Ekiti community blames colonialists for obaship crises

The people of Ilawe Ekiti in Ekiti local government area of Ekiti state have blamed British colonialists for most of the traditional crises generating ripples in some states in the south-west region.

The indigenes of the town from Ilero compound at Oke Emo quarters in Ilawe said most of the Ekiti towns are deeply embroiled in protracted obaship and chieftaincy tussles due to interferences and poor judgments of colonialists in the local politics of some towns .

The family said this while reacting to an interview granted by Elemo of Oke Emo in Ilawe township, Chief Gbenga Agbonna , claiming superiority over Elero, the head of Ilero compound in Oke Emo quarters.

The spokesman of the family, Mr Ojo Esan while briefing journalists in Ilawe Ekiti on Friday on behalf of his people, said Elero occupied more significant historical space than Elemo in the town being one of the founding fathers of the town.

He said Elero was one of those who accompanied Oniwe and founder of Ilawe kingdom from Ile Ife to found the town.

Accusing the colonialists of arrogating undue powers to Elemo due to his closeness with British authorities, Esan added that Elemo was a mere stranger who was accommodated by Elero’s forefathers and other founders of the town, including the then Alawe.

“It was sad the Colonialists, who did not know our history came to rewrite our tradition for us. They came here and placed Elemo over other superior chiefs in these quarters. Elemo is just a chief of Ilemo compound, not Oke Emo. It was the British that made it so.”

He came here after I had settled him at a place called Igbo Aba. Elero gave them a portion of land they settled in that farmstead.

“He is a stranger. He was honoured with the title of Elemo of Ilemo compound only for him to lobby the colonialists for him to become the quarter head (Oke Emo). According to history, Elemo was just a circumstantial head.

“It was the then Elero that brought Elemo from Igbo Aba to the present site. He brought him closer to himself on the instruction of Alawe, so that both Elero and another chief called Oloogun could monitor him(Elemo) due to a powerful deity he brought, so that being a stranger, he won’t be able to do evil against us.

“So, the land where he is staying today was given to him by this family, how can a stranger be claiming superiority over the owner of the land?”, he asked.

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