Protest Rocks Akure Over Deji’s Appointment

image…Regent ‘not aware of any process’ •Aladetoyinbo to get staff today
Residents of Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday marched on the Governor’s Office to protest the kingmakers’ choice of Kole Aladetoyinbo as the Deji of Akure.
Kingmakers, led by the Lisa of Akure, High Chief James Olusoga, on Sunday picked Aladetoyinbo.
He emerged the best of the 13 contestants from the Osupa ruling house.
As early as 8am, the protesters walked from Akure City Hall to the Governor’s Office, calling for the reinstatement of the deposed Deji, Oluwadare Adesina Adepoju.
They said the installation should be discontinued to prevent undue instability in the town.
The placard-carrying protesters stormed the Governor’s Office, shouting invectives against the Deji-elect.
Some of the placards read “Mimiko: bring back our Kabiyesi”; “Kole Aladetoyinbo is a bald headed man: he can’t become Deji”; “Iroko save Akure from Fasonranti, Falae, kingmakers”, among others.
One of the protesters, Mrs Adero Adebayo, said market women would not accept anybody except Adesina.
The spokesman of Osupa ruling house, Prince Dapo Adepoju, lamented that the selection violated Akure culture and tradition.
He said: “We want Mimiko to temper justice with mercy because we believe that Adesina’s sin is pardonable, considering that such happened in Owo when the late Olagbegi was deposed and Oba Ogunoye was enthroned as king.
“But after Ogunoye’s death, Olagbegi was reinstated by former Governor Bamidele Olumilua.
“The Osupa ruling house has a pending case in the Court of Appeal, Akure, challenging his deposition and banishment.”
No government official was available to address the protesters but the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of A Division, Adekimi Ojo, appealed to them to return home and promised to deliver their message to the governor.
The spokesman of Akure kingmakers and Asamo of Akure, Chief Rotimi Olusanya, insisted that nothing could stop the installation and performance of traditional rites for the new Deji.
The deposed Deji, at the weekend, sought a court injunction to restrain the kingmakers from selecting a new Deji.
He claimed that he was still entitled to contest for the stool, as according to him, he was wrongly removed by the government.
The government dethroned Adepoju on June 10, 2010 for allegedly battering his wife, the late Mrs. Bolanle Adepoju
Mrs. Adepoju, who died in 2012, said the incident that led to her husband’s banishment was exaggerated.
The development led to the installation of the late Oba Adebiyi Adesida from Ojijigogun ruling house, who was installed in 2010 as the 46th Deji of Akure.
He died on December 1, 2013.
His daughter, Princess Adetutu Adesida, was installed the Regent of Akure kingdom.
Princess Adesida has said she was not aware of the selection.
She said it would not be in the interest of peace and tradition to be caught unawares by the installation process being embarked upon by the kingmakers and the government.
Princess Adesida said the kingmakers should have informed her about the process so that she could be psychologically prepared for her exit from the palace.
She said traditionally it would be a taboo for the new monarch to meet her in the palace.
Although she admitted that the regent has no role to play in the selection and installation of the monarch, she however said she deserves the right to be carried along as a critical stakeholder in the town.
Princess Adesida said: “The process, to me, is vague. I was not informed initially. Of all that has been done so far I am not aware of anything.
“The kingmakers did not carry me along. I am a major stakeholder and I should be informed. I want due process to be followed. Things should be done in a proper manner.”
The State Executive Council has approved Aladetoyinbo’s appointment.
In a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, the Council gave the approval yesterday at its meeting.
He said the approval followed the unanimous decision of the kingmakers.
Aladetoyinbo will be presented with the staff of office today.

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