Two groups in Iree town, Boripe Local Government Area of Osun State, the Iree Council of Elders and the Iree Progressive Association, have commenced action towards the replacement of Oba Raphael Ademola.
Oba Ademola was installed as the Aree of Iree in the twilight of Adegboyega Oyetola as governor of Osun State.
The decision of the two groups is coming after the State governor, Ademola Adeleke issued an Executive Order putting a hold on the installation process of the Akinrun of Ikirun, Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo.
Governor Adeleke also directed security personnel to prevent anybody from having access to the palace and constituted a review committee to look into the appointment process of monarchs.
Commending the governor for suspending the enthronement process, Adenrele Afolabi, the Asiwaju of Iree land, speaking on behalf of the kingmakers and elders in a press conference on Tuesday in Iree, said the Executive Order putting a stop to the process was in line with the earlier rejection of the method adopted by the outgone administration in enthroning him.
Afolabi revealed that the entire town and the different groups, including the Aree-In-Council had rejected the usage of Warrant Chiefs in the appointment of Oba Ademola.
He also maintained that the method was alien to the culture and traditions of the town.
In his words, “Iree has six iwarefà Mefa and out of the six, it was only Eesa that was late. The remaining five Chiefs are actively alive and prepared to perform the duties ‘Alale Iree’ assigned to them.”
While assuring that Iree would soon get a traditional ruler acceptable to the community, Oluwole Taiwo, the president of Iree Progressive Association added that they had presented their objection before the review committee set up by the State government.
“The committee was given one week to complete its assignment. I want to appeal to the kingmakers to begin the process immediately if they give us go ahead. Don’t waste time,” he added.
Trouble had started when the State government attempted to make the Iyalode of Iree, Chief Sherifat Adebayo a member of the Kingmakers after the death of the Eesa of Iree.
The head of the Kingmakers, Aogun of Iree, Chief Soliu Atoyebi had kicked against the arrangement, maintaining that it was against the traditions and customs for a woman to be part of the kingmakers.
Chief Atoyebi and other kingmakers had threatened that making the Iyalode a member of the council would be over his dead body.
The kingmakers, who alleged that the decision of Adebayo Adeleke, the former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, to appoint a warrant chief was to favour his preferred candidate for the stool of Aree of Iree, also posited that the appointment would hinder the selection process of the best candidate to fill the vacant stool of the traditional ruler of the town.
Meanwhile, in a radio phone in programme in Osogbo on Monday, Adeleke who is an indigene of Iree, stated that the appointment of the Aree of Iree was in line with the Chiefs law in the State.
While defending the position of the State government in appointing Warrant Chiefs in Iree, Adeleke disclosed that the kingmakers were confused as to the difference between the law and traditions.
The stool became vacant following the demise of Oba Jimoh Olayonu in 2018 and all efforts to appoint a new king for the town have not yielded any positive result.