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Protest Greets Installation of Abitogun as New Odopetu of Ayede Ogbese

Four protesting princes led by a hooded man, tried, unsuccessfully, on Tuesday to stop the conferment of the powerful kingmaker chieftaincy title of Odopetu on United States based Journalist, Mr. Oladimeji Abitogun, by Oba Peter Adetunbi Ise Oluwa Oluyede IV, the Alayede of Ayede Ogbese.

United States based Journalist, and the new Odopetu of Ayede-Ogbese, Mr. Oladimeji Abitogun

United States based Journalist, and the new Odopetu of Ayede-Ogbese, Mr. Oladimeji Abitogun

The four men identified as Messrs Tunji Oluyede, Adeniji Oluyede and others were led in the protest which did not deter Oba Oluyede from installing Mr. Oladimeji Abitogun to fill the stool of the Odopetu which had become vacant for twenty eight years.

Youths in the town of Ayede Ogbese had refused to join the open rebellion of the four princes who had thought of outright bloodletting and unrestrained lawlessness.

Sources told journalists that information relating to the attempt to cause a breach of the peace was made available to the divisional police officer late Monday night yet, nothing concrete was put in place to stop the mayhem unleashed on Tuesday.

The vast majority of the youths of the town said to be admirers of Oladimeji Abitogun allegedly refused to be co-opted into the dastardly agenda masterminded by Mr. Tunji Oluyede.

The protesting youths did not sing a united tone in their opposition to the conferment of the title on Abitogun, who was allegedly given the office without lobby or pressure. While Mr. Adeniji Oluyede said that their opposition and demonstration which initially turned violent was aimed at “forcing Oba Oluyede to carry along members of the royal ruling house in critical decisions”, Tunji Oluyede, who was ironically tackled in the past by Abitogun in the criminal business of extorting money and trespassing on other peoples farmlands to steal trees for timber business, alleged that “Oladimeji Abitogun’s father came from a neighbouring town of Uso”. Uso town is only three kilometers away from Ayede Ogbese.

A cross-section of people at the installation of the new Odopetu said that the princes had always acted in league with the police formation in the town to oppress the poor. According to some residents of the town, the allegation that the king was acting unilaterally was a euphemism for trying to “compromise a man who rose to the high office of a judge and a member of the code of conduct tribunal at the presidency to join their infamous racket of extortionist”, said a resident who refused to give permission for the use of his name in order to be protected from the violence of the princes.

A chief of the kingdom, the Sasere, Chief S.A.Daodu said that Oladimeji Abitogun’s father, the late chief Cornelius Ojo Abitogun welcomed and gave him a job as produce clerk about sixty years ago. He said the late chief Abitogun was generous and ever forgiving and dutifully served the community. The melee at the old palace site lasted about thirty minutes on Tuesday. The town’s most prominent investor, Chief (Dr.) Adefemi Adekanye almost fell a victim as one of the princes pulled a canopy stand down on him. The prince who was hooded, wearing a military style helmet was identified as Gboyega Oluyede, a self styled lawyer. Gboyega Oluyede also pulled down the sound stand as a result of which expensive musical gadgets were destroyed. The police stood by and did not do anything to stop the mayhem.

In a brief comment, Mr. Oladimeji Abitogun said that the protest democratized the process of his selection for the Odopetu stool “there is no way anyone would expect to have a momentous event like this without pockets of dissent. The protesters have been heard, the wish of the king, the chiefs and majority of the peace loving people of this town has however prevailed”.

In spite of the confusion and fracas, Oba Peter Iseoluwa Oluyede made the acclamation that Oladimeji Abitogun is the second high ranking chief and kingmaker of the town. Oba Oluyede explained that Ayede Ogbese has the Lisa, the Odopetu and the Elemo as the three Kingmakers in the town by Tuesday’s pronouncement.

High Chief Oladimeji Abitogun, has now become the number three citizen of the town. The ceremonies were later concluded at the private residence of Oba Oluyede. Crowd of jubilant and well-wishers later danced round the town with the latest chief. The opposition had fizzled out.

Subjects and well wishers were later received at the house belonging to Chief Abitogun’s father. The house was said to have been built in 1940.



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