Vanguard (Lagos)

16 December 2013

Nigeria: Chieftaincy Title - Village Heads Beat Up Ogun Monarch

Abeokuta — Pandemonium broke out in Ayetoro, the political headquarters of Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, when at least 10 village heads allegedly beat the Alaye of Ayetoro, Oba Azeez Adelakun and destroyed his traditional beads.

The fracas which occurred,weekend, shortly before the embattled monarch installed a village head of Ago-Imala, Olayiwola Ajibola, prompted the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Ikemefuna Okoye, to personally supervise his men who stormed the place in four Hilux vans to restore normalcy.

The installation was billed to take place at Isale-Agboro multi-purpose hall before the crisis escalated.

When our correspondent visited the place, there were eight bonfires in various places which were reportedly made by the youths in the area in protest against the assault on their monarch.

It was gathered that, there had been bad blood between the monarch and the aggrieved village heads following the refusal of the monarch to merge two village heads in Saala village.

An eyewitness told our correspondent that some village heads had demanded to hold a meeting with the monarch on the need to jettison the installation of the new village head, and when the monarch entered the palace, the aggrieved village heads refused to pay homage to him, saying they did not recognise him.

Speaking on behalf of the monarch, Baale Ayobo-Ayetoro, Ezekiel Ogundele said: "Those Baales have vowed to dethrone the Kabiyesi and they have been planning against him for long. They said until they dethrone him they will not rest.

"They alleged that the Kabiyesi disgraced them in Abeokuta and they would retaliate by removing him as the oba of the town. They said the two village heads in Saala should be merged, but Kabiyesi told the government not to allow them merge the two offices. This did not go down well with the aggrieved Baales who vowed to deal with the Kabiyesi by removing him as Oba.

"This development led to the confusion to the extent that, these aggrieved village heads wrote the Kabiyesi to meet them at his palace, December 16.

"But, Kabiyesi wanted to install Baale Ago-Imala and when they got to the palace they did not pay homage to him and when the monarch asked them why they failed to pay the homage, they said the Kabiyesi had been removed as the Oba,

"They vowed that they will not remove their caps and shoes as the culture demanded and they carried out the threat. They were about 10."

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Muyiwa Adejobi, said 19 Baales were involved, adding that one of the Baales assaulted the oba by removing his traditional beads.

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