The Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, has kicked off the traditional new year (Udiroko) festival of the Ado Ekiti people and announced that the community had put mechanism in place to tackle the menace of land grabbers and touts known as ‘Omo Onile’, in the state capital.
Oba Adejugbe announced this at a press briefing to herald the annual Udiroko Festival.
He declared that his kingdom was a no-go area for land grabbers, many of whom he claimed were sent packing from Lagos, saying the chiefs and himself would not allow such to thrive in the community.
He said the troubles created by land speculators in Ado Ekiti were one of the prices to be paid for the change of its status from a town and local government headquarters to a state capital, following the creation of Ekiti State on October 1, 1996.
Speaking on the menace of the land grabbers which is denting the image of the community, Oba Adejugbe declared that any Omo Onile arrested henceforth in Ado Ekiti would be treated as an armed robber and given the appropriate punishment.
He disclosed that the palace has officially forwarded a letter to the office of the Inspector General of Police to tackle the Omo Onile syndrome which he attributed to “the influx of the boys driven away from Lagos.”
The grand finale of the festival holds on Tuesday, August 23.
The monarch urged his subjects and residents of the city to come out in large numbers to participate in the festival which he described as a celebration of culture and tradition of Ado people.
The festival commenced with a prayer session by Christian clerics led by the Dean of the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel, Very Reverend Francis Bankole and Chairman, Ado Ekiti District Church Council (DCC) of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Pastor Olu Eyebiokin.
The prayer was followed by Festival Lecture entitled “Ado Ekiti for Greater Tomorrow” which was delivered by the former deputy governor of Ekiti State, Dr Sikiru Tae Lawal.
Oba Adejugbe explained that Health Talk holds on Thursday (today) at Pastoral Centre. On Friday, there will be a visit to the aged, “Ayo Olopon” competition and Jumat service at the Central Mosque.