Oba Ajibade Alabi

By Tope Ogunfowokan.

More revelations have emerged concerning the history of Ilawe, the headquarters of Ekiti South West Local Government area of Ekiti State, particularly the roles played by Chiefs during the installation and burial of the traditional ruler of the town.

For about two months now, there has been controversies among some of the quarters in the community over traditional rites.

The controversy started when the Elemo of Oke – Emo granted an interview, where he claimed responsibility of performing the major traditional rites for the installation of the king.

Addressing journalists in Ilawe-Ekiti, the Elemo of Okeloye Quarters Chief Michael Adeolu claimed that much of the rites performed during the installation and burial of Ilawe king rest on him.

Chief Adeolu explained that the Elemo Okeloye migrated with the first traditional ruler of Ilawe who was a woman known as “Oniwe” from Ile-Ife, adding that he is the fifth to the Alawe in ranking.

He said, after the nomination of a king he the monarch would be brought to the town square where the Elemo Okeloye would pray and bless the king.

“After that, the king will be taken to Ajagbo lake where I will wash his feet and pray for him, and he will also visit the Owa Ariyo diety in my compound where I will also pray for him.

No king has ever been installed without visiting Owa Ariyo shrine, he claimed.

The Elemo Okeloye added that after the rites at the Owa Ariyo, the king would be returned to the village square and handed over to the Elemo of Oke Emo quarters for further rites but would be returned same day and taken to the residence of the Ejigbo where he would sleep for seven days.

Chief Adeolu noted that during the stay of the king in the Ejigbo residence, he would visit the king daily to pray for him, and on the grand finale he also has the exclusive right to touch the king’s head with the traditional leave.

Speaking on the death rites, the Elemo Okeloye claimed that he remains the only one that has the right to announce the demise of a king after he must have been informed trice by the Omo-Owa(s) and he would then return to the palace to clear the cloth used in covering the deceased king before he could be buried.

cloth collected after the demise of the immediate past Oba by Elemo Okeroye.

Chief Adeolu said Ilawe Ekiti had produced eighteen kings and all of them were installed by the Elemo including the sitting monarch.

He said the Elemo of Okeloye collected the cloth of the late Afinbiokin in 1929, Elemo Oluyede did that of Oba Adefilaju in 1976, while he the current Elemo Okeloye cleared the cloth of the late monarch, Oba Adeyemi Ademileka in accordance with the tradition of the town.

Chief Adeolu urged the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Ajibade Alabi to intervene in the various controversies rocking the town over its history particularly traditional rites and set the record straight for all.