Sacred tree: Olukere denies collecting N1m from Fayose

The Olukere of Ikere Ekiti, Oba Ganiyu Obasoyin, has denied collecting N1m from Governor Ayodele Fayose for the relocation of some deities on the dualised Ado-Akure highway.

He described the allegation as a blackmail targeted at smearing his “towering image” in the town.

Olukere clarified that the money given by the state government for the relocation of four deities to give way for the road dualisation project in the town was not given to him personally.

Speaking with journalists in his palace in Ikere,  the Olukere revealed that two of his chiefs, the Eselemo of Odo Oja, Chief Adeyemi Fajilade and Saya of Ikere, Chief Foluso Olowofela, collected the money for the relocation of four deities, excluding Olosunta tree, from the Commissioner for Works, Mrs. Funmilayo Ogun.

He said, “Let me say categorically that I didn’t personally collect any cheque or cash from Governor Fayose; so, this is cheap blackmail. The agreement we had with the government was that there were five deities that could obstruct the dualisation project and we agreed that four should be relocated.

“Ikere people didn’t want Ejibaosi relocated but I had to pacify them because we love development. I want to believe that it was the Ogoga (Oba Adejimi Adu) that wanted to mislead the governor because he knew he has no role to play in the tradition of Ikere town, so he wanted these traditions obliterated.

“When the appeasement and relocation was to be done in January, we declared 12 hours curfew and the governor was aware of this and all the traditionalists from the three quarters performed the rituals and relocation.

“The actual amount released was N850,000. I even added N350,000 from my own pocket to complete the ritual. I am presently constructing an N18m road in the town while I have invested over N200m in this town.” Punch

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