The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Monday presented the instrument of appointment and staff of office to the new Onimesi of Imesi Ekiti in Gbonyin Local Government, Oba Festus Olatunji Olatunde.
Olatunde was the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure in the Segun Oni-led administration between 2007 and 2010.
Fayemi, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, performed the assignment at the Conference Hall, Governor’s Office, in line with the Covid-19 protocol which permits a few attendees and strict observance of physical distancing.
Oba Olatunde succeeds the last Onimesi, the late Oba Dare Adeyeye Oladimeji, who joined his ancestors on December 22, 2018.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, the appointment of Oba Olatunde was approved by the State Executive Council at its virtual meeting on June 11 after satisfying all requirements stipulated by the Ekiti State Chiefs Law 2012.
Oba Olatunde, who was joined by his wife, Olori Adebimpe Foluke, to receive the certificate and sceptre of authority, commended the state government for upgrading the Onimesi throne to a first class status.
Some Imesi indigenes, who came to witness the presentation, stayed at the parking lot of the Governor’s Office complex in a bid to ensure that not more than 20 individuals were inside the hall in line with the Covid-19 rule.
Fayemi said the process for filling the hitherto vacant stool commenced with the letter of approval from the Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs through Gbonyin Local Government.
The governor disclosed that the warrant chiefs on May 20, in line with the provisions of Section 8A(i) Cap C5 of the Ekiti State Chiefs Law 2012 declared the then Prince Olatunji Olatunde appointed as the Onimesi.
Fayemi explained that he had studied the processes involved in the selection and was satisfied that the steps taken were in consonance with the Ekiti State Chiefs Law 2012.
Congratulating the former commissioner on his ascension to the throne, Fayemi urged him to work harmoniously with his subjects to accelerate the development of the community.
Fayemi, who admonished him to carry his people along when taking decisions that will affect their welfare, also called on him to be a father of all.
He said: “It gladdens my heart that the expected spirited struggle for the occupation of the exalted stool of Onimesi did not degenerate into uncontrollable controversies.
“A tree can never make a forest. There is the need for collective responsibility if we all desire to have a society of our dreams.
“I also appeal to the good people of Imesi Ekiti to allow the spirit of oneness and sincerity of purpose in your support and cooperation with the Kabiyesi.”
Speaking after receiving the staff, Oba Olatunde expressed gratitude to the governor for appointing indigenes of the town to key positions in government and provision of better infrastructure for sustainable use in his domain.
He promised to bring his experience, exposure, knowledge and wisdom to bear in administering the town and make it a model in Ekiti State.
The monarch, who described his kingdom as a “cosmopolitan community” which hosts diverse ethnic groups, pledged to pursue peaceful coexistence.