Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
The Owa Oke-Ode ruling houses in Igbajo, Osun State has said that Governor Ademola Adeleke’s order as contained in the recently published White Paper for the re-selection process of a new Oba for the town is against the tradition and custom of Igbajo.
They explained that the tradition of installing the Owa of Igbajo cannot be reversed because the traditional rites cannot be performed twice in an Oba’s lifetime.
Addressing journalists in Osogbo on Monday, Secretary of Owa Oke-Ode ruling house and Akeran of Igbajo Land, High Chief Adewumi Taiwo Babaloye, stated that the order for the re-selection process of another Owa of Igbajo after the selection process of Oba Phillips Adegboyega Famodun had been concluded in accordance with the Chieftaincy Law of the land is unnecessary and an aberration.
Babaloye described the re-selection order as oppressive, vindictive, and vendetta-laden and against the rule of law more so when all the aggrieved princes are already challenging the emergence of Oba Phillips Adegboyega Famodun in the competent court of law.
According to him, “We wish to reiterate the fact that Oba Phillips Adegboyega Famodun, remains the duly elected, lawfully appointed, and installed occupant of the Owa of Igbajo throne as it is on record that Oba Famodun was selected by the Owa-Oke Ode Ruling House of Igbajo, presented and appointed by the kingmakers and unequivocally approved by the Government of Osun State under the then Governor of Osun State, His Excellency, Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola (now Minister of Marine and Blue Economy), in accordance with the applicable Chiefs Law and Chieftaincy Declaration.
“We want to tell the Osun State Government that having appointed and installed Oba Phillips Adegboyega Famodun after due process of law, cannot turn around to purportedly nullify the selection process that produced the Oba only on the basis of faulting his appointment process.
“It is not far-fetched to suspect and conclude that the actions being taken by the present Executive Arm of Government of Osun State, is more of a political vendetta than any good intention to ensure compliance with the relevant laws of the state. It is indeed very ironic that the same Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and the entire Executive Arm of Government of Osun State that played a role during the selection and installation of Oba Phillips Adegboyega Famodun as the Owa of Igbajo, that are now constituting a clog in the wheel of progress over the issue.
“We have looked round to know what could be the offence allegedly committed by Oba Phillips Adegboyega Famodun against the present custodian of the government of Osun State and we convincingly concluded that it was his being the immediate-past state Chairman of the opposition All Progressives Congress APC in Osun.
“We say a capital ‘NO’ to any attempt by the Osun State Government under the administration of Governor Ademola Adeleke to be a judge in its own case as the state government is a defendant in the subsisting suit on the issue at stake. What becomes of the provisions of separations of powers among the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive if Governor Adeleke unilaterally decided to usurp the functions of the Judiciary on the Igbajo Obaship debacle?
“We won’t encourage any actions or inactions capable of rocking the existing peace in our ancestry town of Igbajo by some princes who showed their intentions to vie for the obaship stool of our town by duly collecting forms and presented themselves for interview and are now making a needless issue out of it because they lost.
“There can only be an Oba in our town at a time and we have duly cleared Oba Phillips Adegboyega Famodun as the Owa of Igbajo having concluded all necessary rites.
“There has been peace, tranquillity and development in our town, Igbajo, since the enthronement of Oba Phillips Adegboyega Famodun as the Owa of Igbajo,” he said.
It will be recalled that on the first day of Governor Adeleke in office through an Executive Order of November 28th, 2022, sacked Oba Philips Adegboyega Famodun, Owa of Igbajoland alongside other monarchs.