Kogi State government has offered more explanations as to why the Ohinoyi of Egbiraland land, Ado Ibrahim, was queried for failing to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari last month when he visited the state.
Mr Buhari was in the state to commission some projects including a new palace for the monarch but he was absent during the ceremony.
A bomb planted by suspected ISWAP members also went up a few minutes before the president’s arrival.
The monarch was queried in a letter dated 5 January and signed by Enimola Eniola, a director at the Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs Ministry.
Offering new insight into the issue, the state local government and chieftaincy affairs commissioner, Salami Ozi – Deedat, said he personally persuaded the monarch to attend the commissioning but the monarch refused.
The commissioner also said the query given to Mr Ibrahim should have remained an official affair but the monarch went ahead to make it public by leaking it to the press.
Mr Deedat said the palace was remodelled by the state government with the monarch’s consent.
He said the monarch, though living in his own house, should have gone to the official palace to receive the president as arranged.
“Albeit, the current Ohinoyl of Ebiraland, His Royal Majesty, Alh. Dr Ado Tbrahim CON opted, on his own, to stay in his personal house and use it as a palace, that does not erase the fact that there is an official palace built over the years for Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, it was for this reason that when the idea to reconstruct the palace to make it befitting for the revered stool of Ohinoyi of Ebiraland was muted, he (Ohinoyi of Ebirailand) was sufficiently consulted and he gave his consent.
“Upon the completion of the project which has received a commendation from far and wide and the date for the commissioning by the President was approved and announced, I personally paid a visit to Ohinoyi of Ebiraland and I duly informed him of the programme of the event. Although he responded negatively that he would not attend, I persuaded and entreated him to kindly attend in view of the importance of the project and especially the personality of the President that would commission the project,” he said.
Mr Deedat said despite his persuasion, the monarch refused to come out because of “a deliberate act of disloyalty and insubordination to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Executive Governor of Kogi State.”
He said other monarchs, including the president of the council of chiefs in the state, The Attah Igala, Mathew Alaji – Opaluwa, from the West and East Senatorial zones, were present to receive the President
“It is therefore left for the public to judge if it was fair and appropriate for His Royal Majesty, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, whose private residence is a few meters away from the venue of the commissioning of the palace and being the principal beneficiary of the project to stay put in his house while all the Graded Chiefs within the Central Senatorial District were present in solidarity with him to honour and receive the President,” he said.
Mr Deedat said the state government would handle the issue objectively.
“Let the general public be rest assured that Government will handle this Matter with utmost objectivity devoid of any sentiment. The panel that will be set up to look into the matter will be dispassionate, diligent and rational and will ensure fairness, equity and justice,” Mr Deedat added.
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