These are not the best of times for Ekiti State Governor, Abiodun Abayomi Oyebanji.
Expectedly, various online and offline news platforms are currently soaked with the news of the dastardly murder of two Ekiti monarchs; the Onimojo of Imojo-Ekiti, Olatunde Olusola and Elesun of Esun-Ekiti, David Ogunsola. On the same Monday, five pupils of a private school in Emure-Ekiti, three teachers and the bus driver were abducted while returning to Eporo- Ekiti.
Those who know Governor Oyebanji very well don’t need anybody to tell them that this is the lowest moment for him since he assumed office as Governor. Though he’s for all, Governor Oyebanji has a special pact with Ekiti Obas, dated back to 30 years ago when he served as the secretary to the state creation committee that was majorly populated by Ekiti Obas. This perhaps explains why the Obas appeared more comfortable with him during the electioneering campaign and therefore gave him all their support.
Consistently, Oyebanji assured them (the traditional institution in the state) that he would give their welfare the priority it deserved. After his inauguration, palaces and their chambers within the Governor’s office became BAO’s second office. He consults and makes sure they are represented at major events and developmental committees.
Sadly, on Monday, contrary to his wish and expectations, two of the Obas fell in the most gruesome manner. I admit sincerely that this is a big loss to the communities affected and Ekiti people at large, the Governor Oyebanji we know will feel the pain more because he sees the traditional rulers as father figures.
Ironically, the murder of the two kings and the kidnapping of the Emure school children took place on the day the governor and other stakeholders attended the monthly State Security Council Meeting. Again, both attacks took place barely a week after the ‘Meet Your Governor ‘ where Mr. Oyebanji assured Ekiti people that he would do everything humanly possible to ensure their lives and properties were saved.
Much as I don’t want to buy into the subtle campaign in some quarters that there is more to the recent crisis than meeting the eye, as a reporter who follows the trend of events, I found it difficult to reconcile some missing gaps in the whole scenario. Could it be a mere coincidence that the twin attacks took place the same day and in two senatorial districts -North and South? Could it be a ploy by some political elements to puncture the overwhelming popularity of Governor Oyebanji? Well, this may not be the right time for questioning or blame game, God in heaven knows all that’s beyond comprehension to man. Again, may the soul of departed kings rest in peace.
Oyebanji is not like our typical politician, he meant all he said yesterday, especially his declaration that “this new turn of event in our dear State is a very devastating and sad one for me; this is because security has always held a significant priority in our administration and this can be seen in the state being consistently adjudged one of the most peaceful with low crime rate in the entire Federation,”
Personally, I have cried like many Ekiti sons and daughters over this disheartening news. I know Oba Olumojo very well,a humble, pleasant and extremely brilliant man and I have heard so much about Elesun, a well-loved traditional ruler in his kingdom and I feel seriously for their immediate family and subjects. Suddenly, their Oloris have been thrown into widowhood while their young children are now without their loving fathers.
As Governor Oyebanji said, “while these occurrences can be distressing, we should not despair or waver in our steel resolve to work together to fight all violent crimes. As the evil men are unrelenting, we too have to collectively confront their evil enterprise with all the resources in our behest. We must all collaborate to share intelligence and organize community-based security arrangement to complement the State’s security apparatus,”
May the family of the departed be comforted at this trying moment and may the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace. Amen !
~ Raheem Akingbolu writes from Ado Ekiti