Ondo community raises the alarm over whereabouts of monarch

Oba Oluwambe Ojagbohunmi

People of Aiyetoro community, a riverine town in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State have raised an alarm over the sudden disappearance of their monarch, Oba Oluwambe Ojagbohunmi (JP), the Ogeloyinbo of Aiyetoro.

The residents disclosed that the monarch left the island town contrary to their tradition on Monday, January 14, to honour the invitation by the governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, for a security meeting in Igbokoda, the headquarters of the council.

The Supreme Council of Elders, the highest administrative body of the theocratic community, lamented that Oba Ojagbohunmi had been away for two nights without any traces of his whereabouts.

Speaking with journalists in Akure yesterday, the Principal Secretary of the community, Mr. Ademolu Atimishe, decried foul play by some government officials. Atimishe said the monarch received a letter of invitation from the governor through the caretaker committee chairman of the council, Atikase Otito, for the security meeting.

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The community had been plunged into kingship tussle since February 2015 after the demise of the fifth Ogeloyinbo, Oba Asogbon Gad, leading to the closure of the only church in the community, Holy Apostles Church, for over two years.

However, the Principal Secretary noted that the invitation came at a time when the entire community was celebrating its 72nd Founder’s Anniversary, which forbids the king to leave the palace.

“Although, the letter came pretty late at about 11:40a.m. dated January 8, the meeting, as stated in the letter, was to be held at 1:00p.m. Nevertheless, as our tradition dictates, during the week of our Founders’ Day Anniversary, the king is not to step out of the community. However, four members of the Supreme Council of Elders of Aiyetoro were sent to represent the monarch but they were denied access to the venue of the meeting.

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“As a result of this, the meeting, in agreement with the chairman, Ilaje Local Government and Security Committee (the police, navy and army), was re-scheduled to Monday, January 14, by 12noon.”

He pointed out that “being a peace-loving person, Oba Ojagbohunmi left Aiyetoro to attend the re-scheduled meeting at the Naval Officers Mess, Igbokoda. No meeting held as scheduled because the other party involved did not honour the invitation.”

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The community urged the governor, council chairman, and Commissioner of Police to explain the mystery behind the sudden disappearance of their monarch.

“This is against the culture and tradition of our land, it is a taboo for the king to be missing for more than two days without an inkling of his whereabouts, especially this period when it is customarily forbidden for the monarch to leave the palace.

Several attempts to reach the caretaker chairman of the council was to no avail as his number rang without response, while the text message to his phone was not replied as at press time yesterday.

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