Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State thursday rose in stout defence of the state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, over the court case instituted by the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, against the state governor, the Attorney General of the state, Local Government Commissioner and 20 others.
The APC lauded the monarch for the court process he initiated, saying the step is a more honourable one compared to the previous combative steps and provocative statements from the palace.
The party stated that most of the statements credited to the Media Director of Oba Adetunji, Mr. Adeola Oloko, are not complimentary of an imperial majesty stool, explaining that the people should understand that it is â€œthe hand of Esau, voice of Jacobâ€ as the Olubadan is known to be a man of peace who respects his stool and accords same to his people.
The party in a statement by its Director of Media, Research and Strategy, Dr. AbdulAzeez Olatunde, noted that it is commendable that the revered royal father has finally remembered that justice can only be gotten from the court of law and not through rude, insulting, provocative and inflammatory statements by media aides who ought to be chastised for their uncharitable utterances that do nothing else but further desecrate the respected stool of the Olubadan.
Olatunde stated that contrary to the insinuation from the palace that the Olubadanâ€™s allowances have not been paid in the last six months, the party is alarmed to discover that the allowances meant for the Olubadan and other members of the Local Government Traditional Council and the state Council of Traditional Rulers have been paid up to date by the 11 local government areas on one hand and the state government on the other in line with the payment status of everyone on the payroll of both tiers of government.
The APC chieftain noted that the Olubadanâ€™s allowance is not treated in isolation but alongside that of other traditional rulers in the state as well as everyone on the payroll.
He stressed that when salaries are delayed, it is not only the Olubadan that is affected, decrying the malicious attempt to portray the state government as singling out the monarch for victimisation.
He said: â€œOur father, the Olubadan, receives multiple tax free payments from all the 11 local governments in Ibadan land. For instance, he has collected up till August 2017 from Ibadan South East, Ido, Ibadan South West, Ibadan North, Oluyole and Ibadan North East council areas while Lagelu council area has paid up to July 2017. Egbeda and Ona Ara council areas have paid up to June 2017. Only Akinyele council area is behind in meeting its financial obligations and it is not peculiar to the Olubadan, but to the generality of those on it payroll.
â€œContrary to the six months outstanding payment being peddled, the state government has paid all the monarchs in the state up to June 2017 from the appropriated fund of the approved budget and that is the same month which workers in the state have been paid up to. Kabiyesi still collects his honorarium for any event he attends just like the recently held APC organised public sitting on True Federalism.
â€œThese details were sourced from the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters through the Director in charge, Mr. Zaccheus Jaiyeola. We challenge Oloko to produce documentary evidence that the state governor has stopped paying Olubadanâ€™s allowance.
â€œWe in the APC hold and respect our royal fathers in the state. We accord them their due respect and we will continue to support them. We however appeal to them to separate politics from communal development as well as chieftaincy matters.â€