THE Elders and people of the coastal community of Ayetoro in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo state, on Wednesday, raised the alarm over the sudden disappearance of their traditional ruler, Oba Oluwambe Ojagbohunmi, the Ogeloyinbo of Aiyetoro.
The people stated that the monarch who left the coastal community on Monday to attend a security meeting in Igbokoda, headquarters of the council, has not returned to the community since then.
Speaking on behalf of the Supreme Council of Elders, the Principal Secretary of the community, Mr Ademolu Atimishe, said Ojagbohunmi had been away for two nights without any traces of his whereabouts.
Atimishe explained that the monarch received a letter of invitation from the state government through the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the council, Mr Atikase Otito, for a council security meeting.
The copy of the letter signed by Otito read l: “As part of his effort at enhancing continued peaceful co-existence among the people of our state, the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has directed that the security committee, Ilaje Local Government meets all the parties involved in the crisis in Ayetoro community with a view to finding a lasting solution thereto. You are therefore invited to attend the meeting.”
Atimishe however, explained that the invitation came at a time when the entire community was celebrating its 72nd Founder’s Anniversary, which forbids the king from moving outside the community.
“Although, the letter came pretty late at about 11.40 am and the meeting, as stated in the letter, was to be held at 1.00 pm. Nevertheless, as our tradition dictates, during the week of our Founders’ Day Anniversary, the king is not to step out of the community.
“However, four members of the Supreme Council of Elders of Aiyetoro were sent to represent the monarch but they were denied access to the venue of the meeting.
“As a result of this, the meeting, in agreement with the Chairman, Ilaje Local Government and Security Committee (the police, navy and army), was re-scheduled to Monday 14th January 2019 by 12.00 noon.”
He pointed out that “being a peace-loving person, Oba Ojagbohunmi left Ayetoro to attend the rescheduled meeting at the Naval Officers base, Igbokoda. No meeting held as scheduled because the other party involved did not honour the invitation.”
Atimishe alleged the Divisional Police Officer, D(PO) in Igbokoda, Mr Oladapo Williams, of being behind the disappearance of the monarch, saying the monarch disappearance was orchestrated by him.
According to him, some sources hinted them that the police boss purportedly lured the king to the Commissioner of Police, Mr Gbenga Adeyanju, for reasons unknown to the member of the family and the entire community.
He, however, said the disappearance of the monarch “is against the culture and tradition of our land, it is a taboo for the king to be missing for more than two days without an inkling of his whereabouts, especially this period when it is customarily forbidden for the monarch to leave the palace.
“In the light of this, the Supreme Council of Elders and the over 40,000 residents of Aiyetoro Community demand for the whereabouts of our monarch, Oba Oluwambe Ojagbohunmi, and Spiritual Head of The Holy Apostles’ Church.”
Attempts to speak with the local council chairman were not successful.