Daily Trust (Abuja)

1 September 2014

Nigeria: Two Princesses Fight Over Late Father's Stool

Ado-Ekiti — The Olukere of Ikere Ekiti kingdom of Ekiti State, Oba Ganiyu Obasoyin, has warned the two daughters of the late Ogoga of Ikere Ekiti, Oba Adegoke Adegboye, not to allow their quest for the regency of the community thwart the peace in the kingdom.

Oba Adegboye, a first class king, died on August 22 at the age of 85. Daily Trust gathered that since the death, the Oba's two daughters, Miss Ayooye Adegboye and Mrs Adebisi Bello, have been engaged in a battle over the position of regent of the community.

In Yoruba tradition, a regent, usually the eldest daughter of a deceased monarch is appointed to occupy the throne for a short period until a new king is appointed.

It was further gathered that while Miss Ayooye Adegboye is enjoying the support of the princes(Omowas), the eldest daughter, Mrs Adebisi Bello, is being backed by some chiefs.

At a press conference on Saturday, the Olukere said the cold war between the two princesses over the regency was unnecessary, adding that the position is merely ceremonial.

He, therefore, appealed to the kingmakers not to allow the tussle for Ogoga stool polarize the community.

The Olukere, who is also the Chief Priest of the kingdom and founder of Ikere, warned the kingmakers against arbitrariness in the burial rites for the late Ogoga.

Olukere reminded the contenders for regency that only Sapetu and the head of kingmakers could exercise executive powers in the absence of the Ogoga.

"The 1933 Intelligence Report written by N.A.C. Weir, former District Officer of Ikere Ekiti under the old Ondo Province made it clear that only Sapetu and the head of kingmakers can exercise executive powers. So the regent is merely ceremonial and I advise whoever gets there not to go beyond her bounds by usurping the powers of Sapetu. The Regent cannot even go to the public under the guise of representing the town"', he said.

He further urged the princes to consult widely with the kingmakers in arriving at a choice of regent that would be in the overall interest of the populace.

Olukere appealed to the kingmakers to adhere strictly to customs and follow due process in appointing the regent.

He dismissed insinuations that he and the late Ogoga were rivals, saying: "The two of us have different roles to play in Ikere Ekiti as traditional rulers. Our roles did not overlap at all and there is no reason for any rivalry".

Traditional Prime Minister and Sapetu of Ikere Ekiti, Chief Michael Shittu , on his part said so far, nobody has been appointed for the position.

He however added that it was wrong for anybody to claim that only the first daughter could be appointed regent of the town.

"The fight over regency is needless because she has no role to play. The kingmakers can go ahead and appoint even a man as the regent, because men have been appointed as regents in the past and that is what makes Ikere Ekiti different from other towns in Ekiti State in the area of regency," he added.

He assured that a committee would be set up to checkmate anyone who might want to use the tussle to plunge the town into crisis.

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