Aare Atayese Of Ibarapa: Group Berates Makinde, Says Traditional Council Acted Against Community’s Interest

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A group of indigenes in Ibarapa area of Oyo State has condemned the recent installation of Governor Seyi Makinde as Aare Atayese of Ibarapaland.

This was contained in a statement made available today to ODUDUWA NEWS by the Secretary of the Council, Olabode Adedamola Olusoji as read in part:

“The administrative and spiritual head of Yoruba monarchy and aristocracy system are Obas who are traditionally believed to be the link between the people and the ancestor. The throne is believed to be held in trust for the ancestors. A Yoruba Oba personifies the kingdom and epitomises the reincarnation of the past ancestors of the community. Their actions are thoughts to be spiritually guided by the interests of the ancestors and thus expected to be nobble and acted in the interest of their kinsmen to avoid the wrought of the ancestors.

“The chieftaincy system in Yorubaland can be categorised into four ranks: royal chiefs, noble chiefs, religious chiefs, and common chiefs. The royal chiefs are inherited, and they assist Oba in the day-to-day administration of the kingdom while noble and common chiefs are mostly honorary conferred on people to appreciate their contributions towards a kingdom. It is also used to give people symbolic sense of belonging for continuous contributions towards collective interest of a kingdom. A Yoruba Oba leads the council of chiefs who made decisions on matters such as war, trade, taxation and ceremonial events, and while the chiefs might be powerful and influential, the Oba held the overriding authority.

“There are five socio-political regions in Oyo state: Ibadan, Ogbomoso, Oyo, Okeogun and Ibarapa zones. The Central Council of Ibarapa Indigene (CCII) observes that the current Engr Seyi Makinde led Oyo state government has concentrated in other regions while Ibarapa is marginalised. The governor himself had been to Ibarapa on more than 3 occasions with the promise to address road, electricity, water, and infrastructural deficits within the region but he has always failed. For example, a recent record from the Oyo State government indicated that over 350 km of roads have been constructed throughout the state in the last three and half years. It is disturbing that less than 2 km of this was constructed in Ibarapa region. Of all the farm settlements in Oyo state, it is only the one in Ibarapa that is not receiving attention despite over #7.6 billion assessed by the state government for agricultural development since 2019.

‘It is only in Ibarapa that we have grid-connected communities that do not have electricity for more than 8 months. Of all the five zones, it is only Ibarapa that has not had pipe-born water for up to 2 weeks since inception of this administration.

“Against the aforementioned neglects, and marginalisation by the Engr Seyi Makinde led administration, the CCII notes with shock the conferment of Aare Atayese on Engr Seyi Makinde by the Ibarapa Traditional Council. The Aare Atayese itself means “He who has rebranded, modified and make life comfortable for people”. We have reasonable reasons to believe that the traditional council either acted out of personal interests or are cajoled by the political power brokers to do so without considering feelings of their kinsmen. The farmers, market women, artisans, and professionals across Ibarapa had addressed their displeasures against the Traditional Council for the ill-conceived and purchased Aare Atayese chieftaincy title. The following as captured on the social media handle of a vibrant youth from Igangan, a community from Ibarapa region summarises various displeasures towards the conferment:

“Our chief priests have consistently lied to us,
Our kings seem to have outsmarted the oracle
And taken the people for a ride.
It’s not our birth that darkens our bright future
It’s not the gods that are angry with us
My people,
We have come a long way, but we are far away
For too long, we have left our brains in our stomach
We must take our brains back to our heads……………
Kabiyesis should know that we’re going to vote without seeking permission from the gods”

“The Central Council of Ibarapa Indigene therefore advises the traditional council to be guided, respect the throne, and avoid being used as political tools”.

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