The Ekiti State Government has given a quarter head in Iyin Ekiti, Chief Bayo Akerele, an ultimatum of seven days to remove the “palace” inscription from his operational base in the community.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, also warned Chief Akerele against parading himself as an Oba in the town maintaining that the Oluyin, Oba Adeola Ajakaye, is the only recognized monarch in Iyin Ekiti.
Speaking during a peace meeting held with the Oluyin, the four quarter heads and other chiefs of the town in his office on Tuesday in Ado Ekiti, the Deputy Governor said the state government would not fold its arm and watch the peaceful community descend into chaos and anarchy.
The Deputy Governor urged the four quarter chiefs to call their followers to order expressing the state government’s readiness to visit the full wrath of the law on any individual or groups caught violating the laws of the state.
Otunba Egbeyemi maintained that the only palace recognized by the state government is that of the Oluyin hence no quarter chief has the power to call his traditional place of operation or personal residence a palace.
According to the Deputy Governor, the alleged action of Chief Akerele who is the Petu of Iyin and the head of Oketoro Quarters in the town as a “violation of the Ekiti State Chiefs Law.”
Otunba Egbeyemi stressed that Chief Akerele’s alleged ascription of royal authority to himself including description of his base as a palace could spark a crisis in the town hence government’s intervention in nipping it in the bud.
He said: “I don’t want the unity that exists in Iyin Ekiti to be broken. You should remove the palace inscription from your official residence within seven days and not to parade yourself as an Oba.”
While noting that there is nothing wrong in any quarter requesting for autonomy from the government, the Deputy Governor emphasized that such a quarter remains part of the larger town from which it is seeking autonomy as long as the request is yet to be granted.
He said the state government would not tolerate or allow resort to self-help including the designation of any building as a palace or any quarter head parading himself as a monarch and wearing the paraphernalia of office as an Oba.
The Deputy Governor who said the administration of Governor Kayode Fayemi had always preached peace and harmony among traditional rulers, their chiefs and subjects but urged stakeholders not to take actions that could break the law.
In his reaction, the Quarter Head of Oketoro, Chief Akerele has denied the allegations leveled against him over the claims that he is parading himself as an Oba in the Iyin.
Chief Akerele explained that the crisis in Iyin had been on ground before he was installed as the Petu of Oketoro in Iyin Ekiti.
While commenting, the Odofinyin of Okebedo Quarter Chief Simon Esan and the other Quarter Heads denied writing palace inscriptions on their official residences.