The Are Kugbaigbe Ruling House of Oke Igbo in the Ile-Oluji/Oke Igbo Local Government Area of Ondo State has urged the state government to intervene in an alleged attempt to impose a candidate that will occupy the vacant stool of Olu Oke of Oke Igbo, on the ruling house.
The ruling house alleged that the local government was attempting to impose Chief Lawrence Babajide as the traditional ruler of the town.
The petition, which was signed by their lawyer, Mr. Sola Ebiseni, was made available to our correspondent in Akure on Friday.
It was addressed to the Ondo State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
An official of the ministry confirmed the petition, on conditions of anonymity, when contacted on Friday.
The petition alleged that the action of the local government was contrary to the 'Registered declaration of the chieftaincy and the express provisions of the Chiefs Law CAP 27 Volume One, Laws of Ondo State 2006.'
The petition read in part, "It is the turn of Are Kugbaigbe Ruling House to present candidate(s) to fill the vacant stool consequent upon which the principal members have, by letters and personal representations, drawn attention of the Secretary of the Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government to the statutory need to call on the Aare Kugbaigbe Ruling House to present candidate(s) accordingly.
"Contrary to their expectation aforesaid, our client's attention is now drawn to an illegal process of selection, on April 3, 2018, by the Olu-Oke of Oke-Igbo, without recourse to the appropriate Are Kugbaigbe Ruling House. He purportedly selected one Chief Olu Babajide under a process supervised by a (former) chairman of the local government.
"The purported candidate, Chief Lawrence Babajide, is not qualified to be proposed a candidate of the Are Kugbaigbe Ruling House and, ipso facto, the Olu-Oke of Oke-Igbo."
The ruling house, therefore, called on the state executive council to take further steps to unravel the administrative "shenanigans and injustices being perpetrated in the Olu-Oke of Oke-Igbo chieftaincy" so that Babajide would not be crowned as the monarch of the town.
However, a top official of the Ile Oluji Oke Igbo Local Government Area told our correspondent on condition of anonymity, that the local government did not have any influence in the selection.
In his reaction, Babajide said those who submitted the petition against him were ignorant of the history of Oke Igbo, adding that it was his family's turn to produce the next monarch for the ancient town.
He said, "Those who alleged that I was imposed on the people are either strangers or may not know the history of our town. My great grandfather was among those who founded Oke Igbo town."
He said, "The large Alapini Compound in Oke Igbo is our own and my great grandfather was the Oloyede of the compound. Everything about my family is in a book I published some years ago. I am a bonafide member of a ruling house and I was selected by the kingmakers in the presence of everybody, including the local government officials."