The Ekiti State Government, has directed the Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of the State to immediately release the N6.5 million four years salary arrears to Chiefs in Awo Ekiti, as part of the efforts to resolve the raging obaship tussle in the community.
All Nigeria Latest News reports that with this directive, the government has succeeded in brokering a truce over the salary crisis between Alawo of Awo Ekiti, Oba Abdulazeez Olaleye, and some Chiefs. The Chiefs accused the monarch of sidelining them in salary payments since August 2015.
In the petition written to the Ekiti State Ministry of Chieftaincy and Home Affairs, the Chiefs accused the monarch of depriving them of their statutory salaries on account of their opposition to his ascension to the throne.
At a peace parley held at her office on Wednesday, the Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, said the complaint raised by the Chiefs led to seizure of all the salaries of Chiefs in the town since 2019 by the Local Government.
Subsequently, Mrs Afuye, in a statement by her Special Assistant Media, Victor Ogunje, ordered the Local government to instantly release the fund for onward distribution to all Chiefs across board .
Mrs Afuye said the two representatives appointed from the two feuding parties should disburse the N6.5 million salary arrears belonging to the Chiefs based on the extant sharing formula to prevent anyone from being neglected.
In the same vein, the Deputy Governor, mandated the council to investigate the issue surrounding the relocation of some markets as alleged by Oba Abdulazeez and come up with a recommendations on the matter.
“You know that Governor Biodun Oyebanji cherishes traditional institution and cater for the welfare of our Obas, so this money must be released to the Chiefs and it must be shared in line with the directive given by Kabiyesi, because he remains the prescribed authority of his domain.
“I know that some of these Chiefs have not been attending palace meetings due to their opposition to emergence of the present monarch, but let them be paid pending the time the Supreme Court will adjudicate on this matter.
“I appeal to Kabiyesi to allow this directive to stand, because you are the one presiding over Awo Ekiti now, try and seek peace. Have the spirit of oneness and unity. Do whatever is within your capacity to bring all your chiefs together.
“Though, I agree that those opposing Kabiyesi and who had refused to attend palace meetings are not supposed to be paid, but Kabiyesi must pay them in the interest of peace. They are in court and we should allow them to enjoy that right. But whether they like it or not, they can’t remove Kabiyesi, only the court or government can do that.
“Governor Oyebanji doesn’t want problem in any part of the state and whoever foments trouble in that town after this resolution that all Chiefs must be paid will have himself to blame”.
Reacting, Oba Olaleye, said he had always been extending olive branch to his opponents in the town, particularly the Chiefs, lamenting that all his entreaties were being rebuffed.
The monarch expressed regret how some Chiefs were running a parallel government and stalling development in the town, despite emerging through a fair and transparent contest among all contenders.
“I have always been looking for ways to foster peace, but they have always been shunning all entreaties. They didn’t allow me access to the palace, the place is now bushy. The markets that are not supposed to be opened or patronised when an Oba is on the throne are being patronised, which was a taboo.
“I am going to comply with whatever the government fashions out to resolve this crisis. I see them as friends and not enemies”.