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Crisis Looms In Ekiti Over Chieftaincy Tussle

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The Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi has been called upon to immediately intervene in the chieftaincy title tussle between the Elemo of Oke Emo quarters in Ilawe Ekiti, Chief Gbenga Agbona and the family of Elero in Ilero to avert looming crisis in the town.

The Chiefs at Okeloye quarters of the town have accused some chiefs in the ancient town of distorting history to suit their position and seek relevance in the town.

The two quarters chiefs have been at loggerheads over the claim by the Elero that he used to play the leading role in the installation and funeral rite of Alawe.

Addressing journalists yesterday in Ilawe Ekiti, the quarters’ Heads, led by Elemo of Okeloye, Chief Michael Adeolu , said the town may be plunged into crisis, if Alawe doesn’t intervene and place the history in the right perspective about the relevance and roles of chiefs in the Oba’s installation and burial rites.

He clarified that Elemo of Okeloye had been the chief saddled with the responsibility of installing Alawe and also to announce his death since time immemorial, saying no distortion can deprive him of the right.

“The Elemo of Okeloye quarters came with Alawe from Ile Ife. According to history, is the fifth to Alawe in hierarchy in this order; Oloja Adin, Oloja Aaye, Odofin Okebedo, Elemo Oke Emo, follow by me and others.

” I install the king. I used to do this with Ewe Akoko(Akoko Leaves) at a place called Oju Ilawe. From there, we will go to Ajagbo lake and to Oja Romu along Ado road. I will later take the new Alawe for another rite at Owa Ariyo in my palace at okeloye.

“After this, I will hand him over to Oke Emo chiefs. After leaving there, he will be handed over to us for further rites before I release him to Ejigbo for seven days.

“This is when he becomes the king. I perform the larger and most significant part of the rites. Even during Ogun festival, I used to give Alawe new yam to eat after offering prayers”.

Speaking about the Alawe’s burial and his roles, Chief Adeolu said: “When king dies, the princes will inform me three times. I will summon a meeting and we will go there with a deity called Ariyo. No chief will see the corpse before me. When I get there, I will remove the cloth of the deceased Alawe and pray for him before doing the official announcement of the death.

“18 Obas had been installed in history of Ilawe. Upon death, Elemo Itamoroti removed the cloth of Oba Afunbiokin in May, 1929. Elemo Oluyede did that of Adefolalu while I removed that of Oba Adeyemi Ademileka in 2011”, he said.

Chief Adeolu warned that distortion of history will kill Yoruba culture if proper steps are not taken.

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