Olubadan, Ladoja shun central praying ground
• Ajimobi Calls For Truce
The crisis over the review of Olubadan Declaration that allows the Oyo State Government to install 21 monarchs deepened yesterday as Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, and a former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, shunned the Central Praying Ground.
The monarch, according to sources, observed the prayers at the Akuro Central Mosque in Popoyemoja area of Ibadan in company of some Mogajis (family heads), while Ladoja joined Muslim faithful to pray at the Prayer Ground of the University of Ibadan (UI).
Governor Abiola Ajimobi, accompanied by top government functionaries, prayed at the Agodi Central Prayer Ground, which was led by Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheik Abdul-Ganiy Agbotomokekere.
Speaking after the prayer, Ajimobi called for understanding of all the indigenes of Ibadan on the recent review of Olubadan Declaration, which he said was aimed at developing the ancient city.
He also debunked insinuations that the review was to prevent Ladoja from becoming Olubadan of Ibadan, saying only God can determine the future of all individuals.
While describing the Olubadan as his father, Ajimobi reiterated that he would never do anything against the person and office of the Olubadan. He, however, accused some individuals of using political intents to meddle between himself and the royal father.
Ajimobi said he was sure people would understand better in the nearest future, what his government is doing, stressed that he is not reforming the chieftaincy laws so as to become an Olubadan, because he would never be one, since it is only God who destines those who would become an Olubadan and also makes them same.
He said: “I seize this 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 also use this opportunity to greet my elder brother, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, who said it was because of him that we reviewed 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 politicise 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.
“May God continue to uphold Ibadan and the entire Oyo State. I know that the people who have it in mind to move the state forward, God will also move such persons forward and those who have it in mind to destroy Ibadan, we leave them to God.”
Earlier, in his short sermon before the symbolic slaughtering of rams at the prayer ground, Agbotomokekere enjoined the Muslim faithful to see the celebration as opportunity to forgive those who might have done any wrong against them.
Describing the day as that of freedom and oneness, the cleric 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 Eid-el Kabir celebration.
Some of the faithful at the prayers included Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Olalekan Ali; 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 (CBN), Mr. Bayo Adelabu.