On the 12th of March 2020 TellAfrica reported Governor Fayemi’s sanction of the Pelupelu Obas in Ekiti State, see the following publication/link:
As an aftermath to this development, the foremost Monarchs in the Yoruba kingdom, in a letter written and attested by the Alaafin of Oyo made their grievances known with respect to the Governor’s interference in traditional authorities and powers of the Yoruba kingdom by personally selecting a Chairman for the Obas council in Ekiti-State.
The letter by Alaafin was well applauded by Yorubas who believed that the traditional system should be upheld in a manner to protect the very rich culture of the Yoruba people.
See screenshots of Baba Alaafin’s letter to Governor Fayemi below:
In response to this strongly worded letter and to the interest of the serving Chairman of the Ekiti-State council of Traditional Rulers and his supporters, the Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Ajibade has indeed cut the bluff of the respected Alaafin Adeyemi. The Ekiti-State Monarch has questioned Alaafin’s locus standi in the matter, he further claimed that Alaafin has no such reputable personality to interfere in their council affairs when he has not successfully executed the affairs of his constituency in Oyo State.
These claims were made in a letter directed to the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde; where the Alawe had asked the incumbent Governor of Oyo State to caution his subject cum royal father, Alaafin of Oyo.
See content of the letter directed to the Governor below as signed by Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti as quoted below;
“REQUEST TO STOP UNDUE INTERFERENCE OF HIS MAJESTY, OBA LAMIDI ADEYEMI IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF EKITI OBAS.
The attention of Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers has been drawn to an undue interference of His Majesty Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, The Alaafin of Oyo in the internal affairs of Ekiti Obas through a letter written to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, dated 12th March 2020 and well circulated in the social media the following day with respect to the administration of chieftancy matters in Ekiti State. This is to say the least unbecoming of one of your monarchs in Oyo State. Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers takes strong exception to the whole content of Alaafin’s letter which is absolutely unwarranted as Alaafin cannot superintend over the monarchy in Ekiti State. Ekiti was never and can never be part of Oyo empire. It is on this note that Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers is respectfully requesting your Excellency to stop the Alaafin from his meddlesomeness in the internal affairs of Ekiti Obas.
(2) The letter of Oba Adeyemi contained a lot of misrepresentation of facts and inaccurate accounts of events between the State Government and the Traditional Institution in Ekiti State which CANNOT be in consultation with, and concurrence of the highly revered and venerable Traditional Rulers mentioned in the letter but who did not sign same.
(3) It is a matter of fact and law that Grading, Classification and Composition of Council of Obas in Ekiti State and perhaps anywhere in Nigeria is governed by Law through Government Gazettes even from the Colonial era. From his letter, Alaafin is unable to define what qualifies an Oba to be a PeluPelu Oba. He is not aware of the fact that among the first group of Obas that formed the Association in 1900 were Deji of Akure (Ondo State) and Owalobo of Obo Ayegunle (Kwara State) who have since left the Association. He is also not aware of the fact that some Obas joined the Group in 1909 – Atta Ayede, 1929 (Elemure), 1947 (Alawe, Arajaka, Olujido Ido Ile and Olosi) (Minutes of the Pelupelu meetings for those periods are available) In 1971 Olomuo was admitted to the Pelupelu status by the then Governor of Western State, the Late Gen Adeyinka Adebayo.
(4) It should be noted that, seventeen (17) Obas are presently laying claim to PeluPelu Obaship in Ekiti State. And by Government Gazette of October 2018, Government recognized twenty two (22) Obas as PeluPelu in Ekiti and no one raised an eyebrow when Governor Ayo Fayose added the 22nd member, the Oluyin of Iyin – Ekiti in August, 2018. What is therefore sacrosanct about the number of pelupelu Obas which Alaafin put at sixteen.
(5) We therefore say with all sense of authority and responsibility that Alaafin goofed to say that from time immemorial, Obaship Leadership had been within the sixteen (16) Obas who he could neither name nor mention. He only pretends not to know that the number of Pelupelu Obas has never be static
(6) Unfortunately and appallingly, Alaafin stated that his source of information was by “Hearsay” Yet he refused to verify his erroneous fact before falsely accusing Governor Fayemi of neglect. He refused to say those he considers as subordinate Obas. Subordinate to who?
(7) Alaafin is no doubt an Oba who enjoys stirring controversies and crisis where there are none. He is without doubt a meddlesome interloper who is bent on exporting the crisis he engineered in old Oyo State during which the Traditional Council was unable to hold a single meeting as a result of leadership tussle between him and the OONI of Ife until OSUN was carved out of old Oyo State.
(8) Worse still and under him, the Oyo State Council of Traditional Rulers has not held a meeting once in four (4) years under his Chairmanship as a result of his inability to foster peace, unity and cohesion among the Obas. How does he give what he does not have. Ekiti Monarchs are not Alaafin’s AJELES hence his current voyage into an internal affairs of Ekiti Obas is highly unwarranted.
(9) Ekiti State Council of obas is highly offended by the vituperation poured on our Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi through Alaafin’s unsolicited intervention in a purely domestic affairs of our Council. Alaafin has no moral right nor justification to interfere in the matter of Traditional Rulers administration in Ekiti State.
(10) The Traditional Council of Obas in Ekiti State is therefore passionately appealing to His Excellency Engr. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to call Alaafin to order and to desist forthwith from meddling in the internal affairs of Ekiti Obas, especially as the matter is pending before a Court of competent jurisdiction. Moreover, the little disagreement amongst Ekiti Obas has not affected the functionality of our Traditional Council. We hold our meetings statutorily unlike the Traditional Council under Alaafin that has long been grounded.
(11) It is pertinent to put on record that, Governor Kayode Fayemi met the present classification of Obas on ground in Ekiti State and has not added one Oba to the class of PeluPelu Obas. The various classifications had been done by previous Administrations through the 1947 Gazette, 1948 Gazette, 1959 Gazette, 2004 Gazette and 2018 Gazette. The present Chairman of Ekiti Traditional Council is listed and classified among the PeluPelu Obas in the Gazette.
(12) It is not out of place if in a Council of over Seventy (70) members, only eleven
(11) Obas are aggrieved, and have gone to Court. More so that the aggrieved Obas have informed the Court that they are in an “advance stage” of settlement out of Court even though unknown to Government and their Chairman. Why Should Alaafin judge a case without seeking the views of the other party. why did Alaafin not exercise restraint and caution before writing a letter based on misinformation.
The letter of Alaafin to Governor Fayemi is clearly subjudice to the matter in court.
(13) We say with all sense of authority and responsibility that Alaafin’s letter is borne out of ignorance. Let him remove the log in his eyes before seeking to remove the speck from others.
(14) Finally, the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers has therefore advised our Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi NOT to dignify Alaafin’s letter with any response because it is clearly ill-motivated and in bad faith.
(15) Please accept the assurances of the Highest regards of Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers.”
On a lighter note, this letter did not just respond to the letter of Alaafin but displayed the ability of an average Ekiti man and their intellectual capacity; the manner in which the point were raised was quite profound and depicts the prowess of an Ekiti man in the art of petitioning.
That said, it is no gainsaying that the Yoruba tradition is quite different from our Hausa/Fulani counterparts and it is common knowledge that the Governors are seen as sons to their royal fathers despite the fact that a Governor is constitutionally superior to Monarchs.
It is therefore, noteworthy that the Yoruba monarchical system is more spiritual than physical, that is, the choice of a Yoruba king is subconsciously attested by the forefathers and the gods as well as the supreme being, Olodumare who is deemed the creator and above all on whose authority the kings act.
However, with the upsurge of westernisation/civilisation/ democracy which are the direct effects of colonialism; our traditional rulers have been stripped bare of the supreme power they are believed to have inherent from the supreme being, Olodumare. The people of Nigeria and by extension the Yorubas have given up their sovereign rights to politicians who most often than have ruled arbitrarily.
Viewing the royalty from the perspective of our colonial masters, the Britons, where the Queen by Statute is apparently above the law, however, works within the armbit of the law. The English system enables the Monarch as a ceremonial leader but gives them the opportunity to assent their subjects agitations when passed as bills while this preserves the respect granted to the Royals.
The question need be asked therefore, where did we get it wrong as indigenous people of Nigeria? Must all our traditions, culture, traits and heritages be wrong? Must every other action deemed to be western better than our culture & tradition?
As much as we do not intend to be repugnant, it is important that we find a balance between our natural laws of the land and the constitutional powers bestowed on our politicians.
Since the Pelupelu Obas of Ekiti state have shown dissatisfaction to the query of Governor Fayemi by refusing to respond in 72 hours has ordered; do we expect same scenario as played out in the case of Emir of Kano or otherwise????
Fingers crossed………. as we keep you posted on TellAfrica.