Residents in Osun State affected by Governor Ademola Adeleke’s executive order suspending their monarchs have raised concerns over what they perceive as a political witch-hunt by the state government.
Governor Adeleke, during his inauguration in November last year, issued an executive order suspending 26 traditional rulers appointed by his predecessor and established a panel to review their appointments. Despite the committee submitting its report in March, no action has been taken on the matter to date.
Prominent monarchs impacted by the suspension include the Owa of Igbajo, Aree of Iree, Olupo of Oluponna, Akirun of Ikirun, and Alabere of Abere, among others.
Residents of the affected communities, in conversations, have voiced their concerns, suggesting that the issue has evolved into a political dispute. They accuse the state government of intentionally delaying resolution.
Sunday Akere, the Oluomo of Igbajo, Boluwaduro local government area, lamented the division within the Igbajo community due to the absence of a traditional ruler in the palace. He argued that the government’s involvement reflects unwarranted political interference in a matter that should be legally addressed.
Akere stated, “The whole community is pleading with the State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, to show leadership and understanding. Monarchy issues in Yorubaland have rules and regulations, and whoever is aggrieved knows the right way to seek redress, not for the government to appear like taking sides with the present action.”
The Secretary of Princes of all the six ruling houses in Iree, Gbenga Olatunji, also questioned the state government’s motives, emphasizing the completion of a review committee’s work and the subsequent refusal to act on it. He urged Governor Adeleke to allow the traditional rulers to return to their palaces and lead their communities.
The Public Relations Officer of the Oluponna Development Association, Olusola Ogunsola, highlighted the suspended Oluponna as a unifying figure in the community, urging the state government to review its executive order promptly for the sake of peace and development.
Muftahu Olorunnisola of Ikirun echoed these sentiments, pointing out that the suspension had stalled development in the town. He urged dissatisfied parties to seek redress through legal means rather than resorting to political influence.
In response, the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi, urged patience from the affected communities, explaining that the State Executive Council has yet to convene since its inauguration. He assured that a white paper on the review committee’s report would be issued in the coming weeks.