The Olowa of Igbara-Oke, Oba Francis Adefarakanmi Agbede, has called on members of the Ondo State House of Assembly to take a critical look into the disparity among Obas in the state as a result of grading.
The monarch made the call even as the Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon David Oleyelogun called on Traditional Rulers across the state to continue to support the administration of Arakurin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, in his resolve to bring development to every facet of human endeavours.
The Olowa made the call when the lawmakers, led by the Speaker, paid a courtesy visit to his palace in Igbara-Oke.
In a statement from the Chief Press Secretary to Olowa, Ayodeji Owolabi, Oba Agbede said the disparity cannot be justified by law or equity and that it has been a long issue pointing out that the Statutory Committee raised by practice or direction cannot be justified.
According to him, “this Statutory Committee has deprived many Obas from enjoying their traditional rights and privileges, as many are being excluded from important social gatherings, and their fate are determined by the members of the Statutory Committee.”
He therefore appealed to lawmakers to help look into the matter for justice to prevail, saying “for a viable Statutory Committee of Obas in Ondo State, each Local Government must be represented.”
Oba Agbede who spoke on behalf of Ifedore Local Government Obas, said the whole of Ifedore Local Government does not have a Grade “A” Oba, whereas some local governments have between three and four Grade “A” Obas.
He stated that “the same inequality is prevailing in both Akure North and Ondo East Local Governments” as he decried what he referred to as injustice.
He said there had been three Grade “A” Obas in Ondo Central Senatorial District before the creation of Ondo State in 1976, adding that the number has not increased till the moment.
According to the monarch, “there are ten Grade “A” Obas in each of the Northern and Southern Senatorial Districts of Ondo State.”
The Olowa who had earlier expressed his profound gratitude for the visit said he was delighted to have in his palace the Speaker, his Deputy, and other Principal Officers of the Assembly.
Also speaking, the Onibuji of Ibuji, Oba Folagbade Ojo, said Ifedore Local Government deserves to have Grade “A” Obas, pointing out that the Olowa of Igbara-Oke has been long overdue for this grading.
According to him, the Olowa of Igbara-Oke Chieftaincy title had been in Grade ‘B” for more than three decades, adding that records have it that the Alara and Olujare Chieftaincy titles all met him in Grade “B” when the duo were upgraded during the Adeloye Commission of Enquiry on Chieftaincy in 2004.