Ruling houses in the Ojo community, Ajowa, Akoko North West Council area of Ondo State, have explained their preference for a female regent until the process of selecting a new monarch is completed.
Addressing newsmen in Akure, the state capital, the Baba Eto of Uro kingdom in Ojo-Ajowa, Chief Jacob Adegoke, said that the ruling houses have unanimously selected the daughter of the deceased monarch, Princess Sarah Adewale, as the regent.
Adegoke noted that after the demise of the monarch, Oba Timothy Adewale, the royal houses met and agreed on a smooth transition, favouring a female regent over a male.
The Baba Eto, who spoke together with two other community leaders, Mr. Akinyemi Bolanle and Hon. Oluwasegun, said past experiences across the communities showed that male regents tend to stay on the throne and secretly frustrate the selection of a new traditional ruler.
According to him, “When the last Olojo of Ojo departed to the great beyond, the three ruling houses met and selected his daughter as Regent in line with our age-old custom and tradition.”
He, however, lamented that some government officials in the state are backing non-natives to impose a male regent on the community.
According to Adegoke, “The asylum seekers on our land are presenting a male regent outside the ruling houses, and certain people in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs are supporting this illegal move against our custom and tradition.”
He noted that the non-natives were granted asylum during the reign of the 3rd Olojo of Ojo, Oba Olaremu Fajuwon, 1778 – 1838. Adegoke said, “They were granted asylum and were placed in different locations around the seat of power at Aremu.”
“The monarch was a great warrior; hence, his settlement attracted people for protection. Aremu community has been producing an Oba since time memorial.”
“Ironically, it is the very spirit of accommodating latitude, this emblem of expressive hearing, which is now being used by interlopers to contest Ojo space with the Indigenous native people.”
“So many lies are being packaged to justify their claims for joint ownership of Ojo space, changing stories to justify their imaginary claims.”
“With their imaginary supporters in the ministry, documents in Olojo of Ojo chieftaincy file were removed. Adegoke said that documents of the community submitted to the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs have been disappearing.
“Why should people and the Ministry of Local Government rely on sentiments when facts and evidence are available? We are relying on facts and evidence and not sentiments.”
“To all Aremu people, the 17th of October 2023 was a black day in the history of Ojo when a kangaroo declaration was illegally made to snatch away the right of the indigenous native people of Ojo.”
“The chieftaincy declaration made in 1957, registered on April 8, 1958, approved Awarinajo, Awarin Oji, and Awarin Olofa as the 3 ruling houses.”
“When the last Olojo of Ojo departed to the great beyond, the 3 ruling houses met and selected his daughter as Regent in line with our age-old custom and tradition.”
“The asylum seekers on our land are presenting a male regent outside the ruling houses, and certain people in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs are supporting this illegal move against our custom and tradition.”
Chief Adegoke said that their tolerance of non-natives should not be taken for granted. The people they accommodated are now contesting the Obaship with the indigenous native people. He wondered, “How can a tenant displace the legal owner of a house?”
He, therefore, called on the state government to protect their regent, Princess Adewale, who was unanimously selected by the three royal houses entitled to the stool.