The Agunsoye Ruling House of Imesi Ekiti community in Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State has rejected the suspension by Ekiti State Government of the kingmakers of the community and their replacement with warrant chiefs.
The head of the family, Chief Adu Fasunlade, who described the Dr Kayode Fayemi-led state government’s action as an “act of illegality and flagrant desecration of tradition,” called on it to retrace its steps.
The state government had at its virtual executive council of May 13, 2020, suspended the existing four kingmakers and replaced them with seven warrant chiefs to perform the role of kingmakers in the process of filling the vacant stool of the community.
Fasunlade, in a statement in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, wondered how the state government could interpret the kingmakers’ respect for rule of law as inactivity, describing the government’s decision to appoint warrant chiefs against the traditional practice as “laughable and ridiculous”.
He said, “The only reason why the kingmakers have not acted is that there are two lawsuits against them in different courts of competent jurisdictions in Ekiti State restraining them from any further actions on the Onimesi royal stool selection process until the determination of the existing suits.
“The suits – The Agunsoye Ruling House Vs. Imesi Kingmakers with Suit No. HOM/64/2019 and the Agunsoye Ruling House Vs. Ekiti State Government & Others with Suit No. HOM/121/2019 – still pending in courts. Therefore, we do not expect any lawful body to act on issues that are before the courts of law,” he said.
Fasunlade added that the royal family also on May 13, 2020, filed the third suit at the State High Court, Omuo Ekiti Divison against Prince Olatunde from Idosere Quarters of Imesi Ekiti to stop parading himself as a prince of Agunsoye Ruling House.
The ruling house reiterated its members’ resoluteness and unwavering belief that only the courts had overriding powers to adjudicate on contentious issues.
The family head alleged that the warrant chiefs were brought to do the bidding of politicians who were bent on imposing a particular person as the new Onimesi.
He appealed to the state House of Assembly “to annul any action taken by the ‘politically’ appointed warrant chiefs, probe into the deployment of soldiers in the town and call political gladiators working to impose an unqualified person as Onimesi to order.”
Fasunlade said, “We are appealing to the state government not to allow the political ambition of one individual in Imesi Ekiti, our town, to cause chaos and throw the community into darkness. It is therefore imperative for us all to always remember that power is transient and as such, it should be used with lots of wisdom and humility”.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Muyiwa Olumilua, last weekend had said that government’s action became the last resort following the “refusal of the kingmakers to act on the list submitted to them by the Agunsoye Ruling House, thereby stalling the process to fill the stool which had become vacant since 2018.”