The Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland and former governor of Oyo state, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, yesterday declared that Governor Abiola Ajimobi “can never stop me from becoming the Olubadan of Ibadan.”
Ladoja made the declaration in a statement issued in Ibadan by his media aide, Alhaji Lanre Latinwo, on the raging controversy surrounding the crowning of 21 Oba in Ibadanland on Sunday by the governor.
The Osi Olubadan said with the unfolding scenario, it was glaring that he “is the prime target of the review of Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration” by asking him to either “join in the mockery of Obaship and agree to be made a government-appointed Oba” or forfeit his right to the throne.
The Ibadan High Chief stressed that as far as he was concerned, he remained the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland and would neither agree to be a government-appointed monarch with no domain, chiefs and subjects nor “support attempt at desecrating the Olubadan throne.”
While emphasising that “thousands of Governor Ajimobi can’t stop me from becoming the Olubadan if it is the will of God,” the Osi Olubadan advised the governor to stop playing God, saying “only God chooses the Olubadan as clearly demonstrated in the divine enthronement of the current Olubadan, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji, who was three steps to the throne.”
He said: “May God lengthen the years and reign of Oba Adetunji in sound health. We will like to make it abundantly clear that thousands of Ajimobi can’t stop Ladoja from becoming the Olubadan if it is the will of God. People continue to ask the question why the mockery of Obaship in Ibadanland is the most important thing to Ajimobi of all the challenges facing his government?
“It is now clear that Governor Ajimobi has found in this futile exercise, a distraction from his six years of misgovernment in the state.
“Governor Ajimobi is using temporary executive power for ego trip and feels that he is humiliating perceived enemies and also playing God. Why should the governor turn himself into a kingmaker, ignoring the long-established peaceful, self-reforming chieftaincy system of Ibadanland that has become the envy of many cities because it is rancour-free?”
Continuing, the former governor said, “today, August 29, 2017 makes it exactly 21 months to the expiry of Ajimobi’s governorship. The state will surely be freed from the stranglehold of the Emperor and the office will outlive the officer. Very soon, Ajimobi’s portrait will join those of ex-governors hung on the wall of the Executive Council Chambers.
“Whatever has a beginning must surely have an end. Again, we will like to appeal to the people of Ibadanland to remain calm and peaceful, even in the face of provocation, as this misuse of power, pursuit of vendetta and bastardisation of a rancour-free process will be challenged to the end through constitutional and peaceful means.
“High Chief Ladoja is already in court over the matter and we await a judicial pronouncement on it soon. Ajimobi that set up a panel disregarding Ibadan traditional system received its report and interpreted its recommendations to suit his selfish agenda against the popular wish of the people of Ibadan and the Olubadan. This is laughable.”