Egba chiefs back Alake, say Awujale economical with truth

Egba chiefs back Alake, say Awujale economical with truth

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 12:50 am

Oba Adedotun Gbadebo: controversy with Awujale continues

Oba Adedotun Gbadebo: controversy with Awujale continues

Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta

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”.

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One Comment

  • Yoruba Ronu says:

    The Alake’s statement on the 5 principal obas in Yorubaland to Ooni Ogunwusi was not meant to create animosity but rather to put records straight as to the pre-eminence of the Ooni’s throne over all other Yoruba crowns derived from Oduduwa as THE SOURCE. He spoke glowingly of the crowns of the Ooni, Alaafin, Oba of Benin and Awujale, as any Omoluabi should do, and never belittled any of these crowns.

    The Alake, however, warned of the ego of some Yoruba Obas, something he had seen first hand, and something he knew would be a threat to the new Ooni’s reign and the new dawn breaking over a now united Yoruba nation.

    I have it on good authority that a few years ago, the current Alake was asked to mediate between the late Ooni Sijuwade and the Awujale over their long running feud by some senior Yoruba elders, led by respected Yoruba statesman, Olaniwun Ajayi.

    The Alake succeeded in bringing the two monarchs together for a closed door meeting where a lot of home truths were told to the Awujale that he didn’t like to hear. When prodded to disclose his main grouse against the late Ooni Sijuwade, the Awujale said, “..the Ooni always travelled abroad with an entourage of 20-30 people and he gave the western world the wrong impression that he was the only monarch in Nigeria… ! Oba Gbadebo was said to have told Oba Adetona point blank that if that was his major grouse with Ooni Sijuwade, then he (Adetona) should try and travel with a bigger entourage of 40-50 people if he felt the Ooni was outshining him, rather than insulting the elderly man and his reverred throne on the pages of newspapers and in his books.

    The meeting concluded with late Ooni Sijuwade presenting Awujale Adetona with several letters written by past Awujales to past Oonis, ALL OF THEM showing the past Awujales of Ijebu addressing the past Oonis of Ife as ” My Dear Father” , ” Baba Mi”, and other reverent salutations.

    It is is the pent up ill -feeling of the Awujale towards the Alake for putting him in that meeting where Oba Adetona was forced to acknowledge the bitter truth that we saw let out by the Awujale last week, when he chose to use 9 paragraphs of his 20 paragraph speech at his chair endowment to insult the Alake’s person, crown and history, nothing else.

    Everyone knows that Awujale Adetona has always been on cordial terms with the Alake, who since his coronation has shown nothing but love to the Awujale and all other Obas within and outside Ogun State.They have direct access to each other, attend each others’ functions and have never quarrelled before now. It is obvious that the Awujale was speaking form a deep-seated animosity and hatred for the Alake by his choice of words in his response. Everyone also knows that the Awujale is very vindictive NEVER forgives any slight, no matter how small.

    I urge all Yorubas to read between the lines and see clearly that it is better the Alake fights this battle now and put the Awujale in his rightful place, because sooner or later, Oba Adetona’s unbridled ego would as usual, get the better of him and he would have gone ahead and disrespected the new Ooni, just as he publicly ridiculed both the crown and person of the late Ooni Sijuwade, and just as he fought Awolowo and his political leadership of the Yorubas and worked with the enemies of the Yoruba to ensure Awolowo never became president of this country.

    Yoruba ronu!

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