Tuesday, March 15, 2016 12:50 am
The ranking war between two paramount rulers in Ogun state, Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona and Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo continued today as Egba chiefs accused Awujale of not being truthful with his position.
The Egba Chieftaincy Committee said that the concluding part of the Awujale’s speech last week Thursday during his endowment fund for a Chair of Governance at Olabisi Onabanjo University, OOU, Ago Iwoye,Ogun state was “uncalled for and neither civil nor decent”.
The chiefs however quickly added that by their intervention, they did not ”intend to defile the sacred Yoruba traditional institution and have therefore refrained from trading insult with a highly regarded monarch of his status “.
The supremacy war between Alake and Awujale began with the visit last month to Alake by the new Ooni of Ife,Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunnusi. He visited Alake in Abeokuta, after visiting the Awujale in Ijebu-Ode.
It was during the visit that the Alake said he was the fourth ranked Monarch in Western Nigeria after Ooni, Alaafin and Oba of Benin. He ranked Awujale fifth.
Awujale was livid with rage and dropped the bombshell that the Alake’s dominion is actually limited to Ake quarters in Abeokuta.
Addressing newsmen today at the Ake palace,Abeokuta,the Agbaakin Baaroyin of Egbaland,Olootu Lai Labode faulted all the allegations leveled against Alake by Awujale.
According to him, although both the Awujale and Alake are first class monarchs, ” historically speaking,Alake earned a higher salary paid by Colonial Government”.
Labode said the Awujale was wrong that Alake quoted wrongly from 1903 government gazette and the categorisation of Yoruba traditional rulers.
“Alake quoted government gazette,Colony of Lagos, Saturday 20th February,1903,page 100, paragraph 16.
“Gazette is a subsidiary legislation which has force of law and therefore a public document available for verification.
” On the categorisation,the then Ooni of Ife did it at the Central Native Council meeting which was chaired by the Governor General,His Excellency, Sir William Macgregor,M.D,KCMG,CR at Government house, Lagos in 1937.
“Those in attendance included the Ooni of Ife,Alaafin of Oyo,Oba of Benin, Alake of Abeokuta and Awujale of Ijebu Ode” he said.
Egba Chiefs spokesman also refuted claim by Awujale that Alake fled to take refuge in Ibadan, declaring that Egba arrived and settled in Abeokuta in 1830 and Alake remained the first monarch while Osile is the last in Egba.
“Twenty Alake had reigned in the Egba forest prior to the founding od Abeokuta in 1830. There was no Alake that fled to, or took refuge in Ibadan, the Egbas arrived and settled in Abeokuta,mainly in 1830.
“The first Alake in Abeokuta was installed in 1854, followed by the Olowu in 1855,the Agura in 1870 and the Osile in 1897″, Labode maintained.
According to Federal Ministry of Information National Archives,Files No’s 33044,CSO 26,letter SP 11828120, Secretary Office,southern province, Enugu,dated January 31,1938, page 4, paragraph 4,as quoted by Olootu Lai Labode, while Alake was receiving £2,250, Awujale was receiving £1,700, which showed that Alake was more rated than Awujale.
The Egba Chieftaincy Commitee challenged Awujale to state the outcome of the meeting among him,the immediate past Alake,Oba Oyebade Lipede and the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo at Aso Rock.
” We don’t want to insinuate, but if the outcome of the meeting were advantageous,Awujale would have mentioned it”.
The Egba Chiefs however stated that their intention was never to whip up any controversy or demean anybody, rather, “it is always to educate the public by stating the fact of history and record purposes”.