Stories Around the Globe

After 15 Years of Vacant Stool, Ogun Community Demands a King

Residents of Itele community, in Ado Odo/Ota Local Government of Ogun State have demanded the appointment of a new traditional ruler in the town after 15 years of a vacant stool.  The residents besieged the Governor’s office on Wednesday, in Abeokuta, where they asserted that the appointment and installation of a traditional ruler in the town is required.

The protest was led by the residents, Baales (village heads), and other community leaders who complained that the absence of a monarch for nearly two decades have affected the community growth and development. They lamented that they had been without a monarch after the late traditional ruler passed on over 15 years ago.The inscription on their placards read ‘Itele people are peace loving’, ‘No Ademola, No king’ and ‘A Town without a King is a ghost town’ amongst others.

Chief Oluyemi Onifade, one of the Baales in Itele-Ota spoke on behalf of the community, he said that the kingmakers recently elected Prince Ademola Asorota as the new king. However, the delay from the government had neutralized the process. He therefore, urged the government to speed up the process, with a warning that the people’s wish must not be manipulated or else there will be crisis.

‘Ademola Asorota is an indigene of Itele from Iliwo in Itele. He is never an outsider. He is never an outcast. What we are asking the government to do is to hasten the process. Already, the process is ongoing, but please, let us fasten the process so that we can have an Oba in Itele; because it has drawn the town backward to the extent that no meaningful development is taking place in Itele. We don’t want chaos; we don’t want crisis in Itele,” he submitted.

Adesoji Adewuyi, Director of Chieftaincy Affairs at the State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs addressed the protesters. He admitted that the selection process which had already commenced on Itele stool had been countered by litigation. According to Adewuyi, the matter has been transferred by the ministry to the ministry of justice for a legal advice before the government will make a final decision. He, however, assured the protesters that the government would be transparent in the process to avoid crisis in the community. 

Peace Omenka