By Chris Chiemezie
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has reiterated that the present administration will not, in anyway, indulge in any unnecessary interference and imposition of obas in any part of the State.
Akeredolu made this known in Akure, during his maiden meeting with traditional rulers and inauguration of the State Council of Obas.
He said when communities are ready to put behind their animosity and rancour in their quest for new Obas, this Administration will not hesitate to give due consideration to recommendations received from them.
The Governor who explained that his administration has drawn up socio-economic programmes to improve the living condition of the monarchs and good people of the State, also extended the hands of fellowship to the Obas as partners in progress in the development of the Sunshine State.
He revealed that some proactive measures had been taken to ensure the security of Ondo State citizens by the deployment of more security personnel.
The move, according to him, is to ensure the security of lives and property of Ondo citizens and to ensure that no traditional ruler would be kidnapped again.
The Governor assured the Kabiyesis that his administration holds them in very high esteem and would continue to place high premium on them as partners in progress and in the development of the State.
“Priority attention will continue to be given to the welfare and security of our Royal Fathers within the limits of available resources.
“I wish to appeal to our Traditional Rulers to continue to cooperate and collaborate with this Administration in the maintenance of peace in their respective domains.
“Our Traditional Rulers are the immediate point of contact for the man on the street in settling disputes without the rigours of the processes that obtain in other means of settling crisis.
“The traditional institutions provide alternative means of dispute resolution, which, to a large extent, has remained a veritable instrument for fostering mutual relationship and understanding among the people”, he said.
The Governor also mentioned the recent Government circular suspending the appointment and installation of minor chiefs by the Traditional Rulers.
The rationale behind the circular, according to him, was primarily to address the brewing and raging crises in some parts of the State based on the security reports that, if urgent actions were not taken, the installation of chiefs was capable of truncating the relative peace in the State.
“This goes to explain that the government action at stopping unguided appointment and installation of minor chiefs was neither meant to withdraw the prescribed authority of the Kabiyesis nor to reduce their power to install chiefs in their respective domains, saying the provisions of the extant circular, therefore, subsists.
“This Administration had been briefed on the numerous vacant chieftaincy stools and efforts being made to fill them.
“Some communities have concluded the selection process of filling their vacant chieftaincy stools. The report of such selection process will be considered for possible approval by the State Executive Council.
The State Government has also observed that efforts at filling some vacant stools had been stalled by the failure of the respective communities and stakeholders to resolve their differences, coupled with pending litigations in the Court of Law.
“It is the desire and resolve of this Administration that appointment are made into those chieftaincy positions in good time. This, however, can only be done with the cooperation of the concerned communities.
“We have confidence that we can together build Ondo State of our dream, to the admiration of others, he stated.
Responding, Chairman of the State Council of Obas, Oba Akadiri Momoh, assured that the council will continue to play its advisory role to the government, adding that it would fully collaborate with the present administration towards achieving the desired peace and progress in the state.
Oba Momoh who applauded the Governor for the significant achievements already recorded since the inception of his administration, thanked him for the prompt payment of worker’s salaries and for prioritizing the welfare of people of the state with his people-oriented programs and policies.
The Chairman pledged that he would ensure that all Obas in the state are united for them to speak with one voice and support the policies and programmes of government with a view to accelerating development of the State.
The Olukare of Ikare, however, appealed to the Governor, to look into the possibility of effecting the 5% payment of their stipend from the Gross Allocation from Abuja when the economy improves.
Top government functionaries who graced the event are; Deputy Governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hon Ifedayo Abegunde, Information Commissioner, Mr Yemi Olowolabi, his counterpart for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mrs Lola Fagbemi, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs F. B Ogundipe, Caretaker Chairmen of Local governments among others.
Among the Traditional rulers who were at the interactive session include; Olowo of Owo, Oba Victor Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi, Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo, Owa of Idanre, Oba Frederick Aroloye, Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi and Olubaka of Oka-Akoko, Oba Adebori Adeleye.
Others are: Jegun of Ile-Oluji, Oba Julius Adetimehin, Alani of Ido-Ani, Oba (Gen.) Olufemi Olutoye, Zaki of Arigidi, Oba Yisa Olanipekun, Ajobu of Araromi-Obu, Oba Aderemi Adelola and numerous others.