The conflict surrounding the Obaship crisis in Ijare, Ifedore Council Area of Ondo State, escalated yesterday as stakeholders accused Mr. Alex Oladimeji, the council Chairman, of imposing a monarch on the community against their wishes.
The Olujare of Ijare throne became vacant two years ago following the passing of Oba Adebamigbe Oluwagbemigun.
The selection process for a new monarch became complicated due to legal disputes arising from the exclusion of certain candidates, including Prince Kola Oyewole.
In a statement, Elder Ojo Bamidele, representing some Ijare indigenes, alleged that the council Chairman, Mr. Oladimeji, favored his cousin as one of the candidates.
Bamidele stated, “The Sejeokun Ruling House members were united throughout the selection process until certain individuals attempted to exclude candidates, leading to litigation.”
The concerned indigenes, however, cleared the Ondo State government of any involvement in the chieftaincy dispute.
According to the statement, “The selection of four out of the 13 candidates for Olujare, initially presented to the kingmakers (Afobajes), was an arbitrary decision aimed at unlawfully excluding candidates who posed a threat to the preferred candidates of certain influential individuals.”
“It is worth noting that the aggrieved members of the Sejeokun Ruling House, specifically the Olukekere/Osunpamisi descendants, have taken legal action to challenge the illegal suspension of Chief Aarinmo, the unjust exclusion of Prince Kola Oyewole, and the baseless narratives seeking to sever the strong ties between the Olukekere/Osunpamisi lineage and the Olujare throne.”
“Traditionally, the responsibility of choosing the Olujare rests with the kingmakers, and the leader of the esteemed Chiefs has refrained from engaging in any illegal activities by considering only the four selected candidates, taking into account the letters of complaint and court processes contesting the legitimacy of the selection.”
“We want to unequivocally state that the government of Ondo State has distanced itself from any attempts to legitimize illegality, contrary to what Mr. Alex Oladimeji, the Chairman of Ifedore Local Government, who is prejudiced towards one of the candidates being his cousin, has led the world to believe.”
“We also urge the leadership of Ijare Egbe Omo Elewe Obi to carefully consider all relevant documents and discourage any actions that may unlawfully exclude any of the candidates, as the unity of all Ijare indigenes is of utmost importance, and history will be the judge of the present situation.”
LG Boss Requests Not to Be Involved in the Dispute
Responding swiftly, the council Chairman, Mr. Oladimeji, advised the stakeholders not to implicate him in the dispute, stating that he lacks the authority to impose a new monarch on the town, given the existing chieftaincy laws in the state.
Oladimeji clarified, “I feel compelled to respond to this because everything written against me is an outright lie.”
“As a local government Chairman, the selection of Obas is governed by rules and regulations, not only in my community (Ijare). All communities have their respective declarations and laws that govern them, and there is the Ondo State Chieftaincy Law. Nobody can influence me, and I cannot influence anyone to become the King or force anyone on my town.”