The Ekiti State Government has directed the management of Moba Council Area of the state to stop forthwith the monthly salaries of the Obasaoye of Isaoye-Ekiti, Oba Gabriel Olajide for abandoning royal duties and refusal to appear or live in the town for over three years.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, gave the directive on Thursday in Ado Ekiti during a meeting he held with the monarch, chiefs, and other stakeholders from the community who petitioned the state government accusing the Obasaoye of abdicating his throne and other acts of misconduct.
A statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, said the meeting was summoned following a receipt of a security report from the Department of State Services (DSS) on the likelihood of violence over conflict between the Oba and his chiefs who accused him of highhandedness and disrespect for the town’s tradition.
The aggrieved chiefs led by the Obaisa of Isaoye, Chief Jospeph Ogidi, revealed that Oba Olajide, who ascended the throne in 2017, had abandoned the community and had failed to yield to government’s directive issued at a meeting presided over by the Deputy Governor on November 17, 2018 that he should resume his official duties.
The community in its petition to the state government demanded dethronement of Oba Olajide for allegedly sponsoring attacks on his subjects, abandonment of his throne, violation of the town’s cultural heritage, destruction of the shrines and artefacts, using the Police to harass his subjects, refusal to participate in cultural and traditional practices which he claimed are against his faith and refusal to appear in the town for over three years.
Ogidi had earlier told Egbeyemi that Oba Olajide’s latest refusal to allow Mrs. Abiola Adeyeye, the Eyebasa of Isaoye to hold a feast in honour of the chiefs has been threatening the peace of the community and could snowball into crisis if there was no prompt government intervention.
He explained that every appeal to the Oba, to heed the government’s directive last issued in November 2018 to return home and perform his royal duties and provide day-to-day leadership to the community had fallen on deaf ears.
Responding, Oba Olajide admitted that he had abandoned his domain for the fear of the unknown, maintaining that nothing would change his stance.
Oba Olajide claimed that the people of the town had denied him access to the palace.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Egbeyemi, who wondered why Oba Olajide refused to perform his official duties as a traditional ruler for over three years despite government’s intervention in the conflict with his subjects, said the monarch lacks the moral justification to be collecting salaries for duties not rendered.
Egbeyemi subsequently directed Moba Local Government to stop the monthly salaries of the Obasaoye with immediate effect.
He declined the community’s request for Oba Olajide’s dethronement, saying that the application to that effect is already before Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers which is expected to make appropriate recommendations to the state government.