Your Excellency the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi
Your Excellency the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi,
All Top Government Officials,
All Traditional Rulers here present,
Gentlemen of the Press,
Distinguished , Ladies and Gentlemen
I am delighted to welcome you all to this inauguration ceremony. I am particularly grateful to God Almighty for the ceremony of today. We give Him all the glory. I am also very grateful to our amiable Governor, Dr.John Kayode Fayemi for counting me worthy to be appointed as the Chairman of Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers. I appreciate the support of our Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi. My gratitude also goes to all our kabiyesis and the entire people of Ekiti State for the overwhelming show of support and solidarity through text messages, calls and radio and television jingles. I am immensely grateful to my people from Ilawe for their tremendous show of affection. I am pleasantly surprised but appreciative of the volume of congratulatory messages from Ekiti sons and daughters in The Diaspora since my appointment.
We are lucky in Ekiti that we are blessed with traditional rulers of impeccable pedigree that have major roles to play in moving our state forward. I, therefore, want to remind our Kabiyesis that the honor and responsibility of my appointment as the Chairman of Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers is not for me alone. It is for the whole of Ekiti traditional rulers. I invite all our Kabiyesis to join hands with me and be active in our joint efforts to continue moving our state forward. We might have had some differences in the past, but it is time for us all to work together in harmony and in the interest of our people and our dear State.
The two years of my chairmanship will be characterized by inclusiveness as no oba in Ekiti will be alienated from the affairs of the traditional Institution. I will pursue a policy of collaboration with the State Government in the onerous task of ensuring peace, progress and development of Ekiti State. We cannot afford any form of antagonism and bickering as we are not in competition with Government. The Traditional Council will remain an advisory body to Government in line with the law establishing the Council. I therefore wish to assure MR GOVERNOR of the unalloyed loyalty of the Council to the Government of Ekiti State
The Traditional rulers in every society have major roles to play in the advancement of their communities. We all had the advantage and experience of working in various spheres of our economy before becoming Obas. Those past experiences and the ones we have gained as Obas will continue to be useful in governance. Our democratically elected governments at all levels need to tap our expertise much more so that we can make additional contributions to the development in our societies during this modern era. The Traditional Institution MUST be responsive to emerging global trends in the quest for relevance in this globalised and digitalized World by postulating solutions to problems thereby helping governance rather than being proponents of problems.
The security challenges that we have in our country today can be reduced substantially and solved ultimately if the government partners more actively with traditional rulers and utilize the human resources available to us to stop criminals from infiltrating our societies. As traditional rulers, we are the closest to the grassroot. This is why our people say eti oba nile, eti oba loko, eniyan lo n jebe. Let us harness this human intelligence that is available through our traditional institution with the technical intelligence and weapons that are available to the government for actionable intelligence to identify, infiltrate, and ultimately destroy the criminal elements in our societies either they are kidnappers, bandits, armed robbers or insurgents. The government should also mop-up small arms and ammunition that criminals are using to terrorize our people through a deliberate policy of disarmament. As well, our government needs to secure our borders more carefully to prevent mercenaries from coming to Nigeria through neighboring countries.
Permit me as Alawe of Ilawe – Ekiti to acknowledge my three most immediate predecessors on the throne of Alawe, Oba Afinbiokin Ademileka who died in exile in 1929 in the quest for the liberation of my people. Oba Akinola Adefolalu who succeeded Afinbiokin in 1929 suffered degradation and humiliation but remained resilient throughout his life time as his successor, Oba Adeyemi Ademileka continued with the struggle until he joined his ancestors in 2011. It is divine that the same Governor that presented me with the staff of office as Alawe about eight years ago is also the one inaugurating me today as the Chairman of Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers. I therefore cannot thank and appreciate Governor Kayode Fayemi enough but only assure him of absolute support as he continues to pilot the affairs of our beloved State.
I also want to praise my usual legal team since I ascended the throne, made up of Mr, Dele Adesina (SAN), Femi Falana (SAN), Olu Daramola (SAN}, Prof. Dayo Akomolede and Chief Bunmi Olugbade. I appreciate Prince Ayo Adefolalu for his support and steadfastness all these years.
In concluding my remarks today, I want to thank all our Kabiyesis for their show of love and enjoin them and citizens of the State to continue to support our elected government so that we can all keep enjoying the dividends of democracy and live in a secured, peaceful, and prosperous society. I have no doubt in my mind that our hardworking Governor, Governor of Governors is always ready to take good care of the welfare of our kabiyesis. The details of this will be discussed with MR GOVERNOR soonest, suffice to quickly add that we look forward to the building of a befitting secretariat for the Traditional Council to facilitate our day to day advisory role to Government.
I thank you all for your kind attention.
HRM OBA ADEBANJI AJIBADE ALABI, AFUNTADE 1,
CHAIRMAN, EKITI STATE COUNCIL OF TRADITIONAL RULERS.