Oyo state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, on Friday advised the Osi Olubadan and former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, to stop politicising the current controversy surrounding the review of the Olubadan Chieftaincy title following which 21 new Obas were crowned for Ibadanland.
Ajimobi who spoke after the Eid-el-Kabir prayers held at the Agodi Muslim Praying Ground, Yidi, Ibadan, stated that he cannot stop Ladoja from becoming an Olubadan and that he will not attempt to do so.
Reacting to a recent statement made by Ladoja where he said he was the prime target of the review, Ajimobi stressed that the government only did what was best for Ibadan without having any “prime target” or ulterior motive in mind.
“God will let him be an Olubadan, if he is destined to be”, Ajimobi said. “Anybody hindering the progress of his fellow human being, will also not make headway. We are not hindering him but he must not politicize the matter of Ibadan. I want to plead with him not to use his inability to secure victory in elections to influence the issue of Olubadan chieftaincy laws”.
For the first time since becoming the Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji was absent at the central prayer ground he, the governor and other prominent Muslim faithfuls in the land pray every year during Sallah celebrations.
Sources said the Olubadan, who is also against the recent review, heeded the advise of some Mogajis (family heads), under the aegis of the Authentic Ibadan Mogajis, not to join Governor Ajimobi at the praying ground.
While the observed the prayers at the Akuro Central Mosque, Popoyemoja, Ibadan in company of the Mogajis, Ladoja observed his at the University of Ibadan Mosque praying ground.
Speaking further, Ajimobi reiterated that he would never do anything that would be against the person and office of the Olubadan whom he described as his father.
He stressed that he is not reforming the chieftaincy laws so as to become an Olubadan because he will never be one since it is only God who destines those who would become Olubadan and also makes them same.
His words: “In the spirit of the celebration I want to pray that God will continue to grant our prayers and give us more progress so that the state will not retrogress.
“I also seize the opportunity to greet our father, the Olubadan of Ibadanland. He is my father and he will continue to be, he is a good father, only that some politicians are hiding under him to cause rift and misunderstanding between us. God will elongate his reign.
“I am sure people will still thank me in the future because I am doing good for Ibadan and the state. I am not interested in becoming the Olubadan and I will not be, it is only the person destined by God that becomes an Olubadan. It is God who ordains an Olubadan.
“Let me also use this opportunity to greet my elder brother Sen. Rashidi Ladoja who is saying it is because of him that we are reviewing the Olubadan chieftaincy laws so that he will not become the Olubadan. God will let him be an Olubadan, if he is destined to be.
“Anybody hindering the progress of his fellow human being, will also not make headway. We are not hindering him but he must not politicize the matter of Ibadan. I want to plead with him not to use his inability to secure victory in elections to influence the issue of Olubadan chieftaincy laws.
“We also want to plead with our people to always listen carefully and eschew ignorance on the matter. We are aware that some people will not understand the matter quickly but we will continue to enlighten and educate our people on the subject matter.
“May God continue to uphold Ibadan and the entire Oyo state. I know that the people who have it on mind to move the state forward God will also move such persons forward and those who have it on mind to destroy Ibadan, we leave them to God.”
Earlier in his short sermon before the symbolic slaughtering of rams at the prayer ground, Sheik Abdul-Ganiy Agbotomokekere enjoined the muslim faithfuls to see the celebration as opportunity to forgive those who might have done any wrong against them.
The cleric described the day as that of freedom and oneness, and urged muslims to look away from every wrong and hurt they have against any individual noting that God had showed them more by preserving their lives to witness another eld-el celebration.
Some prominent persons at the prayers include: the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Olalekan Ali, the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta, Alhaji Daud Makanjuola Akinola, Alhaji Lamidi Ajadi, Alhaji Abdul-lateef Oyelade, members of the state executive council and a Deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Bayo Adelabu.