By G9ija

The people of Afin-Akoko in Akoko Northwest area of Ondo State at the weekend urged the government to resolve the protracted obaship tussle by declaring the winner of the 2017 election as the monarch.

Kingmakers had conducted an election to fill the vacant stool of Alafin of Afin in November 2017, which was cancelled after alleged violence by one of the aspirants.

The Chairman of Afin Chieftaincy Committee, Mr. Demola Ijabiyi, said at a news conference in Akure that his committee was representing the view of the community.

He said they had written to the government to reopen the matter when the commissioner met kingmakers.

Ijabiyi said any move to do a fresh election might not go down well with the people of the community, because it was an abomination in the community to vote more than once for the selection of a king.

He said: “On November 13, 2017 an election was held by kingmakers. It was at the instance of one of the aspirants, Abdul-Ganiyu Adegboyega. But unexpectedly, the kingmakers elected his opponent by six votes to three.

“Adegboyega protested to the government alleging violence, an allegation that was unfounded. As a result, the government put the process on hold. The major mandate of the committee was to break the impasse and ultimately ensure the emergence of a new monarch.

“Once an oba-elect is declared by the Ifa oracle and by extension the kingmakers, his declaration cannot be revisited.

“Fortunately the same kingmakers had in 2017 elected this popular contestant, that is Dr. Abdul-Rahim Adejoro, as against aspirant Abdul-Ganiyu Adegboyega.

“We, therefore, recommend that the lid placed on the election be removed, the election be upheld and Dr. Abdul-Rahim Adejoro be confirmed as the substantive Oba.”

Ijabiyi said that as a neutral body with community’s mandate to midwife the process of selecting a new king, the peaceful way of emergence of a new oba was through the respect of the wish of the generality of the people.

He appreciated the role played by the Commissioner for Urban and Regional Planning in making sure that the issue was settled.