Palpable fear on Saturday gripped residents of Otun-Ekiti, the headquarters of Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti State over who occupies the vacant royal stool of the ancient community.
Some ruling houses had raised alarm that the that the kingmakers allegedly assembled themselves in a secret location to select a one of the contestants for the stool without carrying the government along.
This development created unnecessary tension in the be community not until the government representatives led by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi intervened.
The five ruling houses in Otun Ekiti are Iyaba, Iletun, Imuya, Obajewu and Odo Imo.
Egbeyemi cautioned kingmakers in Otun Ekiti against violating the State Chieftaincy Law and due process in the selection of the next monarch for the town.
He spoke at a meeting held with kingmakers, ruling houses, officials of Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs and Moba Local Government on the vacant royal stool of the Oore of Otun Ekiti.
The Deputy Governor said the meeting was summoned following receipt of a security report and petitions from agitated ruling houses that kingmakers allegedly assembled themselves in a secret location to select a one of the contestants for the stool without carrying the government along.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, the last Oore of Otun Ekiti, Oba James Adedapo Popoola, joined his ancestors in October 2019 after spending 19 years on the throne.
He stressed that any election purportedly held by the kingmakers to choose any candidates among the contestants in violation of the State Chieftaincy Law and without the inputs of all relevant stakeholders amounts to a nullity that cannot stand the test of legal scrutiny.
He said the alleged action of the kingmakers and their collaborators has been causing tension in the town, warning that the state government would not fold its arms and allow the situation to degenerate into breakdown of law and order.
Egbeyemi who emphasized that nobody can choose an Oba without due process, said Governor Kayode Fayemi wanted every town and community to enjoy peace and would not allow any crisis that could lead to chaos and anarchy in any part of the state.
He noted that the Fayemi administration had been fair, followed due process and did not impose candidates on all the royal stools that had been filled since the government came to power in October 2018 owing its its resolve to sustain peace and foster development.
Expressing surprise that a process for the selection of the next Oore could be going on without the express approval of the government, Egbeyemi warned that the kingmakers would be held responsible in the event of any crisis erupting over the process of filling the vacant throne.
He advised the kingmakers to be guided by the gazette on the next ruling house to produce the Oore saying government will not impose monarch on the town.