Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji Aje Ogungunniso I, and Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, were absent, yesterday, as Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, presented 36 vehicles to 36 royal fathers across the state.
The cars were presented to the monarchs at the Governor’s Office, beside parliament building, Secretariat, Ibadan. The programme was attended by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III; the Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adegbola, and many other kings.
The 36 kings, who received the cars from the government, yesterday, included eight members of Olubadan-in-Council, now Obas-in-Council, led by the second-in-command to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, who is the Otun Olubadan; and the Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakukehin.
The receivers of the car also comprised the Onpetu of Ijeru in Ogbomoso, Oba Sunday Oladapo; the Sabigana of Iganna on Oke-Ogun axis of the state, Oba Abdul-Azeez Oyemonla; the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon from Ogbomoso division of the state, Oba Francis Olusola Alao, and so on.
Alaafin, who spoke on behalf of the monarchs, commended Ajimobi for the gesture, as he chided Ibadan people for always standing against what could bring growth and development to Ibadan, recalling that the way Ibadan people have been objecting to the recent elevation of some traditional rulers in Ibadanland to crown-wearing and coronet-wearing kings, was the same attitude they put up when he gave crown to Olubadan on December 7, 1976. He, however, urged them to embrace development.
On his part, Ajimobi, who described the gesture as an attestation of his administration’s commitment to the upliftment and modernisation of chieftaincy institution in the state, said: “Rhetorics aside, I have passion for anything royal and it is natural and incumbent on me to promote the royalty by enhancing the status of our royal fathers in Oyo State as being done in other states in the Yoruba-speaking South West region of Nigeria.
“At the inception of our administration, we discovered that there was the need to improve on and lay a solid foundation for the traditional institution in the state. This, we have successfully done. The traditional institution in Oyo State has never had it so good because our achievements, with respect to chieftaincy affairs, are commendable.
In response to the yearning and aspiration of our people, the present administration elevated the status of some of our royal fathers to crown coronet-wearing obas.
As an agent of change, we refused to be intimidated or perturbed in our desire to further promote and modernize the institution because we believe posterity will judge us right.