“You can’t be more Catholic than the Pope” – Ekiti community battles their ‘born again Christian” King over non-performance of traditional rites

Oba Gabriel Olajide, the traditional ruler of Isaoye Ekiti in Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti and his subjects are at war over his opposition to certain traditional rites.

According to The News, The allegations levelled against the monarch by the community’s chiefs and indigenes included high handedness, incessant harassment of subjects using the police and non-performance of traditional rites, claiming to be a `born-again Christian. He was also accused of inflicting injuries on his subjects during a traditional ceremony.

Other allegations included the destruction of Ifa symbols and instruments of installation, absconding from the community and cancellation of the meetings of chiefs.

Meanwhile, the Ekiti Government has issued a two-month ultimatum to Oba Olajide to reconcile with some of his aggrieved subjects.

The state’s Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi who made the position of government known at a meeting with a delegation from the community on Thursday, also appealed to the people to give peace a chance.

He said the monarch should act fast within the two-month timeframe to prevent a possible breakdown of law and order in the community.

The deputy governor also gave the stakeholders in the community up till Feb. 28, 2019 to resolve their differences with the monarch, saying the state government was committed to ensuring peace in Isaoye and other communities in the state.

Egbeyemi, who said the state government had no intention of deposing any monarch, advised Olajide to listen to his subjects and respect the tradition and culture of the community.

Egbeyemi, however, said in spite of the existence of extant chief laws governing the conduct of traditional rulers, the state government would continue to guide against any clamour that could truncate the peace of any community.

While reacting to Olajide’s alleged refusal to respect the tradition of his community, Egbeyemi said:

“You that accepted to be king should know that there are traditions that needed to be observed. There is nothing good about all that was reported about you. I see no reason why you should go against your people, I am directing you now, go and do what they ask you to do. You have till the end of February. If you cannot follow the path of peace and secure the interest of your people, everything is left to you.
“I cannot depose you and I cannot ask them to depose you, mine is to ensure that there is peace in your community. We cannot force you on them, you have been given the chance to make amendments and redeem your image in your own interest
Don’t go on a journey of self-destruction. If you claim that you are serving God, we are all serving God, you cannot be more Catholic than the Pope. I will not support that a king be deposed, I plead with you Kabiyesi to go and make peace with the people of your town.”

Olajide, (pictured) however, denied the allegations, claiming that he was passionate about moving the community forward.

But while advancing reasons for his opposition to certain rites, he claimed that Isaoye had remained underdeveloped as a result of observance of certain practices.

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