Residents of Erunmu, a suburb of Ibadanland located in the present day Egbeda Local Government area of Oyo State on Saturday rued the non-inclusion of the Baale of Erunmu, Chief Oyesola Akanji Oyerinde 1, in the list of the Baales crowned as Obas by the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Mohood Lekan Balogun.
About 34 Baales were made Obas by the Olubadan to fast track developments of the less city communities as the city of Ibadan daily wears development and population explosion amidst industrial growth with attendant socioeconomic challenges.
The new Elerunmu of Erunmu, Oyesola Akanji Oyerinde was installed by the late Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji on Monday, May 24th, 2021, over two years ago.
Prior to his installation, Erunmu has been without a Baale (king) for many years due to internal crisis and ego-flexing of some elites of the town, chief of whom was a chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Elder Wole Oyelese, alleged to be unfavourably disposed to the way and manner Elerunmu emerged.
Oyelese a notable son of Erunmu was one time Executive Chairman of Egbeda Local Government and later the Minister of Power and at another occasion, Minister of Special Duties.
He was said to have used his influence in ensuring that the Elerunmu was not listed as one of the kings elevated and crowned by the Olubadan on Friday.
A resident who preferred anonymity said, the residents had looked forward to seeing their Baale becoming an Oba, just like other towns like Erunmu across other six local governments were crowned as His Royal Highnesses.
“Elder Wole Oyelese ought to have allowed the crisis in the town to come to an end as an Elder and leader of the PDP.
“While we heard the news of how other towns, where their Baales were crowned as Kings, erupted in joy amidst funfare and excitement, Erunmu today looks miserable and sad as our people are not happy with the endless crisis over leadership of the town which was settled by the late Olubadan.
“Both Governor Seyi Makinde and the Olubadan have done their best and history will be kind to them. We are however curious that a supposed-elderstatesman would deny us the joy of such a historical event and grandiose celebration that greeted the coronation of new Obas across Ibadan towns and villages.
“Why Erunmu out of all villages and towns around? Those who stopped our Oba’s coronation should note that only God elevates whosoever he wills. Hearing the joy of the crowing of a 116year-old Oba Oladipupo; the Onido of Ido, Oba Muritala Babalola, amongst others, gave us a feeling that, are some people working against the development of Erunmu?
“The effects that leader in the kingship status of Erunmu would have availed us are legendary. Is it the rare honour and privilege to see drastic changes and improvements in the lives of the people of this area? Or the one that our monarch would have been better placed to channel his power to ensure the Inland Dry Port becomes a success story as a king?
Also speaking, a businesswoman in the community, Shade Adeniji in her own remarks said, “we thought that the crisis in the town has ended after the emergence of Oba Oyerinde on Monday 24th May, 2021 when the then Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji Aje Ogunguniso I, installed him as the new Elerunmu.”
Adeniji added that the situation where it was only Elerunmu that was reported not to be included amongst the new Obas showed that some people are feeding fat on the leadership crisis in the town.
Reports say the new Elerunmu has after his coronation lifted the hope of the residents of the town when he said, “I want is for us all to build a new Erunmu on unity, peaceful coexistence and love as those are the bedrocks of development”.
He had earlier solicited and enjoined the people of Erunmu to give total cooperation with the government so as to make the town a developed one.