The Akunnu Liberal Minds Group has narrated the events that led to the death of Warrant Chief Olorunda Agoyi, a retired staff of Ondo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) who died on June 10 in Akunnu, Ondo State during an event which was meant to overturn his selection as awarrant chief.
Agoyi represented the Ima Quarters. Various media platforms reported the death of Mr. Agoyi and these reports have been termed “erroneous” by the Akunnu Liberal Minds who said that there has been “a lot of misrepresentation of facts”.
According to the group’s narration signed by its Publicity Secretary, Babatunde Oluwaseun, Agoyi was neither a contestant of the Obaship stool of Oluwade of Akunnu but was merely present at the scene as a warrant chief for the selection proccess of a new Oba. He had earlier been selected as a warrant chief during a selection process that was organised and supervised by the local government council officials.
The group said, “The Oluwade of Akunu joined his ancestors in 2019. It is the responsibility of kingmakers to select a new king in an event of the passage of a king but there were only two surviving kingmakers instead of eight. The two surviving High Chiefs, Chief Ebiye and Chief Atta, could not install a new king because they did not form a quorum. Chiefs Edict of Ondo State does not grant anybody, except a king, the authority to confer chieftaincy title on anyone.
“The penalty is grievous. The government has to authorize respective quarters that are entitled to produce the kingmakers to bring forth representatives who would be requested to perform the singular role of overseeing the selection of a new king. Such ad-hoc officials are known as Warrant Chiefs whose roles end immediately a new king has been installed. The six quarters which had no high chiefs in Akunu were requested to send letters, individually, to the local government council at Ikare in Akoko North-East LGA wherein the names of their respective nominees were stated.”
In some reports, Agoyi was said to have collapsed when the Ifa Oracle was being consulted, the group insists that there was no divination at the scene of the incident. In a subsection that was entitled: “Events that preceded the death of the selected kingmaker,” the group stated that the selection process of filling some vacant positions of warrant chiefs was hijacked by an unnamed woman who was simply addressed as “a prominent elderly woman from Iludotun-Ajowa in Akoko North-West LGA of Ondo State” in the narrative. The woman wanted Agoyi to bend to her will by getting o
It said, “There is a ‘prominent’ elderly woman who has a link with Akunu that boasted that she would install whoever she wished as the king of the town. She has always bragged to the hearing of everybody that she installed the Secretary to the Local Government, the Secretary to the State Government, and even the State Governor.
“Before the day of the selection, the woman boasted that she would ensure that all the nominees from other quarters would be replaced with her protegés as long as they are not willing to dance to her tune. Prior to the day of the selection of Warrant Chiefs in Akunu, the elderly woman who is in her mid-eighties made moves to make good her boasts by causing confusion in the selection process but she met stiff resistance in her strides.
“After the selection process, the woman summoned late Mr Agoyi, after he had emerged as the selected Warrant Chief of Ima Quarters, to Ikare where he met the mother of one of the contestants to the Obaship stool and a politician who is equally a selected Warrant Chiefs. The late Mr. Agoyi was taken aback with the people he met in the woman’s house and the threat that was being thrown at him if he failed to do the bidding of the elderly woman.
“The elderly woman, in concert with the male politician Warrant Chief, summoned Mr Olorunda Agoyi to a clandestine meeting which was called at her instance at Ajowa in Akoko North-West LGA. The man was issued threats in order to coerce him to support a cause whose ultimate goal was to annex Akoko North-East LGA to Akoko North-West LGA. He protested vehemently against their plan and intentions. The said meeting had people who were invited from Ibadan (a retired Army Major inclusive) and other towns just to arm-twist the man. Mr. Agoyi stood his ground by asking why he had to be stampeded into joining the elderly woman to annex Akunu to another LGA. He kept asking why the elderly woman would insist that he should step down.
“Her accomplice, the male politician who is equally a selected Warrant Chief, boasted that the selection process would not stand. He said it in a meeting. The elderly woman made good her promise of attempting to remove Mr. Agoyi, after he had been successfully selected in a transparent process, because she claimed that he was rude to her. A petition was written and submitted to the Local Government Council demanding for a replacement of the selected Mr. Agoyi. This showed that Mr. Agoyi was their target for reasons best known to them.
“Akoko North-East Local Government Council wrote to request that Ima Quarters should pick a new date for a repeat of the selection process of Ima Quarters’ Warrant Chief instead of replacement of the selected Mr. Agoyi which the elderly woman and her ilk demanded for. June 10, 2021 was picked as the preferred date for the meeting by Ima people. The letter was signed by three persons from Ima Quarters.
“A fresh petition requesting to uphold the last selection process where Mr Agoyi emerged as the Warrant Chief was submitted at the venue of the meeting on June 10, 2021. It was stated in the letter that members of the quarters would continue to petition the process till eternity if the last process was not upheld.
“The community there and then resolved that from all that emerged from the quarters, it was glaring that the quarters was bent on being the cog in the wheel of progress of selecting a king for Akunu which is an autonomous community in Akoko North-East LGA. The community, in the meeting, resolved that since there are seven selected Warrant Chiefs, they should be given the approval to proceed to the next stage of selecting a new king for the town. They claimed that seven, out of eight kingmakers, have formed a quorum. Therefore, they should be given approval for selection of a new king.
“After listening and recording all submissions of all attendees, government officials who presided over the meeting concluded that there was no way any selection process could take place since it was evident that the quarters was bedevilled with serious issues whose end was not in sight. The meeting ended on that note.
“It was at that point that a healthy Mr Agoyi slumped. All attempts to resuscitate him showed no appreciable progress. He was rushed to the Health Centre in the town where he was treated and he initially showed signs of improvement but took a dramatic turn again. It was decided that he should be taken to the State Specialist Hospital in Ikare but he gave up the ghost before they got to Ikare, where he is still lying in a hospital’s mortuary.”
The group has termed the cause of Agoyi’s death as “diabolical” and urged that Akunu should not be given a bad name because of this incident. The group stated that they were not comfortable with the “negative energy” coming from Ima Quarters and asked the prominent woman to publicly state her interests and “the reasons for her desperation”.
Other requests are, “Government should co-operate with our community by earnestly granting the two (2) high chiefs and the selected five (5) personalities (warrant chiefs) the needed nod to begin the next step in selecting a new king for the town of Akunu, Akoko North-East LGA.
“That our revered Regent (HRH Elizabeth Olayinka Tolani Orangun) be granted her wish to return to her normal life, face her career, and family when we might have selected a new king without further delays.”