The Olubadan of Ibadan, Saliu Adetunji, on Monday said his decision to oppose the review of the Olubadan chieftaincy system was not political.
He also condemned what he described as “the desecration of the crown,” by the Oyo State government.
The monarch was reacting to the recent elevation of 32 Ibadan chiefs to status of kings within Ibadan by the Oyo State government.
According to a statement released by the Director of Media and Public Affairs to the Olubadan palace, Adeola Oloko, the monarch also advised the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, to desist from portraying him in bad light before the public.
“As a monarch, I’m a father of all, irrespective of sex, ethnic and ideological persuasions,” the statement said.
“Since Friday, March 4, 2016, when I ascended the exalted throne of Olubadan, I have opened the gate of our palace wide to all manner of people. If you belong to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour, Accord and/or more, you are most welcome. So, politics has nothing to do with my resistance or opposition to the chieftaincy review spearheaded by the Oyo State government.”
The monarch, however, said that the comment allegedly made by the governor suggesting that utterances from the palace are political, was unfortunate.
“While I am aware that people react to age differently, I am not old enough to be misinterpreted by anybody, even at 89,” the statement said.
“Governor Ajimobi stated that he invited us to the Governor’s Office over this matter and visited me in the palace later.
“While this is true, I wish to respectfully state that the Boade Panel was inaugurated on May 19, 2017, His Excellency, Governor Ajimobi, invited me to the Governor’s Office on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, after the panel had sat for four weeks. At that meeting, His Excellency, the Oyo State governor, the High Chiefs and State House correspondents would recall my opposition to the chieftaincy review. My question is: ‘Did anybody put words in my mouth in that recorded tape?’
“When he invited me to his office and visited me in the palace on Sunday, June 18, 2017, the Boade Panel was almost through with its job. When we met at the inner chamber, what the governor came to tell me was that he knew I should have been consulted first. So, it is not true that I was consulted, as claimed by him.”
The monarch explained further that if he had been duly contacted, the issues would have been properly addressed.
“If I had been consulted, this error would have been avoided. The desecration of the crown would have been averted,” the statement said.