Ekiti State Government has suspended a traditional Chief in Imesi Ekiti, Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Chief Gabriel Bodunde for alleged disrespect, high-handedness and insubordination to the town’s monarch, Oba Olatunji Olatunde.
The suspended Chief was also accused of fueling communal crisis in the town through unlawful and arbitrary arrest of subjects over trumped up and frivolous charges, thereby igniting unnecessary tension.
Sequel to these, the government warned the Chief against parading himself as Olokun of Imesi Ekiti, pending the time the suspension would be halted, saying any defiant position to the order would attract arrest and immediate prosecution.
The Deputy Governor, Chief Monisade Afuye, handed down the pronouncement on Thursday while presiding over a petition forwarded to her office by Onimesi-in-Council.
At the troubleshooting parley convened at the behest of Mrs Afuye, Chief Bodunde disobeyed the summon served on him, by not appearing at the meeting or sending any delegation to represent him.
In the petition dated 14th July 2023, and signed by Oba Olatunde, the monarch accused Chief Bodunde of disrespecting and insubordinating to the Onimesi-in-council, by not attending any statutory meeting and working at cross purposes to their directives.
Dishing out the directive at the parley on Thursday, the Deputy Governor, warned other chiefs, who were working in cahoots with the suspended Chief to rescind their actions and retrace their steps, or suffer similar disciplinary action.
Afuye posited that the Government of Governor Biodun Oyebanji is desirous of peace in every town and as well holds all the traditional rulers in high esteem, saying nobody will be allowed to desecrate their seats under any guise.
She said, “Since we came on board, Ekiti people could attest to the fact that Governor Oyebanji respects traditional institutions. He had demonstrated this severally through his policies and we won’t allow such highly respected institution to be desecrated.
“I hereby restate that the suspension earlier carried out by Onimesi-in-Council is ratified and still subsists. From this moment, Chief Bobunde, who is the Olokun of Okun Quarters, Imesi Ekiti should stop parading himself as the Chief in the town, at least for now.
“It was even disrespectful for the State Government to have invited him for a peace talk and for him to have shunned our invitation. The state government emphasizes that anytime he does anything that is against the traditional council, the government won’t hesitate to take further actions.
“He must realise that as a Chief, he is under the control of the Ekiti State Government and the prescribed authority in the town, which is the Onimesi, so he can’t behave as if he is not under anybody’s control.
“Let me also warn that he should stop the arrest of the chiefs and youths and take them to Akure in Ondo. This is Ekiti, he shouldn’t do anything funny by arresting our people and taking them out of the state. We won’t tolerate this.
Appreciating the government for the swift action, Oba Olatunde, said the verdict was a loud confirmation of Governor Oyebanji’s government’s love for unity and peace across all towns in the State.
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