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Ibadan Mogajis warn Olubadan not to pray eid with Gov. Ajimobi



More than 300 Mogajis (family heads) under the aegis of the Authentic Ibadan Mogajis have asked the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, not to attend the  prayer with Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State at the Agodi praying ground on Friday (today) for safety reason.

The spokesperson for the Ibadan family heads, who is also the Mogaji of Akinsola compound in Oopo Labiran area of Ibadan, Chief Olawale Oladoja, said it was vital to think ahead because of the tension being generated by the instalment of 21 new kings by Ajimobi.

Ajimobi, the Olubadan and other prominent Muslims in Ibadan use the Agodi Eid praying ground every year during Sallah celebration. But Oladoja said that the monarch and other Mogajis would observe the Sallah prayer at the Olubadan palace.

Oladoja said, “Although we are not afraid to confront any trouble maker anywhere, they may want to attack our dear Kabiyesi, the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, we feel that the Eid prayer ground is a sacred ground where anything that could warrant any form of clash should be avoided.

“Just this morning (Thursday), we went to resume at Popoyemoja, the Kabiyesi’s palace, in continuation of our solidarity with the highly revered monarch. And we sensed there could be a clash between people sympathetic to Oba Adetunji and another group that could be pro-establishment during the Eid prayer at Agodi, which is a few metres away from the state Government House. We feel that to safe the Kabiyesi from such ungodly development that may arise, it is important we avoid the Eid ground during this year’s Sallah.

“By 6am tomorrow (today), we would all leave our homes and proceed to Popoyemoja where we shall all join Oba Adetunji to observe this year’s Eid prayer within the precinct of the Kabiyesi’s palace. Let me made it clear that avoiding the Eid ground is not a sign of cowardice as Ibadan indigenes. We are not cowards; after all, our forefathers were warriors and were never afraid to confront enemies.

“Our forefathers laid down their lives for our today and we shall never deviate from what they stood for and handed over unto us as far as the Olubadan chieftaincy succession and the Ibadan Natives Laws are concerned. We are ready and prepared to ensure the reversal of this charade called coronation of Obas in a land where Olubadan, for many centuries, remains the only king and sole consenting and prescribing authority in the land.”

Asked if the Chief Imam of Ibadan land was aware of the decision, Oladoja said that he had been notified of the development.

He said, “The Olubadan is a peace-loving monarch who will not want violence to erupt in his city. We are not fighting the governor because all he did was to come up with an idea. It is left for Ibadan people to accept or reject it. A few acclaimed elders cannot accept it on behalf of all Ibadan indigenes.

“Ajimobi is our brother and we have always supported him but not on this issue. We have notified the Chief Imam of our decision and it is not reversible.”

The spokesman for the Mogajis said that contrary to what some had been saying, the group was not behind the Olubadan because of the political affiliation of Rashidi Ladoja, who is also opposing the installation of the new kings.

“For the avoidance of doubt,  I am a member of the All Progressives Congress. I left the Accord Party to join the APC and Ajimobi is aware. We should try to separate politics from tradition and culture.

“We have challenged the move in court. Our prayer is that the court should declare vacant the eight positions of those people (high chiefs) so that the Olubadan can fill them. The people we represent say that they only recognise one king and that is the Olubadan,” he noted.

Meanwhile,  Ajimobi has said that those who opposed his decision to initiate a review of the Ibadan chieftaincy system would one day make a U-turn and praise him for the idea.

The review commission recommended the installation of more kings in Ibadan, leading to the coronation of 21 new kings on Sunday.

The governor, who spoke on Thursday at the opening of the rehabilitated Mobil Junction-Are-Oluyole-Wema Bank, Apata Road, expressed his unhappiness over some of the comments of the Olubadan, which he said were political.

He said that the monarch should place the good and future of the Ibadan land ahead of other considerations.

Ajimobi said, “Those who abuse us for crowning Obas now will praise us in the future. Some have politicised the matter. The late 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 the late 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 the 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 that 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.”

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