Kenny EMMANUEL

 

Indigenes of Imasayi, Ogun State on Wednesday, staged a peaceful protest against the appointment and installation of Oba  Kuoye Olalekan Adeleke as traditional ruler of the town.

The protesters were armed with placards with various inscriptions, such as

“Please, help us in Imasayi, our rights are being infringed”, “No to Kuoye as Olu Imasayi”, “we don’t want political king in Imasayi”, “kangaroo election process was done at Ayetoro, follow the process”, “we don’t want any coronation ceremony in Imasayi”, “we are not in support of Kuoye as Oba, there has been sudden death in the land when no traditional selection was used,” “we don’t want political king in Imasayi, good people of Imasayi go against Kuoye” and “No imposition of Kuoye as king of Imasayi”

While claiming that Oba Kuoye is neither from the town, nor belong to any of the ruling houses, the protesters demanded that his appointment and installation be reversed by government.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, the Balogun of Imasayi, Chief Timothy Rotimi Akinleye said the installation of the new Oba was against the norms, customs and traditions of the land.

According to him the current king is not from the land and also not from the two ruling houses in the community.

Akinleye claimed that Kuoye was only installed as a chief by the late  monarch because they were friends, declaring that he  is not entitled to the throne at all.

He noted there are two ruling families in the town; which include the Aribioyo family and the Oyesoku family, pointing out that the former produced the last monarch and it is now the turn of the Oyesoku family to produce the new Olu of Imasayi.

He said, there is no family called Kuoye family in Oyesoku ruling house .

The Balogun explained that in Imasayi, there were five kingmakers in which three of them are dead but out of the two remaining, only one of them has certificate which is the “Asaba” and the other chief, “Odofin”, the unverified kingmaker voted twice during the selection process.

Akinleye therefore called on the state government to do the right thing and reverse the selection and installation of Oba Kuoye as the Olu of Imasayi, adding that due process should be followed in choosing a king from the right ruling house.

He said, “What is actually happening is that, we have an age long process, traditions, customs and norms to follow before anybody could be appointed as an Oba, but this processes were being eroded and all of a sudden, we heard that government had appointed somebody who is a ‘stranger’ to be our Oba”.

“He has no family, no house here,  nothing whatsoever here”

“I  was not too young when Oba Aderenle was installed as king in 1941 and he went through the processes of ‘Ipebi’ to learn the processes of being a king, Olude followed him, Oba Gbadebo followed him. This man is a stranger to us”.

He doesn’t belong to this community. He was made the ‘Aare of Imasayi’ by late Oba Gbadebo because they were friends from Ado-Odo/Ota and after the demise of the Oba Gbadebo, he (Oba Kuoye)  surfaced after 14  years of being installed as Aare.

“This pricess contravened our traditions, a lot of people have lost their lives. For example, on the day he was to receive his letter of appointment, two chiefs died”.

“At present, we have two ruling house, Aribiyo ruling house, which produced late Oba Gbadebo. It is the turn of the Oyesoku ruling house and they have not presented any candidate to the Regency Committee. How he became the Olu Imasayi is mystery and unknown to the norms, customs and traditions of Imasayi, this is why people are dying like fowls”.

We have written several letters to both the governor and Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, but no response so far. We even protested to the Governor’s office twice. We met the Deputy Governor and our representative at the State House of Assembly, Hon Awoso from Igbogila”.

In his reaction to the allegations of the protesters, Oba Kuoye claimed that, he is not only a son of the soil, but a member of the Oyesoku ruling house.

According to him, there are eleven families that make up the Oyesoku ruling family and the Kuoye family is one of the families saying that he is a son of that family and so he is entitled to the throne.

He claimed that all his documents from primary school till date had been carrying the name.

The king however called on all sons and daughters of the Imasayi to embrace peace and unity for growth, progress and development of the town.

He said” I am a son of the soil. My family belongs to one of the branches of Oyesoku ruling house. There are eleven families in the Oyesoku ruling house which Kuoye is one. On the list of families in Oyesoku, Kuoye is number two and that can be confirmed in a book titled,  “The Appendages of the Oyesoku family” written by late Oba Olude in 1989 or thereabout”.

“Kuoye is my surname and I have been using it since birth, it is in all my documents since primary school”.

“Kuoye is a direct descendant of Oyesoku ruling family, whoever that said Kuoye is not an indigene of Imasayi should trace the history”.

“I was supported by eight families out of the 11 families that make up Oyesoku ruling house. From there, we wrote to the head of the family and the head of the family wrote to the local government and a date was set for the nomination, which was done in an open, well accredited environment. Nobody was restricted  from attending. All necessary documents were signed by the head of the family and Secretary to the local government who was an observer”.

“My message to all indigenes of Imasayi is “I have opened the window of reconciliation with everybody, if truly we are interested in the development of Imasayi and bringing it out from the shackles of oppression. Let us come together to build the Imasayi of our dream”, Oba Kuoye said.

The protest was coming three months after Oba  Kuoye was presented with staff of office and instrument of appointment by the state government.

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