The Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, on Monday told the Oyo state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, to not drag him into “petty partisan politics”.
This was in reaction to utterances attributed to Ajimobi who, on Sunday, against the express wishes of the Olubadan, coronated new kings at a ceremony held in Ibadan.
The governor had in his address told the Olubadan not to allow himself to be used by “disgruntled elements”.
He said: ”We also congratulate the Olubadan of Ibadanland and advise that Kaabiyesi should remain the father of all Ibadan citizens and not allow himself to be used by disgruntled elements as observed in his recent utterances, which tend towards the political. It should be noted that Obas are not expected to play politics.”
In a statement released by the king’s media aide, Aeola Oloko, the Olubadan said his office cannot be exploited for any 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.
“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.”