There is tension in the Irele community, Irele Local Government Area of Ondo State as youths of the community have vowed to resist any attempt by the police or any security outfits to arrest their monarch, Oba Ademola Idowu Oloworiyibi, the Olofun of Irele.
The youths said the entire community remained happy about having a monarch five years after the demise of their last king.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, in a letter signed by his Chief of Staff, Olugbenga Ale, asked the state Commissioner of Police, Oyediran Oyeyemi, to arrest and prosecute Oba Idowu.
Akeredolu said Oba Oloworiyibi was an impostor as his administration has not approved or appointed anybody as the monarch of Irele.
Oba Oloworiyibi was crowned last month but some persons petitioned the state government saying the issue of the kingship was still before the court of law.
Akeredolu said the installation of Oba Ademola was capable of causing disaffection amongst the peace-loving people of the ancient town and that the consequences could be better imagined.
Ondo Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Akinwunmi Sowore, in a chat with our reporter, explained that Oba Ademola failed to comply with laid rules and procedures.
He said: “The man in Irele had not complied with our process at the Ministry. The process was that he will be selected officially. The outcome will be sent to the State Executive Council for approval. The government will give the instrument of office and Staff of Office to him. All these are the key powers the Ministry will bestow on any person who will become an Oba.
“If anybody has not received all these and he is parading himself as an Oba, the person has committed an infraction against the Chiefs Laws of Ondo State.’’
However, a prince in the community, Prince Olujimi Adekanle Lijoka, from the Oyenusi Ruling House of Irele Kingdom, said his father was the last king in Irele.
“My father comes from the Oyenusi ruling house. The person my father succeeded was from Jagboju ruling house. The present king is from Orunbemekun which balances the whole thing.
“When my father was king, some of our family members challenged us that we were not supposed to produce the king because our father was the son of a woman. They claimed they are from the paternity side. They did that when my father was already king. They installed one man but the man ran away. The problem is within the Oyenusi family and not other clans. They are claiming the case is in court but we said the case is dead because the Oyenusi has done their turn through my father.
“The kingmakers came together that it is high time the town had a king after five years. The kingmakers asked the Orunbemekun ruling house to produce somebody. The contestants agreed that Ademola should be king. Ademola passed through all the processes. He spent nine days in isolation inside the shrine as part of the ritual to become the king.
Oba Ademola who spoke through his Personal Assistant, Ode Adewale, said the Irele customs do not require writing any letter to the government about picking a king.
He said: “There is no arrest for now. No one has come to arrest the king. We are trying to settle the matter with the government.’’
Ondo Police spokesman, SP Fumilayo Odunlami, confirmed that Oba Ademola was yet to be arrested.
She said the police have commenced the process with a view to effecting the arrest.