The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji has alleged that the former governor of Oyo State, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi begged to be made the Aare of Ibadanland.
The Olubadan said his initial intention was to encourage US-based Ibadan born businessman, Kase Lawal, with the title before Ajimobi came begging for it.
It would be recalled that Adetunji installed Ajimobi as Aare of Ibadanland on December 16, 2016 to mark the former governor’s 67th birthday.
But almost three years after the installation, the Olubadan in an interview with Sunday Punch, came out to say that the former governor rushed to his place in the middle of the night when he got wind of his plan to install Lawal as Aare of Ibadan.
Oba Adetunji said:“Ajimobi demanded three different things from me and I obliged him. The first one was the conferment of the chieftaincy of Aare of Ibadan on him, which I did. It was Kase Lawal, the Ibadan-born America-based renowned businessman, an achiever of note that I wanted to encourage with the title of Aare of Ibadanland before he made the demand. Kase Lawal is our illustrious son and I feel he should be encouraged with the title so that he could bring more investments to the city and engage our jobless youths and make them gainfully employed. But Ajimobi said he was interested in the title. The late Aare Musulumi, Alhaji Arisekola Alao, was the last holder of Aare of Ibadanland.
“It was when Ajimobi heard about my plan to install Lawal as Aare of Ibadan that he raced to the palace one day around 1 a.m to solicit for the title. When he arrived (at the palace), he said, ‘sir, you know I am your son. I want to demand something from you. A son wants to collect something from his father.’ He said he was interested in the Aare of Ibadanland title. But I told him that I had given it to someone else. He begged me. I said well, since I didn’t collect money from anybody, I would give it to him. But he is ungrateful. It is the same chiefs who were opposed to his being given the title then that are his best friends today.”
The Olubadan said the former governor begged him to elevate his younger brother to a chief despite having about 700 mogajis in Ibadan.
His words: “Secondly, despite having up to 700 mogajis in Ibadan, Ajimobi begged me to elevate his younger brother, Wasiu Ajimobi, to the position of a chief. I also obliged him by conferring him with ‘Bada’. I had to give him double promotion. There were vacancies for three offices. I gave him the highest vacant office among the available positions to raise his profile among the Olubadan chiefs. I was doing all that to ensure that peace reigned. But he paid me back with evil. Ajimobi allowed the office of the governor to affect him.
“His third request was to recognise Onijaye as the Baale of Ijaye. He said the man was his friend. For peace to reign, I obliged him.
“In spite of my efforts to maintain peace with him, Ajimobi was ungrateful to me. But let me tell you, those who pay any good deed with evil, evil will not depart from such people. Thank God, he is alive; you can ask him about these things.”
When probed whether the idea of the chieftaincy reform was good, Oba Adetunji said “See, one man’s food is another man’s poison. We don’t copy other people in Ibadanland. Our tradition is unique and we are proud of our heritage.
“Ajimobi said one of the reasons he took the step of reforming Ibadan traditional institution was the aspect he read from the book of Chief Theophilus Akinyele. But he didn’t read the book very well because I also read it. On page 9 or 17 of the book, the writer said if we want to reform the chieftaincy hierarchy of Ibadan, it must come from the Olubadan. He said it must come from within, but Ajimobi didn’t see that aspect. So, if a politician is now romanticising the reform, then, he has a hidden agenda and we don’t want any hidden agenda in the Ibadan traditional institution.
“If you look at the history of Ibadanland, you will realise that successive kings have been elderly people. We do not need to copy others. We are contented with the way we do our things. What we have been doing for over 100 years without any crisis, we love it. When the wife of President (Muhammadu) Buhari, Aisha, visited me, she said our succession plan in traditional institution had been peaceful; she acknowledged that fact. She said we had no culture of fighting or killing one another over chieftaincy succession. Our chieftaincy ascension is beyond bringing one ‘moneybag’ and saying that the oracle has picked him for the title of Olubadan.”