The rustic community of Araromi-Aladodo in Akure South Local Government area of Ondo State came alive last weekend when a journalist, Ayodeji Charles Fatoki, was crowned as the traditional head of the town, eighteen years after the death of the former head, Chief Julius Fatoki Tifase. Members of the pen profession, top government officials, social clubs and community leaders trooped out to witness the coronation of Fatoki as the new Aladodo of Araromi-Aladodo to replace his father who joined his ancestors 18 years ago. The stool had become vacant following the death of Tifase, who was the head of the community. Fatoki, who was the Vice Chairman of Information Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), has since joined the list of other media practitioners who have been crowned as traditional rulers in Ondo state. It would be recalled that a former Deputy President of NUJ, Rotimi Obamuagun, has been crowned as Olumoru of Imoru in Ose Local Government area of the state while Morayo Omolade, a retired editorial staff of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) is also the traditional head of his community in Akure South Local Government. The newly installed monarch studied Public Administration at the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko. Fatoki is the Public Relations Officer of the State Senior Staff Club and a media consultant who has won many awards both home and abroad
Aladodo-Araromi was founded by Papa Asuda Tifase who was the father of Asuda Fatoki Tifase and history revealed that the village came to being over two hundred years ago. Pa Asuda Tifase was known to be a versatile and erudite Ifa priest whom people believed and trusted so much because of his Ifa divination which had no ambiguity but the pure truth. This was the actual reason Oba Aralepo of Isinkan of that period made him his Ifa priest. Pa Asuda Tifase was very popular with the Ifa priesthood and this prompted his invitation from one community to another which mostly took him away from his family for months.
As a result, he could not settle down to face his farming work which led to a major setback for him in farming business. Aladodo-Araromi was given to Pa Asuda Tifase as his settlement; this gesture was as a result of his loyalty, commitment and immeasurable contribution to the progress and development of Isinkan Land. There, he established himself with his family including young Fatoki his son. As a benevolent man, he brought some other people to the village and gave them land to farm. This was how the village started flourishing, people from other tribes were also accommodated and became successful in their various endeavors. Pa Tifase Asuda remained the founder and Baale of Aladodo Araromi Community until his demise in 1934. After the demise of his father, Pa Asuda, Fatoki Tifase assumed the headship as Baale from where his father stopped. He was later installed as Chief Asuda of Isinkan Land, the chieftaincy title of his father and started to play a great role in the development of Isinkan community and Aladodo Araromi. There is a significant structure called “Esi” in the front of Chief Asuda Tifase’s house at Aladodo Araromi signifying the symbol of headship and leadership of the Community. The traditional name of the village is Araromi but inherited Aladodo as appellation when the construction of the road was done and because of the beautiful flowers that occupied the front of the village made people nicked name the village as Aladodo village till date. Pa Chief Asuda Fatoki Tifase successfully administered the affairs of Aladodo Araromi until his death in August 6th 2004, after 52 years on the throne.
Ayodeji was announced by the Iralepo of Isikan, Oba Olugbenga Adimula Ojo as the successor of his father, Chief Julius Fatoki who ruled the Aladodo-Araromi community for 52 years before he joined his ancestors, 18 years ago. But, shortly after the inauguration of Fatoki as the new head, the Deji of Akure, Oba Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi also approved the appointment and installation of Chief Adekunle Olumide as the Olu of Aladodo Community in the Local Government, the devel-opment led to tension in the community. The Iralepo of Isikan, in his speech, said the appointment of Fatoki followed favourable consideration by the family of High Chief Julius Fatoki Tifase, the Asuda of Isinkan. He said the new traditional head of Aladodo, Ayodeji Charles Fatoki was born about 50 years ago to the family of High Chief and Mrs Julius Fatoki Tifase, the Asuda of Isinkan. He studied Public Administration at the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko. However a statement by Michael Adeyeye, Chief Press Secretary to the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, approved the appointment and installation of Chief Olumide Adekunle as the Olu of Aladodo Community in Akure South Local Government. The Deji of Akure’s statement on Adekunle’s appointment reads: “The appointment was sequel to the careful consideration of His Majesty and the exercise of his power as the consenting and prescribed authority over the appointment of Minor Chiefs, Olus Baales and Olojas in Akure North and South Local Government. His Majesty urges the new Olu of Aladodo to join hands with other Olus in Akure Kingdom for the development of Aladodo Community and Akure Kingdom at large. His Majesty wishes to congratulate the people of the Aladodo Community and also pray that God will guide the new Olu of Aladodo, Chief Adekunle Opeyemi Olumide as he steers the affairs of the people of Aladodo Community.”
The family of Fatoki came to the palace of Iralepo to pay a thank you visit on the installation of their son as the new traditional head of the community. The monarch of Isikan, said Ayodeji Fatoki was installed on July 31 in accordance with the traditional and customs of Isikan. According to him, he was crowned and introduced to the community third day after his coronation. The monarch said the place was known as Araromi before it was renamed Adodo because of the numerous flowers in the community. He said there is no doubt that the community belong to the Iralepo as it was his forefathers that have been installing heads of the community in the time immemorial.
The Iralepo of Isinkan assured thepeopleof Isinkanof hisdetermination and commitment to protect the peoples’ inheritance. Speaking when the Aladodo traditional head came with his family members and residents of Aladodo Community to register their joy, loyalty and thank Oba Olofin-Adimula for his show of love said Isinkan is not in dispute with anyone over her land. Iralepo said he would not however open his eyes and allow anyone to encroach into his forefathers’ land. His words “We are not in dispute with anyone. Araromi -Aladodo belongs to Isinkan and our forefathers were the ones farming on the land and bequeathed same to us. Iralepo had installed Community heads in the area from time immemorial and no one can come overnight and rewrite that history. We have documents in support of our claims. The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) had even warned traditional rulers not to overstep their boundaries, so, I am rest assured that no one will try to act contrary to the Executive Order.” Oba Ojo charged the new Aladodo to remain calm and go about his lawful activities in the community. He advised him to bring development to the town as communities in Isikan need development. Also, he said government should bring social amenities to the community in order to open the agrarian community to the world. The new traditional head, Fatoki who was elated with the new feat commended Iralepo’s avowed commitment to the protection of inheritance of the people of Isinkan. He promised to foster unity amongst residents of the community and facilitate development to the area.
Shortly after the family thanked the Isikan monarch and paid homage for the installation of their son as the traditional head; family, friends, NUJ members, top government and political office holders trooped to the community to celebrate with the new head of the community. Fatoki who arrived the Aladodo community with pomp and pageantry went to the tomb of his father where he prayed for peace and development of the town. He also went to the shrine where he poured libation to the gods and goddess of the town. Accompanied by chiefs and family members, Fatoki moved through the length and breadth of the town pouring water and salt to appease the gods of the land. He prayed for bountiful yield for the farmers and peace among the residents of the community and their neighbours. Speaking with reporters after the traditional rites, he waved olive branch to those who may be aggrieved with his installation as the traditional head of the community. He promised to use his wealth of experience as a media practitioner to bring development to the community.
Residents of the community who are predominantly farmers were elated with the installation of the new monarch for the community. A resident, Mr Joseph Adiku, said the community had been longing for head since the demise of the former traditional head 18 years ago. He thanked the Iralepo of Isikan for the appointment of Ayodeji who is a direct son of the former traditional ruler for them. Another famer, Tijani Eti said the installation of new head would usher development to the community. He said the community now has someone to run to for the settlement of dispute among farmers in the area. The leadership of NUJ in the state also expressed satisfaction with the appointment of one of their own as a traditional ruler. It said the appointment of Fatoki as a traditional ruler showed that journalists can function not only in the newsrooms but in other fields of endeavour.