BY TIMOTHY AGBOR
Fourteen months after his administration announced the dethronement of three traditional rulers in Osun State, Governor Ademola Adeleke, on Thursday, declared that all the affected stools would remain vacant.
Recall that the governor had in November, 2022, after his inauguration, directed security agents to take over the palaces of Owa of Igbajo, Aree of Iree and Akinrun of Ikirun.
The directive was one of the executive orders signed by the governor.
Monarchs sacked by Adeleke included Akinrun of Ikinrun Oba Yinusa Akadiri; Aree of Ire Oba Ademola Oluponle and Owa of Igbajo, Oba Gboyega Famodun. He had ordered the monarchs to vacate the palace, asking security operatives to take over.
The affected towns had ever since existed without traditional rulers.
A year and two months after the controversial removal of the kings who were installed during the administration of former Governor Gboyega Oyetola, the state government said it released White Paper on the Chieftaincy Matter and decided that the installation of Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo stands nullified and that “all inclusive selection process(es) for a new Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo, respectively, should commence immediately.”
“On the disputed Akirun stool, the White Paper directed that the parties await the outcome of the case before the Court of Appeal. And that the stool remains vacant,” a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi read.
Also, the statement disclosed that the governor has approved a task force to recover the vehicles allegedly looted by the officials of Oyetola.
“The Osun State Government has today (Thursday) released six white papers, five on various committees which investigated issues raised by the executive orders issued by His Excellency, Senator (Dr.) Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke at the inception of the administration in November 2022, as well as White paper on Education Summit.
“The White Papers earlier approved by the State Executive Council were finally ratified after further review by a special committee chaired by Governor Adeleke in line with the Governor’s promise to ensure due process, indepth consultation and compliance with the rule of law.
“Among the white papers approved include those of Committees on Chieftaincy Matters, Contracts/MOU/Agreements review Committee, Solid Minerals Committee, Assets Inventory and Recovery Committee, Staff Audit /Appointments/ Promotions review Committee, as well as white paper on Education Summit.
“On the report on the chieftaincy matters chaired by Honourable Bunmi Jenyo, the white paper overwhelmingly prioritized compliance with legal requirements as a basis for final decisions.
“By the report of the White Paper, all previous steps taken in relation to the installation of Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo stands nullified. And that all inclusive selection process(es) for a new Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo, respectively, should commence immediately.
“Specifically on Aree of Iree Chieftaincy, the substantive chiefs are enjoined to withdraw their suit before the Court so as to allow for commencement of the selection process denovo in line with due process and tradition.
“And on the stool of Owa of Igbajo, the White Paper nullified the previous selection process, which produced Prince Gboyega Famodun and directed an all-inclusive selection process for a new Owa nominee.
“On the disputed Akirun stool, the White Paper directed that the parties await the outcome of the case before the Court of Appeal. And that the stool remains vacant.
“On other disputed kingship stools, the white paper further recommended compliance with the requirements of the law as in the Alawo stool where the government accepted the committee recommendation that the government should await the outcome of the pending suit before the Supreme Court.
“The Government has directed the setting up of a task force for the recovery of government vehicles carted away by officials of the Gboyega Oyetola administration.
“Meanwhile, the State Government has also directed the Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment to publish the six white papers in the official government gazette.
“Members of the public interested in acquiring and possessing copies of the white papers should approach the Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment, State Secretariat, Osogbo,” the statement reads in full.