Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi in Ibadan yesterday expressed confidence that those criticising him for reviewing the Olubadan Chieftaincy laws will later sing his praise in the future.
The review of the law resulted in the coronation of additional 21 kings at an elaborate event at Mapo Hall in Ibadan, the state capital.
The governor urged the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, not to allow politicians use him.
Ajimobi said he knew the monarch as a respectable father of all in Ibadan, adding that the opposition of the royal father to the recent review and reform of Olubadan chieftaincy system could not have been masterminded by Olubadan himself but by some politicians with vested interest in his administration.
The governor spoke at the inauguration of the rehabilitated Mobil Junction-Are-Oluyole-Wema Bank, Apata Road in Ibadan.
The event was also attended by the newly crowned obas.
Ajimobi recalled that the former Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was also abused by the people when he introduced free education in the region, before the residents and others later started praising him and describing the policy as “wonderful”.
The governor said the recent comments on the Olubadan review were largey laden with political colourations rather than considerations for uplifting the city’s traditional system.
According to him, he was never out to hinder anyone from achieving any ambition, but “constituted authority must be respected by all and sundry”.
The appearance of the new kings with their crowns and staff of office at the event was to the admiration of a large crowd that attended the event, as it added colours to the event.
The monarchs at the event included Oba Lekan Balogun, the Otun Olubadan; Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, the Balogun of Ibadan; Oba Tajudeen Ajibola, the Osi Balogun; Oba Eddy Oyewole, Asipa Olubadan; Oba Latifu Gbadamosi Adebimpe, Ashipa Balogun; Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi, Ekerin Olubadan; Oba Amidu Ajibade, the Ekarun Olubadan and Oba (Dr.) Kolawole Adegbola, Ekarun Balogun.
Ajimobi said: “Those who abuse us for crowning obas now will praise us in future. Some have politicised the matter. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was then abused for introducing free education but he was praised afterwards. I did not do the crowning of obas for myself.
“Why do I want to hinder others from becoming what they want to be? Whoever God has destined will become whatever he or she wants to be. Moreover, I am not in the race to become an oba.
“Many administrations, since Governor McGregor, have attempted changes to the Olubadan chieftaincy. It was known as baale in the 1930s before it was known as Olubadan. I am not into any battle with Olubadan, but he should dissociate himself from those with political interests.
“The Olubadan is a good father; I can’t disrespect the Olubadan. But I know there are those using the Olubadan’s name to promote their interests, especially those we have defeated politically. Anyone who believes in God is not interested in hindering the progress of anyone. Moreover, this honour is befitting for our kings and this event today looks more glamorous. I am glad.
“I thank God that he used my administration to carry out Olubadan of Ibadan chieftaincy reform. But nobody can threaten me because I also hail from Ibadan. The Olubadan is a good father. But at times, when politicians have penetrated into the traditional institution in Ibadan, they can influence him.
“The politicians acting behind the scene, we have beaten them many times during elections. Almighty God has sent me to do what I am doing. So, whoever opposes us will be beaten. Olubadan is not the one doing what he has been doing to oppose the reform, but the politicians who have been acting underground.”