Palpable tension enveloped Owo town on Wednesday over an alleged plan by the Olowo of Owo, Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi, to impose a new Elerewe of Owo on the people.
Our correspondent learnt that the candidate, who was unanimously appointed by the Elewere family, was allegedly rejected by the monarch despite pleas by the leadership of the concerned family.
The development forced the family to petition the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, alleging that the monarch’s attempt to impose an unpopular candidate on the family might lead to a breakdown of law and order.
It was also learnt that the Iloro Quarters’ chiefs in Owo have also written to the monarch over the same matter.
The Elerewe family, in their letter to the governor, signed by their head, Chief Joseph Ologunolonenusi, and the Secretary, Olagoji Olaleye, explained that the family had conducted its selection process and appointed Oluwole Folahanmi as the next Elerewe of Owo kingdom.
They, however, stated that contrary to the selection process carried out by the family, the monarch allegedly wanted to impose one Olatunde Olakunori on the entire family.
The family argued that following the demise of the late Elerewe, High Chief Folahanmi Olakunori in March 2010, five members of the family obtained forms and were duly screened by the committee set up for that purpose.
The petition reads in part, “We wish to state that the committee made spiritual consultations consequent upon which it voted to elect one Folahanmi Olakunri Oluwole as the next Elerewe of Owo.
“And it is on this basis that the family performed all the Elerewe family traditional rites for the said candidate for his eventual installation by the Olowo of Owo. To the greatest dismay of the entire family, the monarch has refused to install the Elerewe-elect.
“We must place on record that the onus is on our family to present whoever that pleases us to be the chief of our family, and moreso, we wish to state with great emphasis and unequivocally that it is not the duty of anybody, even the Olowo of Owo, to nominate the Elerewe for our family, it is our exclusive right.”
They alleged that the life of the Elerewe-elect would be in danger if he was not installed because all necessary traditional rites had been performed on him.
They urged the governor to intervene in the matter and ensure the installation of a new Elerewe to enable the family to commence the burial rites of the late Elerewe, whose corpse was still in the mortuary.
Efforts to get the monarch to speak on the issue were not successful as text messages and calls put throughto his mobile telephone set were neither replied nor answered.
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