EXCLUSIVE: Ikirun indigenes kick, reject Gov Oyetola’s imposition of ‘unpopular’ candidate as next Akinrun of Ikirun land
The announcement by Osun State Government of a new Akirun has ruptured the peaceful atmosphere in Ikirun with residents knocking Governor Gboyega Oyetola for alleged bias towards one of the ruling house that lay claim to the throne.
Ikirunland, the headquarters of Ifelodun Local Government, hitherto known for its peace and tranquillity, has been thrown into needless crisis with the recent alleged foisting of what many residents described as an ‘unpopular’ candidate from the wrong ruling house as the next Akinrun by the government of Osun State, NewsClick Nigeria reports.
Governor Gboyega Oyetola, had on Wednesday, announced the appointment of Prince Yinusa Olalekan Akadiri of Oba-Ara Ruling House as the new Akinrun of Ikirun.
Few minutes after the announcement, NewsClick Nigeria gathered that concerned citizens of the town trooped out enmass to reject what they called imposition of a King who hail from Obaara Ruling House in what many who spoke with our Correspondent described as flagrant disregard to the existing chieftaincy law.
According to the Ikirun District Chieftaincy Declaration and Gazette of 1959, approved in 1960, re-registered in 1970, which were done during the reign of Late Oba Lawani Adeyemi, and its subsequent versions, especially the Gazette of 1980 signed by late Chief Bola Ige, the former Governor of old Oyo State, during the reign of Late Oba Adeyemi, there are three ruling houses in Ikirun land. They are Obaara, Adedeji and Gboleru Ruling houses.
Digs by NewsClick Nigeria revealed that Lawani Adeyemi Oyejola, from the Obaara ruling house, ruled between 1945 to 1989 after which late Oba Olayiwola Adedeji II, ascended the throne from 1991–2021.
“It is therefore clear that Gboleru Ruling House is the next in line to produce the next Akinrun of Ikirun”, Pa. Olayiwola Usman told our Correspondent who visited Ikirun on Friday.
But with the recent announcement by the state government, our Correspondent learnt that the Palace has been under lock and key in the last four days and as Mrs. Christianah Aduke confided in NewsClick Nigeria “may remain so untill justice is achieved”. A cross section of residents of Ikirun explained that the “whereabout of the King is unknown”.
In Ikirun tradition, findings by NewsClick Nigeria revealed that a new King is installed at Eesa’s compound and must remain there until all the rites are performed before he goes to the Palace after three to seven days to be officially presented to the people of the town. Eesa, it was gathered is the second in command to the King in Ikirunland. This long held tradition in installing a new King seems to have been breached. “It is curious to note that the supposed new King was installed in his Uncle’s house by some disgruntled Kingmakers in flagrant disrespect to our tradition”, Alhaji Kamoru Olaiya disclosed.
The Gboleru Ruling House of Ikirun, going by the last two occupants to the throne, is the next to produce the next Akinrun of Ikirun and expectedly, has raised alarm over what they term as injustice.
Abimbola Tooki, Spokesperson of Gboleru Ruling House, who spoke exclusively to NewsClick Nigeria said “Ikirun has always been known as a peaceful ancient town that has transited from one King to the other in the last 100 years without any crisis. Over the years, the peaceful coexistence among our people has greatly contributed to the more peaceful environment that the town is known for.”
According to the accomplished Journalist, “Ikirun people had been looking forward to having a King who can exploit the peace among its people to turn around the fortunes of Ikirun land, and hence, any inferior candidate as the next Akinrun of Ikirun will be a calamity and will be strongly opposed and rejected by Ikirun people in general.”
“Although the next 20 years is fraught with uncertainty and unforeseen circumstances, but with installation of the right candidate to the throne, changes are very likely.”
The Gboleru Ruling House according to Tooki “believes that the next Akinrun should be a man who is tested in all ramifications and has structured plans and vision to develop Ikirun as a dynamic, resilient, liveable and inclusive nodal city with strong social, economic, human, and infrastructural base that will significantly sustain the city as the state’s industrial hub that ensures employment generation especially among youths, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability.”
Tooki noted with assurance that ” The Gboleru Ruling House, which unarguably is next in line to produce the next King, is blessed with many competent professionals of pedigree who are well exposed both locally and internationally to bring the needed development to the town.”
While responding to the widely held view that Gboleru did not provide a candidate to the throne due to a misunderstanding within the family, he countered such claim ‘as being far from the truth’. “At no time did anybody either in local or state government initiate any move to ask Gboleru to present a candidate for the vacant stool. So, there was never anything like failure to submit names.
“This is why we are calling well meaning people of Osun State to ask Justice S.O Falola where he got his facts to have delivered a judgement that gave out our right to the throne,” Tooki demanded.
“For the avoidance of doubt, immediately Falola delivered the judgement, the state government, in less then 24 hours, wrote to Obaara to present its candidate. The same treatment was not extended to us as the ruling house that is next in line to present candidate to the throne. It was a premeditated judgement.”
The Head of Gboleru Ruling House, Prince Olatunji Mudasiru, appealed to the state Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola to intervene in the matter and ensure that the appointment of the new Akinrun follow the existing rotational arrangement.
He said, “Obaara Ruling Family produced the last Akinrun before the immediate past Akirun from Adedeji Ruling Family and it is the turn of Gboleru Ruling House to produce the next Akirun in accordance with our rotational arrangement.”
He debunked the insinuation that Gboleru Ruling House was unable to nominate candidate for the stool.
Meanwhile, intensified efforts by NewsClick Nigeria to get the reaction of the state government was unsuccessful as at press time. Messages (WhatsApp and text) sent to the Commissioner of Information, Mrs Funke Egbemode and the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Gboyega Oyetola, Ismail Omipidan inquiring the situation of things on the Akirun Obaship crisis and government’s plan to restore normalcy to the town was not responded to.