Oyo state governor Abiola Ajimobi has said he will not depose or sanction the Olubadan of Ibadanland despite having enough reasons to do so.
The governor who noted that the office of the governor is higher and above other titles in the land noted that, he will never allow the situation to cause any acrimony between himself and the monarch whom he referred to as a father.
The governor gave the assurance during a meeting of with the traditional council in the eleven local governments in Ibadan, urging the council not to be discouraged but extend a hand of fellowship to the Olubadan.
Some of the royal majesties in attendance at the meeting include the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Olakeleyin Owolabi, the Ashipa Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Eddy Oyewole and Ashipa Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Lateef Gbadamosi Adebimpe.
The others are, the Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi, and the Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Amidu Ajibade.
The governor maintained that he was well aware that all that is going on the palace is an indication that the Palace has been hijacked by a former Governor Rashidi Ladoja and his like who are bent on taking the state back to the gory days.
Noting that the shooting which occurred at the palace during an installation ceremony, Monday, was stage-managed by those he described as drowning politicians, the governor stressed that he will not allow the former governor disrupt the peace being currently enjoyed in the state.
He said, “Like I said, all the relevant sections of the 1959 chieftaincy declarations are very clear on the powers of the governor viz-a-viz the traditional rulers and the administrations and particularly sections 26 and 27 empowers 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 believed that considering the relationship that I have with Kabiesi, the Olubadan of Ibadanland as a son, as a brother to my late father, as the Aare of Ibadanland of which he (Olubadan) honored me with that title, I will never do anything to denegrade that position of obaship or go to the extent of sanctioning him by removal or suspension or something else. Afterall, 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 will not even aware nor approve of. So we understand the dynamics. The Press Secretary of Baba Olubadan used to be the Press Secretary of Ladoja and he is still there. Some of the Assistants and aides of Baba are known members of Ladoja’s party.
“The baba that is on the throne is my father and I will not do anything that will disgrace him and denegrade his stool. I am happy the obas know the enormity of the powers of a governor. The law had it that, if the governor sees that what a monarch is doing can cause chaos, the governor has the power to depose such king.
“And if anyone is going around the town waving and parading himself around the streets and market at a time like this, that means he want to scatter the town and cause chaos. If the governor invites a monarch to a meeting and the monarch failed to turn up and such king is saying he was told to sleep or rest somewhere, he could be removed, atleast 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 everytime, particularly against someone who one claims to be his father, and someone who is old and more so, when you know that some people are really behind it. And 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 Olubadan is not the state governor. This Oyo state, the governor is still the head and leader. My gentility is not cowardice but 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 purposes, the Olubadan palace has been taken over by Ladoja and his followers and what he could not achieve through the ballot box, through democracy, through elections, he wants to achieve through the palace and he will fail like he has failed in all attempts. And what he is doing now is the despiration of a drowning man looking for ways to cause civil unrest, but we will not allow him.
“He is not above the law. He was a former governor, that is it. I am the current governor. I will be former governor in another 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 in Obas palace, reminded us of what had been done before, they went to late Baba Adedibu’s house over the bridge to be shooting at Baba Adedibu, his benefactor, the person who puts him there. Later on, they came to Akala’s office to shoot him, it is the same style. At another time they went to Akure to be shooting and they killed Akala’s assistance. We know.
“And 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. Because how do you go to a place and four people will come, policemen were in the palace and so many security in there and nobody apprehended them and nothing happened and people inside the palace still sat inside and later they came. We are not fools. We know that has been stage-managed. We have information and we thank God that Ibadan people are behind us. The whole Ibadan is behind us except few Politicians.
In their separate remarks, the monarchs at the meeting tahanks thed governor and appealed to him not to use the strength of his power to sanction or address the matter.
Oba Lekan Balogun said, “If anyone likes it or not, how we live this life, we are building history. What is done in recent time 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 and it is a great history making event. It is indeed a great history making event because it is something that had been done in places like Ekiti, Ondo and even Lagos and other Yorubaland. In one essential respect, we did not cut Ibadanland into pieces like it is done in other places, Olubadan still remains the owner of Ibadanland.
“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 thinks there are many kings in a town. As we pray and do all 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 is 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, his Impreial Majesty? In the whole of this town, he is still the only Imperial Majesty but only two people oppooses what the governor did. Those that don’t understand are really many and those that have it on mind to destroy the city. They are the ones that always want to be known and seen as the only one that knows it. And aside from them, no one else knows how to do. Only two groups opposes what the governor has done.”
The Maye Olubadan, Chief Adebayo Akande in his remarks recalled that he was the one who initiated the idea of reviewing the chieftanct laws less than a year that Ajimobi assumed office.
He said, “What the governor has done is good. I am the first person who wrote a letter to all the Ibadan Elders that we should do a review of the Olubadan Chieftaincy laws. Chief Akinyele was the one who wrote a book and I was the chairman of the launching committee with Basorun Kola Daisi was the chairman and after the launching we all read the book. When I got home, I called Chief Akinyele that the book, as good as it was, it would lead to the review of Ibadan Chieftaincy laws and he agreed that I should write a letter to all the chiefs and we met at Ibadan House for a meeting and Chief Daisi was made the chairman of the review. Afterwards, we took it to the governor. It wasn’t the governor that started the review, but we know we cannot do any review without the governor.
“We must thank the governor for his political courage. If not that we have our son who has the political courage, all what we are doing won’t be possible. There are some people who are always saying they want to do this and do that, we only see it in the books up until it was too late for them.
“We must thank God that we have a governor who has courage to do whatever he wishes to do. There is no time that since we now have council of Obas, there is not ime we wont have the extended council of obas because only 8 people doing the council of obas may not be appropriate. In due course when all these dust settles, but I am not counting all these as crisis, because we must thank the governor that we have that if he had wished to use the full wrath of his powers, we wont be saying all these today but we will also beg him not to use all his constitutional powers on the matter because if he doies that, those not entitled for sympathy will get sympathy.
The meeting was also attended by all the traditional chiefs and obas across all the local governments and local council developments in Ibadanland.