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Leadership crisis hits Yoruba Council of Elders

By Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ibadan
07 February 2019   |   3:00 am
Following the death of its president, Chief Kehinde Shofola, succession crisis has hit the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE). The crisis became evident at the apex Yoruba socio-cultural organisation yesterday when its secretary-general, Dr. Kunle Olajide, addressed a press conference in Ibadan, Oyo State, denouncing Col. Samuel Agbede (rtd.) as the president. Disclosing that the…

Crisis became evident at the apex Yoruba socio-cultural organisation yesterday when its secretary-general, Dr. Kunle Olajide, addressed a press conference in Ibadan, Oyo State, denouncing Col. Samuel Agbede (rtd.) as the president.

Following the death of its president, Chief Kehinde Shofola, succession crisis has hit the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE).

The crisis became evident at the apex Yoruba socio-cultural organisation yesterday when its secretary-general, Dr. Kunle Olajide, addressed a press conference in Ibadan, Oyo State, denouncing Col. Samuel Agbede (rtd.) as the president.

Disclosing that the council has not elected another president since Sofola passed on in March last year, he called on the executive members at the state council to come together and elect another president.

But Agbede insisted that elders of the council made him president.

Olajide argued that Sofola died on March 23, 2018 and “an attempt to elect a successor to him on June 27, 2018 ended in chaos. It was therefore decided on the same day to appoint ‘an interim president’, unconstitutional though, to oversee the affairs of the council briefly – duration or tenure was not specified – for tempers to cool before the election of a new president.

“Retired Col. Agbede, who had never been a member of the National Executive Council (NEC), was appointed, in the belief that he was not likely to be ambitious and would therefore be able to impartially supervise the election of the new president.

“Unfortunately and unbelievably, he became so ambitious that he has resisted every attempt to elect a new president. He had taken unwholesome actions, including bringing uniformed bouncers to terrorise members at a meeting. On another occasion, he brought miscreants to disrupt the meeting of state chairmen.

“At a point, he got five members to pronounce him president and he has insisted he remains president, without due process.”

But Agbede told newsmen on the telephone that Olajide was being economical with the truth. He claimed that the elders of YCE appointed him as interim president and later ratified his appointment, when they noticed his achievements in office. within a short period.

He contended that Olajide embarked on the sinister moves based on frustration because he wanted to be president of the council, but the elders reportedly rejected him because he had taken YCE to court once, adding that “Olajide is free to take the council to court the second time.”