The Ekiti State Deputy Governor Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, has assured the Regents superintending over some communities where there are vacancies in their traditional stools of Governor Biodun Oyebanji’s readiness to prioritise their welfare and accord them respect as custodians of culture.
The Deputy Governor maintained that the governor won’t treat them like second class citizens or starve them of their statutory entitlements, describing the positions they occupy as strategic to peace and development of the state.
Mrs Afuye gave the assurance, on Wednesday, while playing host to Regents of some communities, who visited her office in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State Capital.
At the meeting, the traditional rulers, who came under the auspices of Body of Regents, Ekiti State, called for the restoration of their suspended salaries, while also pleading with government to ensure upward review of their allowances to be able to withstand the current economic realities.
The Deputy Governor, in a statement by her Media Aide, Victor Ogunje, ascribed the stability and peace being enjoyed in the state to the strong and unwavering synergy between the government and traditional rulers.
She saluted the Regents for their sense of patriotism, sacrifices and cooperation with Governor Oyebanji’s government to stabilise the state and make it an epicentre of development.
Reeling out the areas where Governor Oyebanji has demonstrated respect for the institution, Mrs Afuye, stated that the newly constructed Traditional Rulers’ Chamber, non-interfering with selection and installation of Obas and stringent implementation of the Regency Law, were part of the policies that have buoyed royalty in the scheme of things.
Mrs Afuye added that those who were facing challenges among them were chiefly those who have spent beyond six months prescribed for Regents by the Ekiti State Regency Law.
The Deputy Governor said such issue will be reviewed through the House of Assembly, since the Regents were not responsible for the extension of their stay on the thrones they occupy.
She advised the Regents to propagate the policies of government in their domains, so that their subjects can understand what the Governor has in stock to shore up the development index of Ekiti in all facets.
“Governor Oyebanji is aware of all the challenges you are facing in your domains, particularly those who have stayed beyond the time stipulated in the Regency Law, but this shouldn’t be blamed on you because you are not the Kingmakers.
“We are quite aware that some of you are facing those challenges because we have some cases pending in courts that are stalling the installation of substantive monarchs and you have to occupy the vacuum pending the time a new set of monarchs will be installed.
“So, I believe you must be treated like Kings, because you are performing their roles. I will communicate your requests to the governor. When you exceed the six months prescribed by law, the government ought to be paying you because staying on that thrones beyond that time was not your making”.
Speaking on behalf of the group, the Body’s President and Regent of Araromi Ekiti, Ijero Local Government area of the state , Princess Funmilayo Adesua, itemised their demands to include the reinstatement of their terminated salaries and upward review of allowances to be able to meet the current economic situation.
She regretted that some regents in Ekiti have not been paid any salary for over a year, despite their sacrifices to ensure peace and development in their domains, saying most pathetic was that this was happening under this current hard-biting economic situation.
She said the situation needed to be addressed to put a soothing balm on their sufferings caused by neglect on the thrones of their forebears.
The Regent assured the government that none of them will maintain a sit-tight posture or stall the installation of substantive monarch in her town, describing such tendency as a fertile avenue for crisis and instability.