The Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, has told the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, not to drag him into “petty partisan politics,” saying that he is a monarch and not a politician.
On Sunday, the governor presented staffs of office to the new kings at a ceremony held at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, after the recommendations of a commission established by the governor to review the Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957.
The governor, at the event, had advised the Olubadan to remain the father of all Ibadan citizens and not allow himself to be used, adding that his recent utterances tended towards the political.
But in a statement on Monday by the monarch’s Director, Media and Public Affairs, Adeola Oloko, Olubadan said nobody could use the royal stool of Ibadan for selfish political gain.
He said, “Since Friday, March 4, 2016, when I ascended the exalted throne of Olubadan, I have opened the gate of our palace wide to all manner of people. If you belong to any political party, you are most welcome. So, politics has nothing to do with my resistance or opposition to the chieftaincy review spearheaded by the Oyo State Government.
“The government should not paint me with the tar brush of petty partisan politics as I am a monarch and not a politician. As a monarch, I am the father of all, irrespective of sex, ethnic and ideological persuasions. The person or group who would use the royal stool of Olubadan for selfish political reason has not been born.”
The monarch described as unfortunate the comment by Ajimobi that recent utterances from the palace were tending towards the political, calling on the governor to present evidence to back his claim.
“There is no press statement issued from the Olubadan media office which did not enjoy my blessing before it was made public. While I am aware that people react to age differently, I am not too old to be misinterpreted by anybody, even at 89. Governor Ajimobi stated that he invited us to the Governor’s Office over this matter and visited me in the palace later.
“While this is true, I wish to respectfully state that the Boade Panel was inaugurated on May 19, 2017. His Excellency, Governor Ajimobi invited me to the Governor’s Office on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, after the panel had sat for four weeks. At that meeting, the governor, high chiefs and state house correspondents will recall my opposition to the chieftaincy review.
“My question is: did anybody put words into my mouth in that recorded tape? When he invited me to his office and visited me in the palace on Sunday, June 18, 2017, the Boade Panel was almost through with its job. When we met at the inner chamber, what the governor told me was that he knew I should have been consulted first. So, it is not true that I was consulted, as claimed by him. If I had been consulted, this error would have been avoided. The desecration of the crown would have been averted.”
The statement said Oba Adetunji commended monarchs who solidarised with him on the matter, saying his opposition to the mass coronation was to prevent a breakdown of law and order, complication and its consequences on Ibadan chieftaincy system.
Olubadan stages road walk
In his response to the installation of 21 kings in Ibadan, the Olubadan on Monday staged a road walk across the major parts of the city, visiting major markets in the metropolis.
A palace source said that the king, mogajis and some Chiiefs left the palace around 1.45pm, adding that the road walk was held to make a statement that Ibadan remained indivisible.
The source said, “The mogajis (family heads) of Ibadan paid the monarch a visit in a large number to show their opposition to the governor’s installation of 21 new kings in one day in Ibadan. The Olubadan told Ibadan indigenes and residents in areas visited that he would not surrender his sovereignty to any other king.
Afobaje backs Ajimobi over new kings
The head of Afobaje family in Ibadan land, Chief Wahab Popoola, has thrown his weight behind the installation of new kings in Ibadan land.
Popoola said the new kings posed no threat to the authority of the Olubadan, stressing that instead of performing the rites that were always done before an Olubadan would be crowned, the new kings only required his blessing because they were “honorary kings.”
He said, “I did what I had to do during the enthronement of the kings. I blessed them as the Oluwo Afobaje of Ibadan land. There are no special rites performed because they are like honorary kings. The White Paper that established the kings is explicit enough. The governor did this to change the status of the high chiefs and the baales. There is nothing to it more than that.”
Popoola added that the white paper stated that any of the new kings that disrespected the Olubadan would be punished.
“The White Paper, which I have seen, stated clearly that the Olubadan is the highest ranking king in Ibadan and that any of the new kings that disrespects him shall be sanctioned. This means that the power and the authority of the Olubadan are not tampered with,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress on Monday said the elevation of Ibadan high chiefs and baales to kingship status by Ajimobi showed that the governor prioritized development of the city before taking the decision.
In a statement by the APC Public Relations Officer, Olawale Sadare, the party said Ajimobi had, by the action, demonstrated his passion for recording ‘‘unprecedented feats in the interest of the public.’’
www.sojworld.com © August 30, 2017.