THE Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, has denied committing any crime to warrant deposition threat repeatedly bandied against him by the Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
Oba Adetunji stated this at his palace while receiving the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Olaniyan and members of his entourage, who paid him solidarity visit on Thursday.
“There are checks and balances in our traditional chieftaincy system for any ruler or chief who goes against the run of play. As I speak, I cannot see how mere peaceful opposition to the controversial chieftaincy review by the Oyo State government could be misconstrued to mean incitement against the government.
“As the matter is pending before the court, I do not want to comment on it. But, let nobody make mistake about it, where Ibadan people stand is where I must stand for me to be relevant as king and custodian of our customs and tradition.”
Oba Adetunji, who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his concern over the security situation in Ibadan, stated that it was to reduce tension that he decided to seek legal redress, stressing that contrary to speculations in government circle, the matter at hand was not political.
Speaking on behalf of the Ibadan kinsmen, who were also present at the meeting, Mr Muhammed Oladejo, who is also former national secretary of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), disclosed that the battle at hand was that of wits and not of guns.
He stated that it was as a result of dissatisfaction of Ibadan people to the chieftaincy crisis that led to the emergence of their new group, noting that the group was irrevocably committed to joining hands with the traditional ruler to ensure the preservation and protection of Ibadan heritage.
Also speaking on behalf of the Association of Ibadan Authentic Mogajis, Alhaji Abass Oloko said the founding fathers of Ibadan who came from different places to settle down in the town did not make any mistake in bequeathing the traditional chieftaincy system that had been working since 1851 to the town.
In his own contribution, a member of Oyo State House of Assembly representing Ibadan South East Constituency II, Honourable Akeem Ademola Ige, stated that review of any declaration was a major responsibility of government, but with input from the assembly, adding that there was no such bill before the state House of Assembly.
Earlier, the Ataoja of Osogbo, had conveyed the message of solidarity of the entire people of Osogbo to the Olubadan and Ibadan people, saying as the forces of light triumphed over darkness, no power and principality would be able to destroy Ibadan heritage, which was widely respected because it was rancour-free.
Stressing that Ibadan and Osogbo had a historical affiliation, Ataoja disclosed that whatever happened in Ibadan had a way of reverberating in the entire length and breadth of Yorubaland, adding that it was the reason he decided, with the support of his chiefs, to solidarise with the Olubadan.
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