Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State says his administration has no plan to depose the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, over the on-going controversy on installation of new kings.
Ibadan youths, under the aegis of Integrity Youths of Ibadanland, on October 8, had called on President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on Ajimobi not to depose the Olubadan in view of its security implications to the state.
The President and General Secretary of the group, Mr Ojekunle Wasiu and Mr Ganiyu Kamaldeen, respectively, also condemned the recent shootings at the Olubadan’s palace by yet to be identified gunmen.
However, the governor told State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday, that he assured the president that he would never remove the Olubadan.
“You will remember that Oyo State has been in the news because of the issue of Olubadan chieftaincy declaration. So, I came to let him know that the Olubadan is my father. He is a younger brother to my own father and we have had a very long relationship, which has been father-son relationship.
“I assured him that come rain, come shine, I will never depose the Olubadan because he is a father and a son does not depose his father. Even though he has done so many things that could be used to remove him, I will never remove him. We have to continue to show respect.
“I also made him to realise that that particular chieftaincy declaration is being politicised.
“Politicians have hijacked it. Out of 11 council members, two of them are dead now and we have only nine remaining. It is only one that is not supporting it; and that one that is not supporting it is a politician. He wants to run after I leave office,’’ he said.
The governor also told the correspondents that he updated the president on the progress report of Oyo State as well as the infrastructure requirement of the state.
Ajimobi said he requested for the handing over of the Ikere Gorge dam to Oyo State government by the Federal Government.
He maintained that the dam, the fourth largest earth dam in the world with reservoir of 690 million cubic metres, stretching almost 50 kilometres, would provide opportunities for farming and energy generation for the state and beyond.
“We felt it would provide benefits to us, like in the area of irrigation, water supply both industrial and household. Similarly, that dam can provide us with opportunities for farming and energy generation. (It has a reservoir of 690 million cubic metres).
“So, I felt that Ikere gorge dam should be handed over to Oyo state or we participate through PPP in resuscitating the dam such that Oyo state can benefit from all the deliverables from the dam,’’ he said.
Ajimobi lauded Buhari for his steadfastness and hitting the ground running since he came back from medical vacation.
He noted that the president made a very good presentation at the 72th United Nations General Assembly, saying the rendition of his speech was commendable.
“Secondly, in his Independence speech, he was succinct. He summarised his achievements to date, particularly in the areas of security, insurgency and others like economy, particularly on diversification into agriculture.’’