Why Jonathan ‘ignored’ Olubadan during Oyo visit- Abati

The president was in Oyo State on Saturday

The Presidency has said it did not belittle the stool of the Olubadan of Ibadan, Samuel Odugade, by not paying homage to him during President Goodluck Jonathan’s recent trip to Oyo State.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, said this while briefing journalists on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He also gave reasons why the president did not visit the Ibadan monarch.

Mr. Abati was reacting to the statement by the Olubadan on Wednesday condemning Mr. Jonathan’s visit through Ibadan to Oyo to visit the Alaafin of Oyo, without visiting the Ibadan monarch.

Mr. Jonathan’s presidential jet had landed at the Ibadan airport on Saturday before he went by helicopter to Ile-Ife in Osun State to visit the Ooni of Ife and then to the Alaafn in Oyo.

The Olubadan, who is the chairman of the Oyo State council of traditional rulers, felt slighted by the president’s actions and stated so in a statement on Wednesday. He described the visit of the president, ignoring him, as an affront on his stool and position. Mr. Abati, however, said the President had no intention to ridicule the Ibadan traditional institution.

“… the president holds Olubadan, people of Ibadan and people of Oyo State and the people of the South West in general in very high esteem,” the spokesperson said.

“He considers the Olubadan a father and a great Nigerian and has enjoyed excellent relationship with Olubadan, the people of Ibadan, people of Oyo State and the people of South West. And that indeed since he assumed office he has been to the palace of Olubadan to pay homage.

“But on this particular occasion it happened that the schedule of the president indicates that he has at least two trips to Ibadan within the first quarter of the year. He will be in Ibadan for the PDP south west rally and he is scheduled to visit and pay homage to the Olubadan. The Olubadan will be celebrating his 100 years birthday in April and the president has been previously scheduled to visit.

“So for these reasons you can see very clearly that there was no intention to ignore the Olubadan’s palace to pay homage to him. And in due course of course the president will be in Ibadan.

“The president will like to expressed his good wishes to the Olubadan that he holds him, the people of Ibadan, people of the state and people of the south west in high esteem and will not do anything that will distract the excellent relationship that he has with the Olubadan and that he will continue to enjoy with the people of the South West.”

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