– I’m Not Involved In Any Manipulation Process – Adeleke
There is palpable fear of imposition of a new Aree of Iree, the headquarters of Boripe North Local Council Development Authority, of the State of Osun.
Kingmakers and other indigenes of the town have alleged that there is a sinister move by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola’s administration to impose a new traditional ruler on the community before November 26.
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Findings by OSUN DEFENDER revealed that the controversial appointment of Oba Olalekan Akadiri as the new Akinrun of Ikirun sparked anxiety in Iree, as indigenes alleged that there is a similar move to impose the new monarch on the town.
Specifically, some of the kingmakers in Iree accused the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the state, Prince Adebayo Adeleke, popularly known as Banik of plotting to manipulate the selection process of the new Aree to the favour of his preferred aspirant.
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The kingmakers also alleged Adeleke, an indigene of Iree, of frustrating the selection process because his favourite candidate appeared to be unpopular and might not be chosen.
But Adeleke, in a swift reaction, denied the allegations, saying he was not involved in any manipulation move on the vacant Aree stool.
According to the kingmakers who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER under condition of anonymity on Monday, Adeleke has facilitated the appointment of Iyalode of Iree, Chief Serifat Adebayo, as a warrant chief in a bid to manipulate the selection process.
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The kingmakers, while rejecting the appointment of Iyalode as a warrant chief, said it is against the custom and tradition of Iree to have a female as a warrant chief.
Also, the kingmakers alleged that they were being threatened and harassed by some agents of state.
One of the kingmakers said: “We want the whole world to please prevail on Governor Adegboyega Oyetola not to impose anybody on us as a new Aree. We don’t want what happened in Ikirun to happen in Iree. That is why we are calling on people to caution Prince Banik, the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs in the state on his move to manipulate the selection process.
“Ever since a State High Court in Ikirun ordered that selection process on the new Aree should begin with a condition that only four ruling houses should participate in the process, in June this year, Banik has been frustrating the kingmakers’ sittings.
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“When we were supposed to sit in September for the selection process, Banik influenced the local government and security agents and discouraged them not to come. After that, he went ahead to influence the appointment of Iyalode to be a warrant chief, against the custom and tradition of Iree.
“If a warrant chief is to be appointed, it should be from the exact area where we have a vacant seat. In that case, a new warrant chief should have been appointed from Oke Eesa because we don’t have Eesa. Iyalode is a wrong person to be appointed as a warrant chief because she is from Oke Aree.
“Apart from that, we have never had a female among the warrant chiefs, it is not in our tradition. But Banik is doing that because Iyalode is his person and they are both planning to impose Prince Ponle Ademola on us.
“On Friday, October 28, we were sitting at our regular meeting at Idi Oosa, Aree place, when we saw some DSS officers, later Amotekun operatives and followed by some fierce looking thugs. We didn’t know their mission; so we hurriedly left the place.
“Later, we heard that the plan was to force us to adopt Banik’s favourite aspirant if we had continued the meeting. Our lives are in danger. We can’t sleep at home again for the fear of being attacked.”
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The kingmakers warned that any attempt to impose a person on the community as the new Aree will have consequences.
Dismissing the allegation, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Adeleke, said he is not involved in any of the issues raised by the kingmakers.
He said: “The government represented by the local government appointed the Iyalode of Iree as a Warrant Chief as the Chiefs Law prescribes.
“I never attended their meeting and have not been to Iree my town in the last two weeks. How can they now accuse me of bringing security?”
Findings by OSUN DEFENDER revealed five out of the seven kingmakers had adopted a candidate who does not have the support of the Commissioner.
The remaining two kingmakers, among who is the Iyalode, are said to be with Adeleke’s preferred choice.