The Ekiti state government has issued administrative letters to 11 first class traditional rulers over alleged non -cooperation with the state government and leadership of the state traditional council.
The memo entitled: “Re-Absence from state functions and council of traditional rulers’ monthly weetings” was issued to the affected traditional rulers late on Wednesday and were given 72 hours within which to explain themselves.
The letter accused the rulers of refusing to make themselves available at both state functions as well as monthly meetings of the state council of traditional rulers for about eight months since August, 2019 and was signed on behalf of the government by the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs, A. O. Adeoye.
The three paragraph letter, addressed separately to the monarchs reads: “It has come to the attention of Mr. Governor that your royal majesty has not been attending the monthly statutory meetings of the state council of traditional rulers and state official functions since August 2019.
“Your conspicuous absence at the council meetings and state official functions, without any excuse or justification is considered inimical to the proper administration of the chieftaincy institution you represent.
“Therefore, Mr. Governor has directed that your royal majesty should forward your representation for this inaction, through this office within 72 hours on the receipt of this letter.”
It was learnt that the latest government action, sent jitters around palaces and traditional institutions in the state on Thursday, over insinuations that the state government may be preparing grounds for the suspension or outright deposition of the affected traditional rulers.
The letter climaxed an eight-month cold war between the affected monarchs and Governor Kayode Fayemi.
It would be recalled that the crisis began when last year, the Gov. Fayemi appointed the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Ajibade Alabi, as the new chairman of the Ekiti state Council of Traditional Rulers.
The appointment did not go down well with some traditional rulers, who considered the appointee as junior to them and not deserving of the office.
In displaying their grievances, the monarchs consequently, dragged the governor to court to challenge the appointment and also vowed not to cooperate or attend any meeting or function where the appointee is present or presides.
Meanwhile, Gov. Fayemi, on Thursday, clarified that he has no plans to dethrone any of the traditional rulers served with the administrative letters.
He said it was a mere administrative letter and not a query, for the monarchs to explain why they have continually absented themselves from state functions and council meetings within 72 hours.
Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Yinka Oyebode, in a statement obtained in Ado Ekiti, also said only 11 of the traditional rulers received the administrative letters, adding that “in Ekiti state, our traditional rulers are well respected and revered as custodians of our culture and traditions.
“The Fayemi administration is committed to the welfare and protection of the cultural heritage of our people which the ‘kabiyesis’ hold in trust.
”Any rumour claiming that Gov. Fayemi is planning to dethrone any Oba in Ekiti state is a deliberate and malicious misrepresentation of the true situation.
“It is obviously an attempt from opposition to create chaos and confusion between the Ekiti state government and the good and law abiding people of Ekiti state.”