Itapa Chieftaincy Row: Ekiti Govt Reverses Deposition of Traditional Chief

The Ekiti State Government has reversed the removal of Chief Kehinde Osanyingbemi as the Chief Priest of Itapa Ekiti in Oye Local Government Area of the State.

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The government appealed to the Owatapa of Itapa Ekiti, Oba David Ajaja, who had deposed the Chief due to irreconcilable differences, to consider reinstating the embattled Chief priest back to his cabinet.

Ekiti News reports that the initiative is part of efforts aimed at restoring peace to the community.

Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, issued the directive on Tuesday while addressing ongoing chieftaincy crises between Owatapa and Elemo of Itapa Ekiti, High Chief Isaac Ojo-Ajaja, as well as the town’s Chief Priest, Chief Kehinde Osanyingbemi.

The traditional ruler accused the two chiefs of disrespecting the Owatapa stool in a manner that desecrated the traditional institution and fell short of the minimum conduct expected of any chieftaincy title holder.

Presiding over the matter, Mrs. Afuye, in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Victor Ogunje, reversed the sanction imposed on the Chief Priest as a form of reprieve and instructed him to openly apologize to the monarch.

As part of the truce brokering moves, the Deputy Governor, appealed to the monarch to allow the Chief Priest to continue to function and perform all the duties associated with his position.

“Peace is very paramount to Governor Biodun Oyebanji’s administration, because it is the bedrock of development and everybody must key into this peace- building agenda.

“There is no town where people are frequently removed as traditional chiefs that can witness peace. It is not always the right way to settle scores. I appeal to Owatapa to forgive whatever the Chief must have done and allow him to continue to function as the Chief Priest.

“This government won’t allow any town to boil over chieftaincy crisis and the dimension your case is assuming could be worse than we expected, if the people can’t forgive each other.

“This action doesn’t mean that Owatapa is not in charge. He is firmly in charge of his town and he should be respected as the head of .It is our opinion that it is wrong for any Chief to disrespect his monarch and this current government won’t tolerate such conduct”, she warned.

The Deputy Governor also appealed to the monarch to pardon High Chief Isaac Ojo-Ajaja for unruly behaviour, warning that no Chief has the right to look down or abuse any monarch under any guise.

Oba Ajaja, while applauding the government for intervening in the matter, said he specifically forwarded the petition to the state government, so that the festering crises can be resolved amicably.

The Monarch promised to comply with all the directives dished out by the Deputy Governor and the impending resolution move to be midwifed by the Itapa Progressive Union.

The embattled chiefs in their responses, appreciated the state government for its speedy and unbiased position on the matter, pledging that they shall comply with all the terms contained in the peace moves initiated by the government.

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