By Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
With just about 48 hours to Tuesday’s deadline on the ultimatum issued to Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State by his kinsmen in Ibadan to withdraw his alleged verbal assault against the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, the family heads otherwise known as Mogajis yesterday demanded police permit over their impending mass rally.
The spokesman of Authentic Ibadan Mogajis (AIM), Chief Wale Oladoja, confirmed to journalists that the group comprising over 300 indigenous family houses in Ibadan land were prepared to register their displeasure through a peaceful protest around the 11 local government areas in the city as their seven-day ultimatum wind down.
The governor entered the ‘bad book’ of the family heads, the Olubadan and an high ranking chief in the city, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, following the elevation of 21 chiefs to beaded crown wearing Obas against the custom and tradition of the city. Not only that, the Mogajis rue verbal assault meted at the stool when the governor reportedly said “One of Olubadan’s wives used to run love errands for me.”
The Mogajis who had since described the crowning of more Obas as custom robbery which cannot be accepted by the people of Ibadan land, said they are awaiting the permit of the state police command to lay their grievances before all Ibadan sons and daughters in the land under the Olubadan’s jurisdiction.
Oladoja who is also the Mogaji of Akinsola compound in Oopo Labiran area of Ibadan had last Friday, while addressing journalists at the ancient palace of Olubadan, Oja Oba Ibadan, said the governor jetted out of the country to avoid responding to the ultimatum issued by them.
Oladoja in company of Mogaji Oloko family, Chief Abass Oloko and Mogaji Oladosu Olasomi, Elekuro Ibadan, said the group was not in anyway fighting the state government, but were only interested in making the governor “to distinguish between the tradition of a people from governance.”
Reacting to a statement credited to the governor that he does not know the people calling themselves the authentic Mogajis of Ibadan land, member of the group said they are not faceless, adding that they contributed to the electoral victory of the governor in 2015 and wondered why the governor was trying to pay Ibadan people back with ill-conceived bastardisation of people’s customs and tradition’.
Oladoja said; “Our stand on the seven days ultimatum remain intact. The governor must apologise for insulting wife of our father and Olubadan of Ibadan land over his recent comment on his wife. No intimidation can make us change our mind. We are the bonafide sons of Ibadan land and nobody can dispute that.
“All the indigenes of Ibadan land know their Mogajis, so nobody can deny that we represent our respective families. We won’t allow unconstitutional crowning of high chiefs to obas, ditto baales, who by tradition are under us. It is custom robbery and we won’t accept that. Above all, it is not possible and we won’t accept it. The governor should allow court to decide the fate of everyone involved in the Olubadan crisis and stop verbal vituperation against the person and stool of Olubadan.”
Also, the Mogagis have alleged Ibadan elders forum of perceived inconsistency over their current posture on Ibadan chieftaincy matter.
The Mogajis, quoting a letter dated April 24, 2009, and signed by the President of Ibadan Elders Forum, Olu Sanu, and secretary, Onalapo Ajibola, a copy of which was given to journalists, had warned the former governor Akala not to dabble into the review of the Olubadan chieftaincy law.
The Mogajis therefore wondered why the elite who fought Akala to retrace his step over the move in 2009, are today the people surreptitiously backing the incumbent governor on the same matter.