By Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
Residents and leaders of Itele, a community in Ado Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, yesterday stormed the Governor’s office, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta demanding expedite action on the appointment and installation of new traditional ruler in the town.
They disclosed that the ancient town has for more than 15 years been without a traditional ruler after the death of the last one.
The residents who were led by the Baales (Village Heads) from the community protested in Abeokuta, saying lack of king for nearly two decades has impacted negatively on the development of the community.
Some of the inscriptions on their placards read “Itele People are peace loving,”
No Ademola, No King,” “A town without a king is a ghost town,” “Itele People deserve a king,” “Please, approve our king as nominated by all the kingmakers and family.”
The protesters, however, disclosed that the kingmakers recently elected Prince Ademola Eletu Odibo Asorota as the new king, but the government’s ratification and subsequent installation has been foot-dragging.
They alleged that some group of land grabbers are already positioning one of them as the new king and therefore planning to thwart the ongoing process.
Speaking with newsmen on their behalf, one of Baales in Itele – Ota, Oluyemi Onifade asked the government to hasten the process, warning that any manipulation against the people’s wish will plunge the town into crisis.
Onifade said “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 government to do hasten the process, already the process is ongoing. But please let us fasten the process so that we can have an Oba in Itele. So that we can stop all this nonsense 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.”
Addressing the protesters on behalf of the state government, the Director of Chieftaincy Affairs at the State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Adesoji Adewuyi admitted that the selection process on Itele stool had been stalled by a litigation.
Adewuyi said the Ministry has transferred the matter to the Ministry of Justice for a legal advice before the government takes a final decision.
He, however, assured them of the government’s transparent process to avoid crisis in the community.