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Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Ajimobi makes a U-turn, allows Ladoja, others’ promotion
Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan
The Ibadan Elders Forum on Tuesday mediated in the crisis between the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana, over the elevation of Senator Lekan Balogun, a former governor of the state, Rashidi Ladoja, and seven other Ibadan high chiefs.
The IEF held a meeting at the house of its Chairman, Ambassador Olusola Saanu, on Tuesday evening at the end of which the matter was settled.
At the end of the meeting, which was attended by Dr. Lekan Are, High Chief Adebayo Akande, and Ashipa Olubadan, Chief Eddy Oyewole, the governor said the matter had been resolved.
Ajimobi added that the elevated high chiefs could retain their present status while the papers would be perfected to reflect due process.
“We should thank God for the elders. Our elders are committed to peace in Ibadanland and our king has shown that he is a good monarch. He contributed to my success as governor.
“In this case, brothers are fighting and elders have intervened. There is no cause for further misunderstanding. We will perfect the papers because the issue has been resolved by men of impeccable character. Due process will now take place. Sometimes, we get married before perfecting a marriage ceremony,” the governor told newsmen after the meeting.
Others at the meeting included the Olubadan’s son, Prof. Femi Lana, and the Otun Olubadan, Senator Lekan Balogun.
It will be recalled that the high chiefs had been elevated by the monarch but the state government described the action as illegal because it did not go through due process.
The state government said the action was carried out by the Olubadan despite its directive that the high chiefs should submit their medical certificates of fitness before the monarch could elevate them.
The matter reached a crisis point on Monday when the governor issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the organisers of the elevation ceremony to reverse it and maintain the former status of the affected high chiefs.
A source who preferred anonymity had told our correspondent earlier on Tuesday that contrary to the insinuation that politics was beneath the whole issue, the government was only concerned that its directive was set aside before the elevation.