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By: Oluwatosin Adesola
…..say No Oba-elect in Afin Akoko.
Kingmakers from Afin-Akoko in Akoko northwest local government area of Ondo state have appealed to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to compel the state Ministry of local government and Chieftaincy Affairs as well as authorities of the local government to immediately commence the process of selecting and approving new traditional ruler for the town without further delay.
The kingmakers who said they were yet to select or elect anybody as Alafin, stressed the need for the state government and the local government to stop further delay of the process in the interest of the community and its people.
The stool of the Alafin of Afin-Akoko became vacant in 2006 when Oba Idris Oloruntegbe joined ancestors and the ten contestants had shown interest from Asigi Ruling House with Prince Abdulganiyu Adegboyega and Abdulrahim Mustafa as two leading candidates.
The kingmakers under the umbrella of AFIN OPAMESAN headed by High Chief Adewumi Jimoh, described as an act that could set ablaze Afin-Akoko, a statement credited to the Chairman of Afin Chieftaincy Committee, Hon. Demola Ijabiyi that
Abdulrahim Mustafa is the “Alafin- elect”.
Addressing newsmen in the area, High Chief Adewumi and the Secretary of the Afin-Akoko Kingmakers, High Chief Eli, Lasisi Ige, said the state government had already nullified a ‘kangaroo’ selection process of November 13, 2017 due to the participation of six unapproved warrant chiefs.
The Kingmakers alleged that Hon Ijabiyi’s Committee was being used by Hon Rashidi Badmus (the State Commissioner for Physical Planning & Urban Development), to cause unrest in the town, appealing to Governor Akeredolu to call Badmus to order before he set the town on fire.
“Following the cancelled November 13, 2017 Alafin selection process, and the envisaged fresh selection process to hold, the number of original aspirant has increased from five to ten.
“This development has informed our decision while awaiting letter to commence the selection process, we begin to expand the scope of our traditional oracle findings and prayers as a means to choose a candidate for selection.
“Therefore, since 2017 till now, we are yet to pronounce anyone as Alafin-elect by Ifa (Oracle). As a result, the pronouncement by Hon ljabiyi through his organized press conference at Akure on 30th October, 2017 on Abdul-Rahim Mustafa as ‘Alafin elect’ is not only an abuse on our traditions but it portends grave implications on our society.”
The High Chiefs said, “his dream about annulled November 13, 2017 Alafin selection process to be reverted is a nullity as both we (the Afin kingmakers) and all the nine aspirants including entire Asigi Ruling House families are vehemently opposed to it.
“We the Afin Opamesan Kingmakers/Asigi Ruling House families including
all the ten aspirants to Alafin vacant stool are highly peaceful and co-existing peacefully even with the rest of the communities. Hon Rashidi and Hon ljabiyi actions on chieftaincy issue should be curtailed so as not to ignite violence in Afin.”
“They connive with Hon Akande, caretaker chairman, ANWLG, not to release letter to commence Alafin selection since July, 2019. We call on His Excellency Arakunrin Aketi, the Executive Governor of Ondo State to caution Hon Rashidi Badmus (Commissioner tor Urban & Physical Planning), and Hon Demola ljabiyi to allow us (Atin kingmakers/Aslgl Ruling House Families) produce Oba based on the rule of law and due process. Our Afin community has suffered interregnum since 2006.
“We implore His Excellency, to direct Afin selection process to be as transparent as it was in Owo, and other areas in the state.