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On Monday, residents of Araromi-Ekiti in Ijero Local Government Area of Ekiti State staged a protest, expressing dissatisfaction with the process leading to the selection of a new traditional ruler for their community.

The protesters demanded the disqualification of one of the contenders for the Araromi stool, citing alleged certificate forgery.

During a peaceful protest to the Ekiti State House of Assembly and the Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs, the residents submitted a petition against the prince, urging for his disqualification. The protesters displayed placards with different messages expressing their thoughts and grievances.

They expressed their dissatisfaction with the alleged compromise of the selection process to favour one of the contestants, Prince Babatunde Babalola, for the vacant Alararomi stool.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Mr. Olusola Aina, a community leader, while addressing newsmen, highlighting concerns regarding the contestant’s qualifications.

He revealed that a letter obtained from the University of Ibadan indicated that the contestant was not a graduate of the university, as claimed. Additionally, the management of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital confirmed in a letter that the prince, who was a former staff member, absconded without providing any information.

Mr. Aina emphasized that allowing Prince Adebomi to become the Oba of the community, despite his alleged involvement in such criminal activities, would be inappropriate.

He said “We are here to protest the alleged government’s decision to impose a suspected criminal as our Oba, we are rejecting it in totality, we are not following the Ifa pronunciation, when ifa gives us a criminal we will reject it.

“We have made our investigation, and we found out that he is not a graduate of the University of Ibadan as claimed and he absconded from the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital where he was working prior to a verification exercise.

“He worked at EKSUTH (Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital) as a physiotherapist, with a forged certificate, when they found out, he went into hiding only to resurface. We don’t want a king that the police will be running after for the forgery of NYSC certificate. If the government rejects forged certificates in the Civil Service why impose such person on us as Oba.

In response to the allegations from the protesters, Babalola denied their claims, stating that all documents they presented were unrelated to him and deemed them fake. He asserted that the selection process was transparent and was monitored by officials of the state government, including security agencies.

Babalola urged the people to remain calm and allow the selection process to proceed. He mentioned that the protesters had already taken the matter to court, expressing surprise that they could not wait for the judiciary to make a decision.

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