Excavation Of Ancestral Tombs And Uproar Against Alafao | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Excavation Of Ancestral Tombs And Uproar Against Alafao

Posted: May 21, 2015 at 2:11 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Yaqoub Popoola  – Ado-Ekiti


A controversy has ensued in Afao-Ekiti,country-home  of the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose as some of his kinsmen, Omotosho Family, accused the town’s monarch, Alafao-Oba Joseph Ademilua of plotting to acquired their landed properties illegally .

The crisis had assumed a political dimension as the victims now alleged political victimisation



The aggrieved family said the manner in which the building was demolished left much to be desire .Since no prior notice was giving to any member of the family thereby leading to the lost of valuables and other historical antiquities.

For instance, the family also claimed that the secret excavation of the rubble and their forebear’s tombs from the land   at night after demolition gave room for suspicion that it was intended to take over the land and erase the family from history from the community.

Condemning the act, they wondered why many dilapidated houses which are in worse condition in the community were not given similar treatment.

It is however interesting to note that, the Omotosho ancestral Family House which hitherto, located in front of the new Afao Palace was pulled down on the orders of the town Development Council on the excuse that it portends great danger in the community.

The House which had it roof blown off and some part fell apart, few years ago had remains a subject of controversies in the sleepy town. While the council is blaming internal rift in the Omotosho family for prolonged delay in rehabilitation of the building the family said the monarch was actually plotting to confiscate the land.

Explaining the monarch position, the Public Relations Officer of the Afao Development Council, Mr Tope Anjorin, said the building was actually pulled down by the government to avert calamity and not by the Oba as claimed.

“The late owner of the building  first daughter , Mrs Florence Aduloju was the Women Leader of the PDP for two consecutive terms  in Afao-Ekiti while his son, Pastor Sunday Olowoyo is the present Caretaker Chairman of Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government under Fayose. “ Can these people allowed their family to be victimized by the same party they belong to?” he asked.

The leaders said a dilapidated one-storey building that was demolished by the community through the State Government, was meant to prevent calamity from befalling the town because of its closeness to some educational institutions in the town.

The town said the late owner of the building had children whose political tentacles spread across the APC and Peoples Democratic Party, saying the action was devoid of political consideration contrary to rumour being spread around.

Anjorin added that: “We had tried to reach out to the family on the need to demolish the building, but Mr Omotoso, being one of the sons made the arrangement difficult. State Emergency Management Agency had presented relief materials to the family twice to rebuild the family, but nothing was done.

Buttressing their point, they said, “we want to make it abundantly clear that Fayose has nothing to do with this demolition. They are all to tarnish his image we want him to withdraw this libellous publication or face the wrath of the law”.

He said the demolition was done based on the request of the town in a letter addressed to the Governor and dated February 16, 2015, where they stated the status of the building and danger it posed to the pupils of St, David’s Nursery and Primary School and SUBEB Model Nursery and Primary School located within the vicinity of the palace. The letter  signed by ADC President, Chief Alex Akintunde and Secretary, Elder Bisi Agunbiade , requested the government to pull down the structure because efforts to reach out to the children of the late owner to repair the house had proved abortive, having been blown off by tornado since 2005 .

Anjorin warned Omotoso to stop politicizing the issue and smearing the image of Governor Fayose over issue he knew nothing about.

He also clarified that what the town had done was mere demolition to avert danger and not outright seizure as being claimed by Omotoso in his publication.

Speaking for the family, the eldest son of the family, Pastor David Omotoso told journalists that governor Fayose cannot claim ignorance of the sordid drama paying out in Afao- Ekiti.

Accompanied by another member of the family Mrs Yemi Oluwayose, the complainant said the community was up to a mischief by demolishing the old building without consulting the family, while also queried why the new building being built behind was pulled down.

The governor had, however, denied any involvement in any plan to grab the land from the family to give way for the expansion of the palace, which was situated directly behind the one-storey building. He said the family would sue the monarch and seek compensation for the colossal damage done to their artefact and other valuables, which could have been protected if they were carried along.

Said he “This house was built in 1953 but it was blown off by wind about two years ago. The administration of ex-Governor Kayode Fayemi intervened and assisted the family with a sum of N10, 000 to reroof the building, which we did.

Adding that, “It was when we realized that the house was weak that we decided to build a new one behind it. The land belonged to our forebears and about six tombs and other artefacts were inside which they destroyed in the cause of demolishing it.

“But it was disheartening that we were not given any notice before carrying out the act. There were more dilapidated houses in Afao which they did not demolish.

“It was during the first term of governor Fayose that they encroached on our land and built the new palace. Even the fencing encroached on it, but we took that for peace to reign.

“The Governor had earlier made pronouncement during the 2014 Afao Day that Omotoso family should not do anything on that land and he said we should come and see him. He even said that our family house must give way for the palace.

“I came on December 27, 2014 to see him and I was told he travelled out of the country. I then wrote a letter and sent to him by one Tope Anjorin, but there was no reply.  And I did not receive any correspondence from the governor acknowledging my letter.

“Only to be called on the 2nd May, 2015 that my father’s house had been demolished and that nothing is standing again on that land, including even the new one that we are erecting. This is totally mischievous and unacceptable.

“We are warning them not to build anything on that land because it belongs to us. The claim that the place posed danger to the pupils is to cover up their mischief. All they wanted to do was to erase our family’s name in Afao Ekiti. We are going to challenge this injustice in Court”, he said.

Absolving himself from the controversy governor Fayose said the allegation made by David Omotoso was untrue.

The governor clarified that except for some people who will tend to believe the story, we decided to put the record straight.

“It is true that Governor Fayose built the Alafao Palace some years ago on the land provided by the Afao Development Council.

However, the demolition of the said building is purely an internal affair of Afao Community having nothing to do with Governor Fayose.”

It is totally wrong for Mr David Omotoso to assume that Gov Fayose had ordered for demolition of their family house.

It is the Alafao in Council and the Afao Development Council which felt that the 100 year old dilapidated roofless structure of Omotoso family was posing danger to the pupils of nearby primary schools who hibernated under the building. The community also claimed that the building has become a haven to criminals who often hide there to perpetrate crime what has that got to do with Fayose? Is it because Fayose is from Afao or because he built the palace.

Nobody in this country can claim not to know the antecedents of All Progressive? Congress (APC) as a party which specialises in fabricating lies and to malign people using their propaganda machinery.

When the party has failed in all directions to bring the government down through their much advertised impeachment project, it is now intensifying campaign of calumny against the person of Governor Fayose.

Incidentally, as explained by the Afao Development Council, the step taken to pull down the building is about safety and security which has no political coloration. Three PDP leaders are members of that family.