2nd July, 2010
The Adebayo Alao-Akala-led government of Oyo State has exonerated itself from allegations of disrespecting Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade levelled against the governor, stressing that with the hand of fellowship extended to the monarch, the monarch maintain frosty relationship with him.
Speaking yesterday, the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Honourable Taofeek Arapaja at the 3rd memorial lecture of Adelabu Adegoke, (a. k. a Penkelemesi), which almost ended up in chaos over various issues, said that Akala should not be blamed for the deliberate avoidance of the monarch by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan during his visit.
He said that President Jonathan did not include Olubadan in his itinerary, adding that the presidentâ€™s visit was not an official state visit but a personal visit which did not accommodate extras.
Reiterating that the presidency advised that the state government should adhere strictly to the programmesÂ drawn up in Abuja, he said that the president had earlier ordered that there must not be guard of honour for him at the airport, airport reception must be just ten minutes, the reception party at the airport should be strictly controlled with maximum of twenty people in attendance, the commissioning of the projects should be as snappy as possible, there should not be national anthem at the church service while the service should not be more than one hour after which the president proceeds to the government house for a private lunch and the president depart at approximately 2:30pm.
Arapaja stated further, â€œIt is obvious that the allegation of disrespect to our royal father was erroneous and was based on ignorance of the circumstances dictated by the mode of the visit. Similarly, the allegation of a breach of protocol was equally unsubstantiated. The state government sent a formal letter of invitation to Kabiyesi and he was fully represented at the airport reception and church service. The lamentations and effusion of a few organizations and a private radio station were therefore misplaced and needless. It was a clear attempt to incite the good people of Ibadan against Akala through a private radio station that persistently breaches all known broadcast code and has accepted the role of an attack dog for an opposition party.â€
He noted that Akala might not be a son of Ibadan but has sons and daughters of Ibadan in his cabinet.
Swiftly, Ibadan indigenes in attendance booed the deputy governor while notable Ibadan indigenes angrily reacted.
Among those that reacted were: Are Musulumi of Yorubaland, Arisekola Alao and owner of Splash FM who described Arapaja that delivered the message of Akala as a person that has lost in touch with culture.
Noting that Arapaja fled when he detected that his speech was unacceptable, Chief Muritala Adebayo Akande said, â€œIf not that he ran away, I would have lashed him.â€
Arisekola decried the disrespect against Ibadan, saying that no indigenes of Ibadan should allow anyone to disrespect the ancient city.
Delivering a lecture titled, â€œAdelabu Okunrin Metaâ€, Professor Akinwunmi Ishola described the late sage as a visionary politician who meant well for the entire Yoruba race.
Ishola noted that Adelabu believed much in Yoruba culture, urging that decision makers should not allow theÂ language to go extinct.
Among those in attendance were: the Chairman of Punch newspaper, Chief Ajibola Ogunsola, former Governor of Oyo State, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, Chief Kola Daisi and Chief Ruben Fasoranti.