by Funmilayo Okunade
Ado-Ekiti, July 15, 2020 (NAN) Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti has called on traditional rulers to unite their subjects toward execution of community projects that will accelerate the pace of development in the state.
Fayemi made the call while presenting staff of office to the first Oloja Owa of Owatedo Ekiti in Ijero Local Government, Oba David Olawumi Olofinlade, seven months after the community was granted autonomy.
Fayemi called on the new monarch to use the autonomy granted them to rally his subjects for execution of community projects that will accelerate its pace of development.
The presentation of instrument of appointment and staff of office was held at the Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, Ado Ekiti in line with COVID-19 protocols.
Fayemi charged the new Oba to see himself as a father to all his subjects irrespective of their political, religious and social affiliations.
The Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, who represented the Governor, congratulated the traditional rulers and the people of Owatedo on the autonomy granted the community in December 2019.
He urged them to use their new status to unite for the task of greater socio-economic development.
He emphasised that granting an autonomy to any community is not just an attempt to unreasonably fictionalise or disintegrate a hitherto compact community for any ulterior motive or political gains but a response to the genuine demand that such recognition would enhance development.
While tasking the Oloja Owa on the responsibilities ahead of him, Fayemi counselled the monarch to see his enthronement as a divine call to service, noting that his new status demands diligence, sacrifice, initiatives and perseverance to succeed on the throne.
Fayemi enjoined Oba Olofinlade to ensure that peace reigns in his domain and also lead his subjects in ensuring a harmonious relationship with neighbouring communities, particularly Ipoti Ekiti and Erijiyan Ekiti.
The Governor, who further reiterated the commitment of his administration to provide infrastructure and industrial development, affordable qualitative education, efficient healthcare delivery and increased agriculture and rural development, said the cooperation of the entire people of the state is needed to achieve them.
The Chairman, Ijero Local Government, Mr. Ropo Ige, expressed satisfaction with the selection process of the Oloja Owa, which he said, was devoid of strife, rancour and acrimony that used to characterize similar exercises in Yoruba land.
Ige commended the Fayemi administration for its impact on community development in the last 21 months, pledging the support of the people of the council area to the realisation of the five pillars development agenda.
In his acceptance speech, the Oloja Owa, Oba Olofinlade, said his ascension to the throne marked the beginning of a new era in the history of Owatedo, and promised to discharge his royal duties to the best of his ability.
The royal father described the autonomy granted his community as a vehicle aimed at attracting progress from all walks of life, calling on his subjects to abhor hatred, bitterness, hostility and other acts that can impede peace and progress of the community.
He showered encomiums on the Governor, whom he said God had used to restore the lost values, culture, tradition and glory of Owatedo, expressing joy at being the custodian of the town’s culture and tradition.
Oba Olofinlade promised to channel his energy towards making his kingdom a sight of attraction to the outside world and also ensure that peace and harmony are maintained with all neighbouring towns.
The event was witnessed by the Chairman, Ekiti Council of Traditional Rulers/Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi; the Owa Ajero of Ijero Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Adewole; the Attah of Ayede, Oba Mumini Orisagbemi; the Olu of Sekinde in Osun State, Oba Adebayo Adekanmi, who represented the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Adeniyi Familoni.
by Funmilayo Okunade