By: Jimmysayo Adebiyi
…..Says Protest by Ijare indigenes against Sapetu, not me
The Chairman of Ifedore Local Government in Ondo State, Hon. Alex Oladimeji, has cautioned stakeholders especially kingmakers and Princes who candidates battling to become the next Olujare of Ijare Community to stop dragging his name into the selection process of a new monarch.
The Council Boss insisted that he had no power to impose new monarch on the town considering various Chieftaincy laws in the state.
Oladimeji while Reacting to a report that he was sponsoring one of the candidates, He told newsmen that the allegation by some concerned Ijare indigenes against him as unfounded.
The Olujare stool became vacant two years ago when Oba Adebamigbe Oluwagbemigun, Kokotiri II, joined his ancestors and the process of selecting new monarch by Royal family and kingmakers has been causing differences in the town as nine out of 13 candidates such as Prince Kola Oyewole were screened out.
Some concerned indigenes in a press statement signed by Elder Ojo Bamidele on Sunday, fingered the Chairman of Ifedore Local Government, who is from the town of allegedly plotting to force one of his cousins in the race on the community as Olujare.
The press statement reads, “Permit us to state that the Chairman of Ifedore Local Government, Hon. Alex Oladimeji, who is prejudicially pushing for one of the candidates that is his cousin.”
However reacting in an interview with newsmen, the local government Chairman, Hon. Alex Oladimeji, said due process would be followed, noting that a mass protest in the town at the weekend was not against him but against the Head of the kingmakers, the Sapetu of Ijare, High Chief Wemimo Olaniyan, for delaying the process of picking new monarch.
Oladimeji said, “I need to respond to this because all they wrote against me is a blatant lie. As a local government Chairman, there is a rules and regulations guiding selection of Obas, not only in my community (Ijare), all communities have their declaration/laws that govern them and there is an Ondo State Chieftaincy Law, nobody can influence and even me as the Council Chairman, there is no way I can influence anybody to emerge as the King or force anybody on my town.”
“I am not a member of the (Ijare) Royal family, I am not part of the people that screened (Princes), I am not part of the Kingmakers (Afobaje). I don’t have any role to play rather than whatever they do they send it to my office and i will follow up with what the law says.
“I find it strange that I was being fingered that I want to force one of my cousins on the community. I don’t know how; i don’t have any cousin among the people that are contesting (for Olujare stool); But the truth of the matter is that on Saturday there was a protest and the protest was against the Sapetu of Ijare (High Chief) Barrister Wemimo Olaniyan, alleging him that he didn’t allow the selection of new Olujare to continue.
“The community people are not protesting against me. I am not doing anything against the wish of the community, I can only guide the community to avert security breach,” Oladimeji said.
The Council Chairman confirmed that it was true that the Royal Family (Omowas) actually screened out nine out of 13 of the candidates, clearing four of them for the kingmakers to pick from and the family decision sent to the local government; “I don’t know why these people are accusing me wrongly. They protested against Chief Wemimo, not me. I am surprised these people fingered me.
He said, “the truth is that there is a problem among Omowas and even among the kingmakers, they should not shift their problem to me.
“I am not supposed to be dragged to this issue at all. The people accusing me wrongly should go back to their family and resolve their problems and stop dragging my name. I am a local government Chairman and i work with established laws, i can’t create laws by myself,” Oladimeji said.