Thirty-six new Oyo monarchs get Ajimobi’s car gift

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, on Monday, presented 36 vehicles to the newly elevated Thirty-six traditional rulers across the State in the recently published elevation of beaded and coronet wearing crowns to monarchs in the state.

The governor who described the gesture as an attestation of his administration’s commitment to the upliftment and modernisation of chieftaincy institution in the state warned his critics not to see it as extravagant or father Christmas spending by the government.

Rather, he said the government decided to procure the vehicles because “record confirmed that there are logistics, safety and security challenges facing our royal father. Our effort to intervene in these areas should therefore not be misinterpreted or misunderstood.”

The cars presentation held at Governor’s Office car park, beside parliament building, Agodi Secretariat, Ibadan. The programme had in attendance the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi; the Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adegbola, among others.

But the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji and Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Ajagungbade, were not at the event.

The list of the 36 kings that received the cars from the government yesterday, included eight members of Olubadan-in-Council, now Obas-in-Council led by the second-in-command to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, and the Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakukehin.

Other beneficiary monarchs include the Onpetu of Ijeru in Ogbomoso, Oba Sunday Oladapo; the Sabigana of Iganna on Oke-Ogun axis of the state, Oba Abdul-Azeez Oyemonla; the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon from Ogbomoso division of the state, Oba Francis Olusola Alao, among others.

Alaafin, who spoke on behalf of the monarch, commended Governor Ajimobi, for the gesture, as he chided Ibadan people for always standing against what could bring growth and development to Ibadan.

While noting that Ibadan people hardly remember anybody who does good to them for good, Alaafin recalled how Ibadan people have been objecting the recent elevation of some traditional rulers in Ibadanland to crown-wearing and coronet-wearing kings, pointing out that, that was the same attitude they put up when he gave crown to Olubadan on December 7, 1976. He, however, urged them to embrace development.

Speaking on the occasion, Governor Ajimobi said: “Rhetorics aside, I have a passion for anything royal and it is natural and incumbent on me to promote the royalty by enhancing the status of our royal fathers in Oyo State as being done in other states in the Yoruba-speaking South West Region of Nigeria.

“At the inception of our administration, we discovered that there was the need to improve on and lay a solid foundation for the traditional institution in the state. This, we have successfully done. The traditional institution in Oyo State has never had it so good because our achievements, with respect to chieftaincy affairs, are commendable.

“In response to the yearning and aspiration of our people, the present administration elevated the status of some of our royal fathers to crown and coronet-wearing obas. As an agent of change, we refused to be intimidated or perturbed in our desire to further promote and modernise the institution because we believe posterity will judge us right.

“I want to state emphatically that Oyo State, being the traditional and political headquarters of the Yoruba race, must continue to play the pacesetting role, even in our traditional institution by elevating the status of our traditional rulers so that they will be reckoned with among the comity of royal fathers in Nigeria.”

Ajimobi revealed that his administration has received an avalanche of applications from different parts of the state for elevation, either from minors to Part II chiefs or to crown-wearing obas, adding that “The Chiefs Law of Oyo State expressly stated that the governor has a wide discretion on the matter. I want to assure you that we will leave no stone unturned on this exclusive prerogative with consultation with relevant stakeholders.”

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