I’ll not depose Olubadan despite my ability to do so- Ajimobi

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The Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi says his office is higher than other titles in the state, stressing that he will not depose or sanction the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, despite having enough reasons to do so.

He stated that the Olubadan palace might have been hijacked by one of his predecessors, Rashidi Ladoja and his supporters, who he accused of planning to return the state to its gory days.

The governor stated that Monday’s shooting at the palace during an installation ceremony was stage-managed by those he called drowning politicians.

He promised to continue extending hand of fellowship to the king, adding that he would not allow the present crisis to degenerate to a level that would cause acrimony between him and the monarch.

Ajimobi stated this during a meeting with the traditional council in the eleven council areas of Ibadan at the state secretariat on Wednesday.

According to him, “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 believe that considering the relationship that I have with Kabiesi, the Olubadan of Ibadan land as a son, as a brother to my late father, as the Aare of Ibadan land of which the Olubadan honoured me with that title, I will never do anything to denigrate that position of obaship or go to the extent of sanctioning him by removal or suspension or something else. 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 even aware of 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 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 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 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 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 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. In 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.”

The governor maintained that no king or anyone is above the law and that government must be allowed to operate in the state according to the law.

At the meeting were 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 Adebimpe.

Others were, the Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi, and the Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Amidu Ajibade.

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