Palpable tension is mounting in Ibafo area of Ogun State, following the emergence of two Obas- elect, with each claiming right to the throne.
The traditional council in the area has written a letter to the Ogun State government and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, to urgently prevent a bloodbath in the community .
While the traditional council in Ibafo, Oba in Council, Ibafoland is in support of the former Otunba of Ibafo, Solomon Ajileja, who was in 2012 reportedly selected as the Oba-elect, another group of residents is supporting Kazeem Alayande, who was allegedly imposed by the state government.
The Oba in Council, in a letter dated 3rd August 2016, sent to the Alake of Egbaland in which the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs was copied, expressed the desire to resist any attempt by the state government to impose an Oba on the town.
Part of the letter reads: “It is with disbelief and utter consternation that we want to inform you of the information spreading round the entire Ibafo and beyond of the intention/decision of the executive governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, that he has perfected his plan to impose Mr Kazeem Kasimawo Alayande as the Oba-elect on the good people and residents of the sprawling town, any moment from now (God forbid).
“We want to state clearly that this is not a military government, where value is not attached to the traditional institution. Democracy is the order of the day and its ethos must be respected.”
A resident of Ibafo, Johnson, who expressed fear that the situation may soon grow out of control, told Sunday Tribune that the crisis actually started early this year.
He said: “since 2012, exactly a year after the last Oba died, there were reports in all parts of the town that the Alake of Egbaland and the traditional council of chiefs had approved Ajileja as the Oba-elect.”
The resident also added that “since then, everybody called him Oba until early this year when another report filtered into town that the state government wanted Alayande to be the new Oba of Ibafo.”
Ajileja, while speaking with Sunday Tribune, stated that he had since 2012 gone through all the necessary screening, including from the security agencies and the Igbeyin Ogboni Council, which is responsible for the selection of monarchs in Ibafo and was waiting for coronation, until the latest development.
Ajileja, who expressed his surprise at the turn of events, also said that the Alake of Egbaland had not only issued a letter to the effect that he had been approved as the Oba of Ibafoland, but also that the Oba confirmed that in a letter to the police.
According to Ajileja, the Alake of Egbaland had in a letter dated December 5th 2012, introduced him to the Ogun State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
He also stated that he was informed that the new development was a compensation to Alayande by the Ogun State government .
Alayande, in his own reaction, stated that for “those peddling rumours that I am not from Ibafo, that I am from Adewolu and another place called Imo, at the appropriate time, I will schedule a press conference and all of these shall be addressed.
He also added that “meanwhile, I want to implore the good people of Ibafo to support the government on its selection of an Oba for Ibafo. I want people to maintain law and order. Let us all support someone with good intentions, someone who really has the love of Ibafo at heart so that great changes can come to Ibafo.”
He also stated that “I am the one with an upper hand here and definitely the other side will go the extra mile and that is the basis of all those unprintable words being used against me.”