Ajimobi reports Olubadan, Ladoja to Buhari over kingship crisis
The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, on Tuesday reported the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ajimobi told State House correspondents that he called the President’s attention to the face-off between him and the monarch over the recently reviewed Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration.
He said he also called the President’s attention to the fact that the crisis created by the review had been politicised, having been hijacked by a politician who is interested in his office.
The governor said out of the nine surviving members of the Olubadan-in-Council, only one politician, who, he said, was interested in the 2019 governorship race, was not supporting the review.
He was referring to a former governor of the state and the Osi Olubadan of Ibadan, Chief Rashidi Ladoja, who is contesting the review in court.
The governor said he however assured Buhari that although the Olubadan deserved to be deposed based on his actions so far, he would not remove him because of the father-son relationship existing between them.
“I mentioned the issue of security to the President. Recall that Oyo State has been in the news because of the issue of Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration.
“So, I came to let him know that the Olubadan is my father. He is a younger brother to my own father and we have had a very long relationship, which has been a father-son relationship.
“I assured him (Buhari) that come rain, come shine, I will never depose the Olubadan because he is my father; a son does not depose his father.
“Though he has done so many things that can constitute the basis for his removal, I will never remove him. We have to continue to show respect.
“I also made him to realise that, that particular chieftaincy declaration is being politicised. Politicians have hijacked it. Out of 11 council members, two of them are dead now and we have only nine left.
“It is only one that is not supporting it; and that one is a politician. He wants to run after I leave office.
“So, I believe that the Olubadan declaration issue is being hijacked by politicians. But let us thank God that elders, stakeholders and well-meaning Nigerians have intervened and I think reason will prevail. These are the things I had to let the President know.”
Ajimobi said the President was glad after he briefed him on the development because he knew he was saying the truth.
He said he also discussed the desire of the Oyo State Government to take over the Ikere Gorge Dam in the state from the Federal Government with the President.
The governor said the dam, with a reservoir of 690 million cubic metres, had huge potential for agriculture, potable water and electricity supply.
He said the state government would like to solely develop it for maximum use or at least, be allowed to be a partner in reviving it.
Ajimobi said the dam was the fourth largest earth dam in the world, stretching almost 50km.
“We felt the dam would provide benefits to us, like in the area of irrigation, water supply — both industrial and household. Similarly, that dam can provide us with opportunities for farming and energy generation.
“So, I felt that the Ikere Gorge Dam should be handed over to Oyo State or we should participate through PPP in resuscitating the dam such that Oyo State can benefit from all the deliverables from the dam.
“A similar thing was done to Dakin Kowa Dam in Gombe State. The dam was given back to that state. So, Ikere Dam can be given back to us as we are willing to make it work because it can serve Ogun, Lagos and Oyo states. I think we can make it work.”
The governor said the visit also afforded him the opportunity to commend the President for his steadfastness and performance since returning from a medical vacation in London.