrote on behalf of other prominent traditional rulers in Yorubaland, including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona; and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Gbadebo Adedotun.

The letter read in part,

“Since the case is still in court, we will not want to comment further on it as law-abiding citizens. I, however, would have expected that Your Excellency waits till the end of the court process before acting on the matter.

“It is in this note that I, along with my fellow traditional rulers across Yorubaland feel very sad that Your Excellency issued a query to the 16 Ekiti crowned respected traditional rulers of high esteem in Yorubaland 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 subjudice.

“To some races, nothing outside the mundane is attached to their traditional institution. Whereas, that of Yoruba is beyond the mundane as it is also ancestral and spiritual. The Yoruba oba is the representative of the ancestors, the real owner of the land or ground.

“It is on this basis that we will advise against any attempt to treat traditional institution in Yorubaland with levity and to avoid any attempt of importing any subculture of traditional degradation into Yorubaland.

“It is ironic that while the predecessors in office and ancestors of these 16 crowned obas and their subjects displayed uncommon patriotism, courage and commitment to confront the intimidating military prowess of Ibadan Army for 16 years (1870-1886), 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.”

When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to Fayemi, Mr Yinka Oyebode, said he was not sure if the governor had received the letter.

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