Thursday, March 3, 2016 10:10 pm
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State today declared tomorrow Friday March 4 2016 as a public holiday in honour of the Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Saliu Adetunji, who will be installed as the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland on the same day.
The governor’s decision was conveyed by the state’s Head of Service, Mr. Soji Eniade, in a statement.
Eniade said, “The holiday is declared to commemorate the coronation of the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, who will be installed at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, on the same day. His Excellency, the governor, has therefore urged all civil/public servants, market men and women, artisans and other members of the public to massively turn out at the venue of the ceremony by 9am on Friday to witness the epoch-making event”.
The governor urged citizens to be peace and law-abiding before, during and after the ceremony, warning that security agencies have been placed on red alert to forestall breakdown of the pervading peace across the state.
In another development, Oyo State Government has described as misleading and untrue claims by some corporate organizations that they are sponsoring the coronation of the new monarch.
This was a the thrust of the press conference that the Special Adviser to the Governor on Communication and Strategy, Mr. Yomi Layinka, addressed today.
Layinka explained that the coronation committee headed by the Otun Olubadan, Dr. Lekan Balogun, which also comprised representatives from the Olubadan-in-council; Iyalode line and Olubadan designate’s younger brother, Alhaji Ambali Adetunji, is the only recognized body vested with the preparation for the coronation adding that top government officials, led by a former Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Ismael Olalekan Alli, are also on the committee.
As at Thursday, the governor’s aide said that the Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency, which is responsible for giving approvals for hoardings, had not received any application from any corporate organisation to display hoardings in any part of the city in respect of the coronation.
He, therefore, warned that the law enforcement agencies have been put on the alert to look out for such illegal display of hoardings under the guise of sponsorship of the coronation.
He said, “We need to make a categorical statement that no organization is mandated or authorized to be branded as sponsors of the Olubadan inauguration ceremony. No sponsor has been accredited to manage or brand the event surrounding the coronation ceremony of Olubadan of Ibadan scheduled for the March 4, 2016. We understand that a purported advisory group to the Olubadan designate has been soliciting supports and collaborating with some individuals to raise funds and seek branding and marketing opportunities surrounding the event. It should be noted that there is no such accreditation from the recognized coronation committee led by High Chief Lekan Balogun and other High Chiefs and government representatives. But, the committee will still be willing to do business with them if they follow due process”.
At the conference, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Work and Transport, Mr. Oyesola Oyedele also disclosed that the governor has approved the conversion of the access road passing through the private residence of the Olubadan-designate at Popoyemoja, which will also serves as his palace, to a one way.
He said that the decision became necessary to forestall the perennial logjam associated with the area, considering the expected heavy volume of traffic in the area on Friday and subsequently.
Oyedele explained that traffic had been diverted to the adjourning roads, where he said adequate road signs had been mounted, adding that Vehicle Inspection Officers and officials of the Oyo State Traffic Management Authority would be on hand to guide motorists accordingly.
The PS urged motorists to take note of the new directive, warning that errant drivers would be sanctioned.
Also, in another development, the Oyo State Market Leaders Advisory Council has directed that all markets in the eleven Local Government Areas of Ibadanland be shut on Friday, in honour of the coronation ceremony of Adetunji.
A statement by the Acting President of the Council, Alhaja Mopelade Iyadunni, said that the closure of the markets became imperative to accord due honour to the foremost monarch, who succeeds Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I. The late monarch had joined his ancestors on January 19.
The advisory council is the umbrella body for traders’ associations across the state, comprising Oyo State Market Men and Women Association, Ibadan Joint Traders Association, Food and Canteen Workers’ Association, Association of Trades men and Artisans, as well as the Nigeria Youth Traders Action Council, among others.
The statement also called on members of all affiliate associations to join the state government, the Adetunji family, the Olubadan-in-Council, as well as citizens of Ibadan to celebrate the new Oba on Friday at the Mapo Hall arcade.