The apex body of traders in Ibadanland known as Ibadan Joint Traders Association, IJTA, today refuted the purported removal of the Iyaloja of Ibadanland, Chief Mrs. Labake Lawal.
The body during a press conference held at the Association House, Labowo market, described the removal as a lie and a calculated effort by some disgruntled elements in the association to cause confusions, rift and enimity among the traders.
Among over 200 markets leaders that attended the conference were: The Otun Iyalode of Ibadanland, Chief Mrs Lawal Coker, Babaloja, Adegoke Adelabu Market, Chief Micheal Akinropo, Osi Iyaloja, Ogunpa market, Iyalode/Iyaloja, Felele, Chief Mrs. Iyabode Coker and Iyaloja Cooperative Corner, Gbagi Market, Chief Mrs. Abike Faseru.
Last week, a faction of Ibadan Joint Traders Association led by Alhaji Dauda Oladepo announced that based on gross misconduct and financial impropriety, the body has removed Alhaja Labake Lawal as the Iyaloja of Ibadan.
In a swift reaction, Mr Adeola Oloko, the spokesperson of Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji Aje Ogungunniso 1, debunked the sack of Alhaja Lawal as Iyaloja of Ibadan on the ground that if there was anything like that, it did not follow a due process.
The Ibadan traders’ apex body that described the purported removal as a coup against the wish of the traders said that its aim was to bring both the Iyalode and Iyaloja of Ibadanland at loggerheads.
Reiterating that under no condition would Iyaloja who represents a sacred institution be bold to rub shoulder with Iyalode who is her mentor, mother and counsellor.
Speaking at the conference, the Secretary of the board of trustee, Alhaji Waheed Apanpa accused Alhaji Dauda Oladepo of being the mastermind of the manipulations, describing him as a cankerworm in the lives of all market traders.
Alhaji Apanpa who claims to be a signatory to the association’s account expressed shock at the news that the embattled Iyaloja did mismanage the finances of the association noting that Oladepo resorted to personality attack because he was eyeing the bus donated to the association by the governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi as a way of covering up his misdeeds as the president of the association.
At the meeting, Alhaji Apanpa announced the immediate suspension of Oladepo from every activity of the traders association until further notice.
Apanpa’s words, “As you are all aware, there has been various write-ups, both on the traditional and social media as regards the purported removal of Chief Mrs. Labake Lawal as the Iyaloja of Ibadanland. Let me said here categorically that, it was all a lie, a calculated effort by some disgruntled element in the association to cause confusion, rift and enimity among the Ibadan Joint Traders Association. Two, the news also goes further to turn the backs of the Iyalode and Iyaloja of Ibadanland against each other; this is another big lie and fruitless effort to stage a coup in an age like this. Let me first state here that the Iyaloja can never and will never look the Iyalode in the face, she represents an institution that is sacred and the Iyaloja, Chief Mrs. Labake have always looked to her as a mentor, mother and counselor in all ramifications”.
Continuing, “The Mr. Dauda Oladepo group who went about to announce the removal of Chief Mrs. Labake as the Iyaloja of Ibadanland is an aberration, an abomination of the highest order and a nullity in deed. It is sacrilegious and an insult on the institution of the Olubadan-in-council and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji Ajeogunguniso 1. How can someone wake up and announce the dethronement of a chieftaincy title conferred legitimately by the highest revered, and highly respected Olubandan-in-Council on somebody else with impunity and disregard. This must be stopped. and such offender must not go scot free without being punished to serve as deterrent to others. Therefore, going by the enormity of the accusation and the aim to bring the traders to disrepute and at loggerheads with Ibadan traditional institution, I, as the Secretary of the board of trustees on the association and with the consent of the market leaders and stakeholders, hereby announce the suspension of Mr. Dauda Oladepo from the association until further notice. The suspension is with immediate effect”.
He further stated that, “It was alleged by these disgruntled elements that Chief Mrs. Labake Lawal mismanaged the fiances of the association, hence Oladepo group resorted to personally malign and destroy her through the social media. We then ask for whose interest? It was all a calculated effort to stage a coup and just because Chief Mrs. Labake put the interest of the members at heart, protecting their interest and not allow the scavengers, hawks and self centred Dauda Oladep to have his way to loot and cart away the Association money, he resorted to acts of brigandage and lost his soul to the devil. At a time when accountability, transparency, equity and justice are being preached to put our nation forward which Chief Mrs. Labake Lawal epitomizes, Dauda Oladepo is the opposite”.