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Rotimi Akeredolu To Banish Two Ondo Monarchs Over Leadership Tussle

Rotimi Akeredolu
Governor of Ondo State Rotimi Akeredolu
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Two monarchs, the Olukare of Ikare-Akoko, Oba Akadiri Saliu Momoh and the Owa-Ale of Iyometa, Oba Adeleke Adegbite-Adedoyin, in Ikare-Akoko, headquarters of Akoko Northeast Local Government Area of Ondo state risk being banished from the state by the Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu over incessant communal clashes.

Three curfews have been imposed on the town within eight months as a result of communal clashes. Several lives and properties destroyed as a result of the leadership tussle and enmity among loyalists of the two kings. The crisis in the community is an age long one which emanated from the fact that the community has two kings, the Olukare of Ikare and the Owa-Ale of Iyemota.

There are conflicting accounts on who holds the highest hierarchy among the two monarchs. Each ruling house tells its history to favor its own side which further plunges the community into a deeper crisis.

For instance, one of the late monarchs, Oba Adedoyin from the Owa-Ale side, said his ancestors, Agba -Ode established Ikare town. Olukare’s ancestors known as Umar migrated to Ikare from Bida, Niger State which is why there are predominantly Muslims in the community. After establishing himself, Umar tried to take over the town despite the fact that Agba- Ode was ruling at that time. He was able to penetrate government officials because he was the mouthpiece between the community and the colonial masters.

He started misrepresenting Agba -Ode anytime he was sent on an errand. At one point, he started wearing a crown while parading himself as the ruler of the community. He was warned against being rebellious but got the backing of the government because he was closer to them. He used his position and academic status to garner support and recognition from the government and was made a first-class king instead of the Owa-Ale who was already a traditional ruler before the Olukare and his ancestors even immigrated to the Ikare community in Ondo.

On the other hand, the Olukare’s disagreed with the narrative. Some of their chiefs insisted Owa-Ale was a title given by the Olukare who wanted to honour one of his loyalists. They also insisted that their ancestors are the true Olukare’s who were in power, but the greed of the Owa-Ale’s made them take over the stool and they have been parading themselves as the highest traditional title holders since then.

Despite the conflicting accounts from the two ruling families, the government recognizes both kings, but regard Olukare as first-class Oba while Owa Ale is regarded in the class C category.

Akeredolu had to set up a committee to look into the history of the community which has been a bone of contention between the two Obas while warning them that any upheaval between their loyalists would result in losing their esteem titles and becoming an outcast in the state.