Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State says he has assured President Muhammadu Buhari that he will continue to respect the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, despite their recent face-off over chieftaincy in Ibadan.
The governor who visited the President at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday told State House Correspondents that he also gave the assurance that he would not depose the Olubadan.
Both men have been feuding since the governor allowed the amendment of the 1959 Declaration of Olubadan and other related chieftaincies in Ibadan and subsequently installed 21 new kings in Ibadan.
The Olubadan has since sued the governor on the grounds that the crowning of the kings is illegal.
Despite the discord, the governor told journalists that he informed President Buhari that he and the Olubadan had a father-son relationship.
He said, “I came to let him (President Buhari) know that, first and foremost, Olubadan is my father and we’ve had a very long relationship, which is like father-son relationship. And I assured him that, come rain come shine, I will never remove Olubadan because he is a father.
“A son doesn’t depose his father; even though he has done many things that could be used to remove him, I will never; you have to continue to show respect to your father.”
According to the governor, the controversy that has dodged the new chieftaincy structure in Ibadan is due to politicking.
“I also made him (the President) realise that that particular chieftaincy declaration is being politicised. Politicians have hijacked it,” he said.
Governor Ajimobi, however, expects “reason to prevail” following the intervention of elders and well-meaning Nigerians.
He said elders, other stakeholders and well meaning Nigerians have, however, intervened and expects “reason to prevail”.
Apart from briefing the President about the chieftaincy crisis, the governor called on the Federal Government to hand over the Ikere Gorge Dam to the state, saying it would help Oyo in the areas of irrigation, water supply and energy generation.
“So, I thought the Ikere Gorge Dam should be handed over to Oyo State. If not, at least we should participate through Public Private Partnership,” he said.