The Olukere of Ikere-Ekiti, Ganiyu Obasoyin, has insisted that he remains a traditional ruler in Ekiti State despite the position of the State Council of Obas to the contrary.
Obasoyin said it was wrong for the Council to issue a statement and address the Press to the effect that he should not be addressed as an Oba when a committee set up by the body on his status was yet to release its report.
Addressing a press briefing at his palace in Odo Oja, Ikere-Ekiti, Olukere said he was made an Oba by his community and derives his sovereignty from them and not from the Council of Obas.
The Council of Obas through its Chairman, the Oloye of Oye-Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju issued a statement last Thursday saying Olukere should not be addressed as a king since he was yet to be recognized as such by the state government.
But Obasoyin described the latest drama playing out as “the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob”. He advised Obas in the state not to allow themselves to be used by politicians.
He contended that nothing can obliterate the institution of Olukere which he said had been in existence for ages noting that the latest position of the Obas had cast a doubt on the report being expected from them on his status.
His words: “I am not the person that made Olukere an Oba; before I was born, Olukere had been known as an Oba in the whole of Yoruba land even though he had not gotten letter of recognition from the government.
“Writing to the Council to get recognition from the government does not indicate that the Olukere does not exist or that it has nothing to do with the institution of that obaship.
“The Council of Obas visited me here in this palace sometime last year and they saw all what we have in this palace including artifacts, historical sites and the pictures of the past Olukeres and they saw them in their crowns.
“I believe if they have anything against such, they would have raised it when they visited me then but I don’t want to engage my most respected Obas in any war of words.
“I have seen the report even though it was unexpected and came to me as a rude shock. With happenings of recent, the government of Governor Ayodele Fayose, I believe is trying everything possible to destroy the institution of Olukere.
“I want you to know that the institution of Olukere precedes or predates the creation of Ekiti State itself. The institution of Olukere has been there before Ekiti State was created.
“On the day I was released from prison for an offence I knew nothing about, the Ikere people showed who their Oba is and I don’t think there is anybody anywhere whose words supersede those of my people in Ikere.
“It is the people of Ikere that I reign over as Oba, I am not an Oba over any other community in Ekiti State. So, it is the people of Ikere that can say Olukere is not our Oba.”
“Government does not make an Oba, government only recognizes Oba; it is the people of the community that make an Oba.
“My case has been with the government for the past two years and I am aware that they have a report they have written since March last year and the report has not been published or made known to the world.
“Everybody is now in doubt of the report they would come out with. I can’t say more than that for now.”
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