Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan
Members of the Authentic Ibadan Mogajis said they would stage a protest to register their displeasure over what they described as a verbal assault against the Olubadan stool by the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi.
The group had issued a seven-day ultimatum against the governor after he said on a radio programme that he once sent one of the present Olubadan’s wives on love errands. The ultimatum will expire on Tuesday.
The planning of the protest is coming at a time when some Yoruba monarchs are initiating peace move to settle the crisis generated by the governor’s installation of 21 new kings in Ibadan, which the Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, and the Mogajis, are contesting.
On Sunday, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, held a two-hour closed door meeting with the king in his palace, saying the initiative was aimed at finding a solution to the crisis.
“The closed door meeting was about how to make peace among all the parties concerned. We are looking at how the traditional system will not be rubbished and at the same time how the power of the government will not be eroded. We want peace in Ibadan land and from my discussion with the Olubadan, he wants peace and to be in charge of his domain as far as traditional order is concerned. No matter how small the size of a town or village is, the leader does not want it to be destroyed,” said Oluwo.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Mogajis, Chief Wale Oladoja, who is also the Mogaji of Akinsola compound in Oopo Labiran area of Ibadan, said the group had applied for police permit for the protest.
Oladoja said that the group had nothing against Ajimobi as a person, but only wanted the governor to separate governance from tradition and customs of the people.
Oladoja said, “Our stand on the seven-day ultimatum remains intact. The governor must apologise for insulting the wife of our father and Olubadan of Ibadan land over his recent comment on the wife of Olubadan. No intimidation can make us change our mind. We are the bonafide sons of Ibadan land and nobody can dispute that.
“All the indigenes of Ibadan land know their Mogajis, so nobody can deny that we represent o1ur respective families. We won’t allow unconstitutional crowning of high chiefs as Obas, and baales as king. It is custom robbery and we won’t accept that. Above all, it is not possible and we won’t accept it. The governor should allow the court to decide the fate of everyone involved in the Olubadan crisis and stop verbal vituperation against the person and stool of the Olubadan.”
While speaking with journalists at the end of the meeting between him and the Olubadan, Oluwo said that an end was in sight to the crisis, adding that both sides might have to make sacrifices to arrive at a solution.
He said, “We cannot leave everything to the monarch. He needs the support of traditional leaders to arrive at a solution. According to the constitution, which must be respected, kings are under the government. This is to elevate the Olubadan and to make him a bigger king in Yoruba land. I will always support the traditional system in Yoruba land, I will always support the kingship and every effort to resolve this stalemate.
“I don’t care what politicians will think when I am a king and visiting another king having an issue right now? Matters like this cannot be politicised. It should be on how the traditional institution and the government can be respected. Ajimobi is the head of government and Olubadan is the head of traditional institution in Ibadan.
“We will have a sweet and juicy end; both parties will have to give and take. Both parties will laugh at the end of this initiative. We are gradually coming to the end of it. Thank God, Olubadan is a king that listens. He does not accept bad advice because he has principles. The governor is a son to the Olubadan.”