Hope not lost for autonomy-seeking Ekiti Communities, says Fayemi
By Olu Ibiyemi
The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has assured that all hope is not lost for communities that are seeking autonomy as their requests will be considered in the future.
Fayemi, who said his administration cannot attend to all requests for autonomy at once urged agitators to be patient and law be abiding as it would soon be their turn.
The Governor made the remarks on Tuesday at the official presentation of instruments of appointment and staff of office to the first Alajowa of Ijowa-Ekiti (a new autonomous community) in Ikole Local government area, Oba Emmanuel Ola Omopariola.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, Dr. Fayemi congratulated the new monarch and his subjects on the autonomy granted the community, the approval he described as a “fulfilment of age-long dream.”
A statement released by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, disclosed that Ijowa Ekiti was the third out of the five autonomous communities where new monarchs have been enthroned.
The new monarch, apparently overwhelmed with joy, said Governor Fayemi has “delivered the community from slavery and second class rating in the 21st Century.”
The Governor explained that Ijowa-Ekiti was among several communities that presented requests for autonomy before the Justice Babajide Aladejana-led Chieftaincy Review Commission with their cases successful before the Panel and the State Executive Council.
Fayemi commended the people of Ijowa for being peaceful throughout the period of their request for autonomy as no case of violence was recorded and the peaceful co-existence they maintained with Irele-Ekiti town from where they were they emerged.
The Governor appealed to other communities in similar situation to emulate the good example of Ijowa and Irele’s harmonious cohabitation.
According to the Governor, his administration holds Obas in high esteem considering the position they hold as custodians of the people’s cultural heritage. He noted that his administration will always accord traditional rulers with due respect and dignity their
offices deserve and prioritise their welfare within the limited resources available to the State.
Dr. Fayemi urged all communities in the state to join hands with his administration to fast-track all-round development of the state, particularly in the areas of the on-going road construction and rehabilitation, education development, healthcare delivery, water
revolution and restoration of stipends for the aged.
He solicited the cooperation of communities for prompt payment of taxes and maintenance of peace in the state.
The Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Adeniyi Familoni, described the coronation ceremony as marking the end of all processes of autonomy. He urged the Ijowa people to maintain peace with neighbouring communities.
In his acceptance speech, Oba Omopariola, who sincerely expressed the community’s appreciation to Dr. Kayode Fayemi for granting the autonomy to the town described the autonomy as “divine intervention” as the new status would facilitate rapid development for the community.
While calling on government to assist the town in reconstructing the Arinkin Bridge which has cut Ijowa and Irele-Ekiti off from the rest of the state, the monarch emphasized that the reconstruction would assist his people who are predominantly farmers to bring their farm produce to the outside world.
Urging the state government to staff the community Primary School in the community, Oba Omopariola pledged the loyalty of the people to the Fayemi administration assuring that they would always perform their civic responsibilities and ensure peaceful co-existence with
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