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28 Sep 2017

I’ve enough reasons to depose Olubadan, says Gov Ajimobi

Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has said he will not depose or sanction the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Oba Saliu Adetunji, despite having enough reasons to do so.
The governor, who said his office is higher than other titles in the state, pledged not to allow the situation cause any acrimony between him and the monarch.

Ajimobi spoke yesterday in Ibadan, the state capital, at a meeting with the traditional council in the 11 local governments in the city.

The governor urged the council not to be discouraged but extend a hand of fellowship to the Olubadan.

Traditional rulers at the meeting include the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Lekan Balogun; Balogun of Ibadan Oba Olakeleyin Owolabi; Ashipa Olubadan of Ibadan Oba Eddy Oyewole; and Ashipa Balogun of Ibadan Oba Lateef Gbadamosi Adebimpe.

Others are: Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadan Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi, and the Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadan Oba Amidu Ajibade.

The governor said the palace might have been hijacked by former Governor Rashidi Ladoja and his supporters, who he accused of planning to return the state to its gory days.

He said Monday’s shooting at the palace during an installation ceremony was stage-managed by those he called drowning politicians.

Ajimobi said: “Like I said, all the relevant sections of the 1959 chieftaincy declarations are clear on the powers of the governor, vis-a-vis the traditional rulers as well as the administrations, particularly sections 26 and 27, which empower the governor to sanction any erring oba.

“But as I have said before: you must use power with caution, particularly when it comes to traditional institutions. I am a respecter of that institution. I sincerely believe that considering the relationship that I have with the kabiyesi, the Olubadan of Ibadan – as a son, as a brother to my late father, as the Aare of Ibadan, the title he (Olubadan) honoured me with – I will never do anything to denigrate that position of obaship or go to the extent of sanctioning him by removal or suspending or doing something similar. After all, he is an old man and he is my father.

“We will continue to talk to him. The only unfortunate thing there is that some failed politicians, particularly Ladoja and his likes, have taken over the palace and they are doing things that Baba himself is not aware or approve of.

“So, we understand the dynamics. The press secretary to Baba Olubadan used to be the press secretary to Ladoja and he is still there. Some of the assistants and aides of Baba are known members of Ladoja’s party.

“The Baba on the throne is my father; I will not do anything that will disgrace him and denigrate his stool. I am happy the obas know the enormity of the powers of a governor. The law has it that if the governor sees that what a monarch is doing can cause chaos, the governor has the power to depose such a king.

“And if anyone is going around the town, waving and parading himself in the streets and in the market at a time as this, that means he wants to scatter the town and cause chaos. If the governor invites a monarch to a meeting and the monarch fails to turn up and such a king is saying he was told to sleep or rest somewhere, he could be removed. At least, it is the government that is paying him.

“Who bestowed the crown and staff of office on the monarch? Is it not the government? But you see, when a person is in a position as such, he shouldn’t wield his powers every time, particularly against someone he claims to be his father and someone who is old; more so, when you know that some people are really behind it. We know it is Ladoja.

“I have found enough reasons to depose him, but I will never do it. If he likes, let him go to the radio or television to abuse me. I don’t care and I will never use that against him. He is enjoying the fact that he is my father; he is enjoying the fact that he is the Olubadan.

“But the Olubadan is not the governor. In Oyo State, the governor is still the head and leader. My gentility is not cowardice. I am just being careful.  I am giving you the assurance that I will not remove him. Sooner or later, he will understand better.

“So, with all intents and purpose, the Olubadan palace has been taken over by Ladoja and his followers. What he could not achieve through the ballot box, through democracy, through elections, he wants to achieve through the palace. He will fail as he has failed in all attempts. What he is doing is the desperation of a drowning man looking for ways to cause civil unrest. But we will not allow him.

“He is not above the law. He is a former governor; that is it. I am the current governor. I will be former governor after the end of my term.

“We must allow government to run. It is not his duty to try to cause civil unrest in the society. We will not allow him.

“What happened at an oba’s palace reminded us of what had been done before. They went to the late Baba (Lamidi) Adedibu’s house over the bridge and shot at Baba Adedibu, his benefactor, the person who put him there. Later on, they came to Adebayo Alao-Akala’s Office to shoot him. It is the same style. At another time, they went to Akure, Ondo State capital, and started shooting. They killed Alao-Akala’s assistant. We know.

“All that happened on Monday also, we know he is behind it. He may say we should prove it, but we know he is behind it. How do you go to a place and four people came, policemen were at the palace and so many security men too but nobody apprehended them and nothing happened? Then, the people inside the palace still sat inside and later they came. We are not fools. We know that was stage-managed. We have information and we thank God that Ibadan people are behind us. The whole of Ibadan is behind us, except a few politicians.”

The monarchs urged the governor not to use his powers to react to the situation.

Oba Lekan Balogun said: “If anyone likes it or not, we are making history by how we live this life. What was done in recent times and, like what you have always done, is great. Honestly, you have been an architect, like they have always portrayed you on billboards around the town. The things you do, I know it is God that is giving you the wisdom. It is a great history-making event; it is indeed a great history-making event because it is something that has been done in places like Ekiti, Ondo and even Lagos and other Yoruba cities.

“In one essential respect, we did not cut Ibadan into pieces, as it is done in other places. The Olubadan still remains the owner of Ibadan.

“Even with what we have done, we still remain where we were. I still remain the Otun Olubadan, just like others in the council. But those who don’t understand think there are many kings in a town. As we pray and do the needful to get Ibadan state, if eventually it is granted, are we going to have only one king? If God grants that we have Ibadan State, are we going to have one king?

“The only two things that we did with the recent reform is the nomenclature of obaship that was added to our title. We have not changed from our ranks as Otun, Balogun, Ashipa and the rest in the Olubadan-in-Council.

“The second is fashion. If I don’t use my normal abetiaja cap, I will use my crown. Please, how has that hurt the interest of the kabiyesi, the Imperial Majesty? In the whole of this city, he is still the only Imperial Majesty.

“But only two people oppose what the governor did. Those who don’t understand are really many and they are those who have it on mind to destroy the city. They are the ones who always want to be known and seen as the only ones who know it. Aside from them, no one else knows how to do. Only two groups oppose what the governor has done.”

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