2nd September, 2021
Oyo State Government has reacted to the news that security men prevented the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, from gaining access into the Lekan Salami Sports Complex on Wednesday evening.
PM News had reported that Alaafin and Olubadan left the arena in anger after security operatives deployed at the entrance of the newly remodelled stadium denied them entry during the unveiling of its main bowl on Wednesday.
The prominent traditional rulers had gone to the stadium with their aides but were made to wait for almost 30 minutes.
The security agents at the gate were also said to have insisted that just one of the aides would be allowed to go in with each of the monarchs.
Sources at the scene said there were a lot of confrontations and heated conversations at the gate and the monarchs left the venue in anger.
However, the state government in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said the monarchs were not barred from attending the event.
According to the statement issued on Thursday, the monarchs could not gain access into the main bowl because of the huge enthusiastic crowd that swarmed on the stadium and obstructed the movement of the monarchs’ convoys to the designated VVIP Drop Off zone, which was the easiest channel to their reserved seats.
The statement further said that the two foremost royal fathers were too important to the state government to be prevented from attending the event, to which they had been duly invited.
“What happened was that security operatives advised that the drivers of the revered monarchs make their way through another gate, since their convoys were unable to access the VVIP Drop Off Zone from the gate they entered through.
“From the VVIP Drop Off Zone, it would be easy for the monarchs to access the VVIP box without meandering through the stairs, as that would have unduly stressed them given their age.” the statement said.
The government added that seats of the monarchs were already reserved.
The statement added, “It is unthinkable that some individuals would try to create a wedge between the palaces of the respective monarchs and the state government, which holds them in high esteem.”
The statement noted that all other monarchs who were inside the VVIP box including the Olugbon of Ile Igbon, Aseyin of Iseyin, the Okere of Saki, the Olu of Igboora were well recognised, stating that “this was an evidence that the government places huge premium of respect on the stools of our forebears as occupied by the Kabiyesis.
“His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde wishes to categorically state that the Alaafin and the Olubadan were well-expected at the event and that their seats were reserved.
“The government frowns on reports indicating that the convoys of the revered monarchs were not treated accordingly and would take appropriate steps to correct any untoward indication.”