A traditional ruler in Osun State, Oba Adetoyese Oyeniyi, Odugbemi I, Olufi of Gbongan, has officially announced the indefinite suspension of three chiefs, who occupy different positions in the hierarchy of Gbongan’s Chieftaincy.

The statement was made during a press briefing at his palace yesterday. Other city chiefs and citizens were also present.

The two affected Baales and a minor chief were charged with crimes including gross misconduct, selfish accumulation of wealth, disloyalty, actions capable of dividing the city and insubordination to the monarch, among others.

They are Chief Kazeem Adekunle Afolabi, Onipetu of Gbongan; Baale Rufai Lawal of Olubula community, Gbongan; and Baale Samson Oyegunle Odekunmi of Sewe Community Gbongan.

A statement by the monarch said: “The decision to suspend Chief Kazeem Adekunle Afolabi, Onpetu of Gbongan, resulted from his flagrant insubordination and disregard for the esteemed office of the Olufi of Gbongan and the entire institution of chieftaincy.

“His divisive actions aimed at destabilizing Gbongan’s unity and his attempt to distort the traditional procedures of running the council were the reasons for his suspension. In addition, his failure to attend the mandatory two-week hearings in 2019 further compounded his misconduct.

“Baale Rufai Lawal of Olubula community faced suspension because of his blatant disregard for the established leadership of the community. His appropriation of wealth and benefits for himself, neglecting entitled stakeholders and his support for actions aimed at dismantling Gbongan, were seen as actions detrimental to community harmony.

“Similarly, Baale Samson Oyegunle Odekunmi of Sewe Community faced suspension for his grave abuse of power and divisive actions. His conduct was described as inconsistent with the traditional responsibilities expected of a Baale, posing a threat to the peaceful coexistence of the Sewe community and the Gbongan in general.”

Oba Oyeniyi stressed the importance of publishing the suspensions to ensure that all citizens, both at home and in the diaspora, are aware of the actions of the affected chiefs.

He condemned their efforts to undermine Gbongan progress and unity, reaffirming the city’s commitment to growth and development.

“My advice to residents is to stay focused. We should continue with the peace we have enjoyed,” Oba Oyeniyi said.

Corroborating the monarch’s claims, a town chief, Saka Kola Owogbade, expressed concern over the actions of the suspended Onipetu of Gbongan.

He said: “We have a minor chief, Onipetu of Gbongan, who has chosen to agitate for a crown that is not rightfully his, aligning himself with Onipetu of Ijero of Ogbomoso. Because of this action, they were suspended. We want the whole world to know about their suspension.”

Another Gbongan stakeholder, High Chief Olabamiji Adisa also expressed disappointment with certain people in the chieftaincy hierarchy.

He said: “It is unfortunate that certain individuals in our leadership hierarchy have chosen to pursue personal interests at the expense of the well-being of our community. We are united to uphold the values of our tradition and to ensure that justice prevails.”

Efforts to get the reactions of the suspended bosses were unsuccessful at press time.