Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan
Members of the Olubadan-in-Council who were elevated to the positions of kings by the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, were absent at the final event of the 90th birthday celebration of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, which was held at the University of Ibadan International Conference Centre on Sunday.
Among the dignitaries at the reception, which wrapped up the one-week celebration of the monarch’s birthday were Ajimobi; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; the Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Obateru Akinruntan; the Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adegbola; a former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwanso, who was represented by Dr Muktar Umar; and the General Officer Commanding 2, Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Maj. Gen. Chukwudili Azinta, who was represented by Brig. Gen. Oluyinka Soyele.
Others were former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala; the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, Rashidi Ladoja; legal luminary, Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in Oyo State, Seyi Makinde; a former Secretary to Oyo State Government, Sarafadeen Ali; a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Chief Bayo Adelabu; a governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Joseph Tegbe; the Prelate Emeritus of the Methodist Church, Nigeria, Sunday Ola Makinde; President-General of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Chief Yemi Soladoye; and members of the Council of Lagos Traditional Chiefs.
A member of the Olubadan 90th birthday committee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the committee did not receive any message from the new kings who were absent at the event.
The development came at a time when the Olubadan and the new kings had a peaceful meeting.
Though a source said the new kings were not invited, the Chairman of the planning committee, Prof Tahoeed Ladoja, told our correspondent that 20 copies of the invitation were sent to the elevated high chiefs long before the programme.
He said, “Twenty invitation letters were sent to Dr Lekan Balogun for him and all the eight others. They were sent nine days ago. Dr Balogun called me on Saturday, thanking me for a job well done and confirming their presence.”
In his message, Ajimobi described the Olubadan as a loving and amiable father.
The governor also used the opportunity to address the furore generated by the partial demolition of the Music House which belongs to musician, Yinka Ayefele, who was also at the reception.
He said it was important to address the issue with compassion so that opponents of his government would not use it as an avenue to draw negative criticism about his government.
CCII President-General, Soladoye, also extolled the virtues of the king, describing him as a unique traditional ruler.
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