Tag Archives: Ooni of Ife – Oba Okunade Sijuwade

Pres Jonathan Shakes Hands with Ooni of Ife

Presidential poll: Ooni of Ife to Jonathan: Your chance of winning depends ONLY on….

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The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, has told President Goodluck Jonathan that his chance of winning the March 28 presidential poll lies with God.

He disclosed this last Saturday when the President paid him a courtesy call in his palace in company of other PDP chieftains in the state.
The monarch rather than assuring the President of success at the poll, called on other monarchs at the gathering to pray for him.

He directed the monarchs to stay round the Peoples Democratic Party,presidential candidate and pray for him.
Ooni said: “By the Grace of God, you will win the race. You monarchs here pray for the President to win the forthcoming poll; that he should be successful”.

Welcoming the President on behalf of the monarchs, the Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin, told the president that the state was marginalised by his administration as the people felt no impact of his government over the last six years.

He urged the President to ensure total representation of Osun in his second term tenure, if he wins re-election.
The monarch specifically expressed dissatisfaction of the people of the state over the ramshackle condition of roads in the state, appealing to the president to complete them in his second term.

He said: “We understand the paucity of funds, please help us finish all the abandoned and uncompleted roads in the State of Osun.”

In his response, President Jonathan noted that his administration has touched almost all the sectors, promising to double his effort if re-elected.
He stressed that his administration has added about 25,000km of roads to the roads in Nigeria, assuring that another 10,000km would be completed in his second term.

Jonathan specifically assured that his administration would implement the report of the confab.
According to him, “only the PDP can implement the report of the confab. Contrary to the opposition’s belief, I did not influence the committee of confab and we have decided to implement 100 per cent of the report.”
He also disclosed that over N3.3 trillion was being used to import items, adding that it has been reduced to over N600 billion.

On the marginalisation of the South-West by the present administration, President Jonathan said: “I promised that in the next dispensation, the South-West will not be short-changed in any way.”
The president also paid visit to the palace of Owa Obokun, Oba, Gabriel Aromolaran, to seek royal blessing.

President Goodluck Jonatha and Yoruba leaders

Jonathan and his fruitless to visits to Southwest….S/West NOT for sale

President Goodluck Jonatha and Yoruba leaders

President Goodluck Jonatha and Yoruba leaders

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan is trying to court the marginalised Southwest geo-political zone, ahead of March 28.

The Commander-In-Chief spent four days in the South West recently. He was in Lagos, Ogbomoso, Ibadan, Oyo and Akure, where he held partisan meetings with monarchs, Inthe renewed battle for the region, the president has visited the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana, the Soun of Ogbomoso, Alhaji Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, the Olowo-Eko of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, and other traditional rulers.

The Jonathan Campaign Organisation has also regressed into ethno-religious politics. His challenger, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has not visited mosques. But, the president has been frequent at church services, especially at The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) led by Pastor Enoch A. Adeboye and Winners’ Chapel shepherd, Bishop David Oyedepo. Besides, he has met with other ethnic groups in Lagos, playing the ethnic card. Unlike in 2011, when voters gravitated towards the president with little prompting, a combative Dr. Jonathan appears to be on the prowl. Four years ago, he almost got the Southwest bloc votes. The president polled 2,786, 5410 votes. But, ahead of next month’s poll, he is scrambling for a fraction to reduce the likely gap.

The Southwest region, comprising Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, and Ekiti, is the second most populous zone, trailing the Northwest, which has seven states. It is generally perceived as the stronghold of the All Progressives Congress (APC), although the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) controls two states – Ekiti and Ondo. The last governorship election in Ekiti is still being contested in court. With the release of the audio tape on the pre-election rigging strategy, the exercise, which was uncritically adjudged free and fair, paled into the most grievous assault on the ballot box. Ondo became a PDP state recently, following the self-liquidation of the Labour Party (LP) and defection of Governor Olusegun Mimiko.

The campaign trains of the president and Buhari have rolled into the six states. The former military leader pulled more crowd in Lagos, Osogbo, Abeokuta, Akure and Ado-Ekiti, where the people perceive him as the symbol of the envisaged change. He came with a bundle of promises, urging prospective voters to support his push for power shift, based on his pedigree, integrity, honour and valour. At 72, his goal is not primitive accumulation, the vice he had shunned as a soldier on the war front, military governor, Federal Commissioner for Petroleum and Chairman of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Head of State and Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF). His style as a big commoner seeking power for the good of society was fascinating to the crowd under the scourging sun, who believed and internalised his message.

But the people expected more from President Jonathan. They expected him to woo voters by showcasing his achievements. Southwest is an enlightened and politically sophisticated zone. When the President could not list any feat, except the snail-like rehabilitation of the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, they went home disappointed. Consequently, his shortcoming became Buhari’s gain.

Opinion is, therefore, divided on the last minute consultation by the president. To many people, it is too late to convince prospective voters, who are unhappy with the federal government over the neglect of the region and marginalisation in the distribution of federal appointments. But, to others, particularly PDP leaders, who may have concealed the true picture from the national PDP leader, twenty four hours is a long time in politics. Thus, Dr. Jonathan’s advisers believe that, since the Southwest vote is critical to the determination of his fate at the presidential election, no effort should be spared to either divide the bloc vote or alter the existing voting pattern.

According to sources, it has become increasingly difficult for the president to make an in-road in the north, which is solidly behind the APC standard bearer. In this political season, the north and Southwest appear to have sealed a pact. But, the calculation is that, if a significant part of the Southsouth, Southeast and some parts of Southwest endorse him on poll day, hope is not lost on his second term ambition.

However, the president’s efforts may be futile in the Southwest, particularly in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and many parts of Ondo. It appears people have made up their minds. In addition, the traditional rulers, who are now being tacitly drawn into partisan politics, know what is good for their communities. According to an analyst, the blood of some of the rulers flow in the APC administrations in the Southwest. For example, the children of Alaafin, Olubadan and Soun are commissioners in Ajimobi’s Administration. Also, in Ogbomoso and Oyo, Prince Hakeem Adeyemi, former Atiba Council boss, and Prince Oye Oyewumi are House of Representatives candidates of the APC.

Southwest APC governors are also performing. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has remained a model chief executive. Even PDP governors have hailed him, saying that he has built successfully on the foundation laid by his predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the APC National Leader. Under his administration, the state has become a huge construction site. As he mobilises for Buhari in Lagos, he tenders his stewardship. For Lagos, the presidential election is a special project. This is the base of Tinubu. For the Centre of Excellence, it is a pride to produce a vice presidential candidate. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), who is Buhari’s running mate, is the former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State.

In Oyo, Ajimobi’s popularity is soaring. His party is not divided, unlike the PDP, which has four candidates – Senator Teslim Balogun, Senator Rasheed Ladoja of the Accord Party (AP), Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala of the LP and Seyi Makinde of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

In Ogun, Senator Ibikunke Amosun has delivered on his promises. Across the three senatorial districts, his impact is felt. Although there are some notable indigenes firing salvos at him from the PDP and the SDP, the people have become his shield. Ogun also has a stake in the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket. The professor of Law is an indigene of the Gateway State.

The victory of the Osun State governor, Chief Rauf Aregbesola, has attested to his popularity and the declining fortune of the PDP. In 2011, Osun was the only Southwest state that denied President Jonathan of votes. There is no sign that the trend will change.

By Emmanuel Oladesu

Source: THENATION

protest against GEJ in OAU

OAU: Unending controversy over President’s visit

A recent visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, has caused disaffection among some of the students, writes FEMI MAKINDE

protest against GEJ in OAU

Protest against GEJ in OAU

President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, penultimate Friday to attend a summit organised by the Concerned Yoruba Leaders has caused disunity among the students of the university especially among the leadership of the Students Union Government.

Ordinarily, the President’s visit to the university where he is the Visitor should interest the students and the management. But events after his departure have shown that things are no longer at ease in the varsity which its students and alumni affectionately call ‘Great Ife.’

Jonathan’s visit to the university when students were taking examinations was believed by many political watchers to be ill-advised similar to the visit of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo to Kano in July 2002. Obasanjo was said to have been been stoned by some almajiris while some cars in his entourage were smashed during his trip to the ancient city.

It was also believed that those who chose the Oduduwa Hall of the university, built during the reign of Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the Premier of the Western Region, for the event wanted it to be historic since they knew the Ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuwade, who is one of the sons of Oduduwa, would be present at the summit.

However, the organisers failed to put into consideration the no-nonsense bearing of students of the institution who used the opportunity offered by the gathering to protest the hike in the tuition introduced by the university authorities months before the visit. The students protested for about two weeks when the new fee regime was introduced but they were unable to get the desired reduction until the closure of the varsity in June.

On the day of the summit, hundreds of security personnel deployed in Ife paralysed activities and their refusal to allow vehicles access to the campus frustrated many students who resorted to trekking the distance between the main gate and the campus to take examinations.

Some students who were angered by the discomfort caused them by the visit gathered close to the entrance of the venue of the summit. The irate students were said to have hurled abuses at politicians who were entering the hall. While the programme was on, those inside were oblivious of the protest outside but at a point, the Minister of State for Works, Dayo Adeyeye was seen beckoning to the Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan and the duo stormed out of the hall obviously to attend to the situation outside.

The President tacitly acknowledged in his opening statement before reading his speech that there was a protest going on caused by the punishment the students were subjected to by trekking long distance to examination halls. He however added that his administration would build a better Nigeria for the youth.

Jonathan, after the summit where he was endorsed for a second term by many Yoruba leaders present, was warmly received by the crowd of students some of whom brought out their phones to take his photograph while on his way out.

However, there were reports on the social media that the President was booed and stoned by the students. One of the students who spoke with our correspondent on Thursday said there were attempts by the some students to protest and embarrass the President. The student who pleaded anonymity said a group of students held a meeting and concluded that they would stage a protest at the entrance of the hall during the visit. He added that they eventually did, noting that security personnel present worked hard to suppress them without brutalising any of them.

According to him, the huge number of supporters of the aspirants for various positions in the coming general elections on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party stormed the campus to welcome the President alongside some students who were pro-Jonathan. The development, he said, was used to subdue the anti-Jonathan protest.

Defending the President, one of the organisers of the summit who is also a former SUG President of the OAU, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, told our correspondent on the telephone that Jonathan was not stoned as reported while describing the report as a calculated attempt by the opposition to embarrass the President.

Olafeso, who was Commissioner for Information in Ondo State during the second term of Dr. Olusegun Agagu said none of those who reported the purported stoning of the President had been able to back up their claims with photographic evidence.

He said, “It is disingenuous to say President Goodluck Jonathan was stoned when he visited the school. Everybody saw how the students and other categories of people outside the venue of the summit hailed him when he was leaving. If the President was stoned, I am sure the media would have been awash with photographs and videos at this time when almost everybody has a camera.”

The SUG President of the university, Mr. Isaac Ibikunle, while speaking with our correspondent on the telephone after the President’s visit, described as falsehood the report in some quarters that some students of the institution hurled stones at the President and booed him.

He said students of the university only insisted on discussing with Jonathan regarding the tuition increase and the President obliged.

He said, “We read some reports that the President was stoned, booed and harassed when he came to our campus. It is not true. Security personnel initially prevented us from seeing the President but we insisted that we wanted to discuss with him and we were allowed to do so. We told him that the increment was too high and he promised to look into our complaint. We gave him a petition concerning the exorbitant fees and he assured us that he would act on it. I requested Mr. President to address us and he did. He is our President. We did not embarrass him.”

Ibikunle added that the President was hailed by the students and the visitors who came to welcome him as his helicopter was taking off at the university’s sports centre. He also said no traditional ruler was embarrassed contrary the reports in some online platforms.

But two students of the university who pleaded not to be named told our correspondent that some students initially attempted to embarrass the President by stoning him but they were quickly dispersed by the security agents.

They said some of the students protested the fee hike, the killing of students in Jos, security challenges in the country and the neglect of the education sector. The protesting students, they added, barricaded the way and insisted that the President should address them before his departure.

But the crisis which erupted on the campus on Sunday night showed that the visit caused disunity among the students. The clash was reminiscence of the invasion of the university by some cult members in 1999 which left some students dead and many injured.

It was further gathered that the pro-Jonathan students clashed against the anti-Jonathan ‘forces’ who made several attempts to ridicule him during the summit. A source said a group of students was holding a meeting at the university’s SUG building when a fracas broke.

In the bloody clash, a student identified as Tedy, was allegedly stabbed with a rod with a pointed end while another student, David, was dealt a machete cut on his head. David was said to be on admission at a hospital as at Thursday. The management of the university debunked the claim that the clash was a cult attack on the campus.

However, the Public Relations Officer of OAU, Mr. Biodun Olanrewaju, said the clash was not cult related but a clash of interest over the visit of the President.

He said, “There was no cult invasion in OAU. Our campus is too fortified for that to occur. Our security men go on regular patrol and we are in collaboration with external security forces. What happened was just a fight between two groups of students.

“Some students believe that it was wrong for another set to take picture with and welcome President Goodluck Jonathan especially when it is done without their consent. It was just a friendly fight. All that happened was that a group felt they were not carried along.”

The atmosphere on the campus was still tense as at Thursday. Students were afraid that some of those who were injured might storm the campus for a reprisal.

Worried by the crisis, the university’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities is believed to be making moves to reconcile the warring factions to ensure that normalcy returns to the institution.

Source: THEPUNCH.

President Goodluck Jonathan with the Ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubusi ii during the President’s visit to the Ooni yesterday in Ile Ife.

Ahead 2015 Presidential: Jonathan, Jittery, Goes Begging Yoruba Obas

Following his poor performance in office and his rejection by the people of the South-West, President Goodluck Jonathan has begun traveling to the zone to beg traditional rulers and eminent citizens to help save his presidency.

President Goodluck Jonathan with the Ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubusi ii during the President’s visit to the Ooni yesterday in Ile Ife.

President Goodluck Jonathan with the Ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubusi ii

The trip started in earnest, with visit to the Ooni of Ife earlier today. President Jonathan jet out of Abuja yesterday for Lagos and Osun, where the President and his political advisers plans to meet traditional rulers.

A source said that the ‘appeal journey’ is aimed at wooing the leaders and begging them to speak with their subjects to help bail Jonathan out of the presidential defeat which awaits him and the Peoples Democratic Party.

It is unclear why Jonathan is focusing on Lagos and Osun, given that there are states in the zone where opposition to his rule appear to be even stronger.

Source: SAHARAREPORTERS

Omisore, Aregbesola and Akinbade

As #Osunpoll draws near: Political violence creating tension ahead of D-Day

There is no doubt that tension has built up ahead of the August 9 governorship election in Osun State. The tension followed series of campaigns by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Governor Rauf Aregbesola and that of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Iyiola Omisore.

Omisore, Aregbesola and Akinbade

Omisore, Aregbesola and Akinbade

The candidates’ various utterances at campaign rallies have confirmed the tension as their comments have begun to send jitters down the spines of the people of the state. The fear in some quarters is that some residents may decide to forfeit their rights to vote and stay indoors during the poll because of the fear of the unknown.

Obviously, the stake is higher in Osun State because leaders of the two parties are not unaware of the fact that whatever the outcome of the August 9 governorship election is will have a role to play in who wins the presidential election in 2015. Based on this realisation and the desire to be relevant in the state, leaders of the APC and the PDP appear ready to go to any length to win the governorship election.

The PDP in Osun State is buoyed by the victory of the candidate of the party in Ekiti State and the party’s leaders believe that if Mr. Ayo Fayose could defeat the incumbent governor in Ekiti State on June 21, there is nothing stopping them from repeating the same in Osun State.

With the PDP’s victory in Ekiti State, the Osun PDP believes that the party could also win back the control of the state which it lost to the APC on November 26, 2010 through a verdict of the Appeal Tribunal after almost four years of legal tussle over the outcome of the April 14, 2006 election.

While the APC appears to be desperate to retain the state, the PDP also seems to be equally ready to unseat Aregbesola and the seeming desperation by both sides is causing many people to be anxious of what might happen after the election.

Although there was no post-election crisis in Ekiti State largely because of the civil conduct and utterance of Governor Kayode Fayemi and because of the heavy presence of security personnel deployed in the state for the poll.

However, leaders of the APC and the PDP in Osun State have upped their games with various allegations and mudslinging flying on daily basis as the state prepares to decide who leads it into 2015 and beyond.

Omisore and the PDP are always quick to accuse Aregbesola of raising thugs, saying the ‘State Boys’, a group which the governor has a special likeness for, is an armed wing of the APC which would do the hatchet job for the party.

The APC is also always accused of planning to import thugs from Lagos, Oyo and militants from Rivers State to unleash terror on the PDP leaders and supporters ahead of the poll.

The Head of PDP Legal Unit in Osun State, Mr. Williams Ojo, told journalists that APC was planning to kill some PDP leaders while calling on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, to investigate the claim.

Ojo had said, “This assemblage of miscreants is a creation of Aregbesola and it is their stock in trade to leave blood in their trails. Their attacks targeted at PDP members have resulted in the killing and maiming of many across the state. The numerous attacks have been reported and documented at various police stations across the state.

“It is against this backdrop that we are calling on the Inspector-General of Police to look into this issue and promptly determine the propriety of this gang unknown to the nation’s constitution.”

The Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Gani Olaoluwa, also alleged in a statement issued last week that a local government chairman was arrested by the police for having in his possession, 17 AK 47 and 10 pomp action riffles and 50 cutlasses. He claimed that these weapons were being stock piled to attack notable PDP leaders.

The allegation followed the arrest of some hoodlums at Ilesa on a day Aregbesola held one of his mega rallies in the town. The hoodlums were also caught with some dangerous weapons. The police confirmed the latter but denied the former. The Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Folasade Odoro, first denied the allegation of gunrunning in a telephone interview with our correspondent

But the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Ibrahim Maishanu, later explained in a statement that the police received a petition, investigated and found that it was falsehood. Maishanu said that quantum of arms alleged to have been found on the council boss was enough to start a war. He warned politicians against raising false alarm.

False allegations and violence which characterised Nigerian politics are parts of strategies being employed by politicians in Osun State for the poll. There have been reported cases of attacks and counter-attacks on members of the APC and the PDP in towns like Iwo and Ile Ife.

Concerned about the frequent attacks involving supporters of the two parties in Ife, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, addressed a press conference where he urged the gladiators to sheathe their swords.

The Ooni, who was represented at the press conference by the Obalufe of Ife, Oba Folorunso Omisakin, read the Ooni’s message to the warmongers in the town and the entire state. The monarch’s action might have been dictated by the killing of a PDP leader, Pa Taiwo Ogundele, in Ife in March 2014 during voters’ registration and the killing of five persons inside a church just before the 2011 general election.

To ensure that politicians and their supporters do not revert to their atavistic instincts thereby truncating the relative peace in the state, the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Inter-Party Affairs, Senator Ben Obi, organised a workshop for leaders of various parties, governorship candidates and their running mates on the need to shun violence before, during and after the election.

Obi said, “Osun State, all eyes are on you to address the tense political atmosphere and eschew politics of infamy. I, therefore, urge all participants at this workshop to rededicate themselves to advancement of peaceful conduct during the coming governorship election and in subsequent elections.

“Since all political parties are signatories to the Revised Political Parties Code of Conduct which commits all political parties to peaceful conduct at all times before, during and after elections, it is the duty of politicians and political stakeholders to ensure compliance to this code.

“But we all know that more than the law, it is the personal commitment of political parties and candidates that can create the kind of peaceful atmosphere for the conduct of free, fair, credible and transparent election that we all desire as a nation.”

Although political leaders present at the workshop pledged their commitment to ensure peace, the governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, Senator Sunday Fajimin, blamed the APC and the PDP for the political violence in the state. He said that the two parties should be cautioned in order to have a peaceful poll. Fajimin also suggested that making elective offices unattractive would discourage those who were not ready to serve but were only interested in stealing public resources.

But as the D-Day draws closer, the APC alleged in a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan that the PDP, in connivance with two ministers, planned to assassinate Aregbesola and fraudulently hijack power by manipulating the election process.

The Chairman of the APC in Osun State, Mr. Adelowo Adebiyi, who was flanked by the party’s secretary, Mr. Gboyega Famodun , the Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy of the party, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi and a chieftain of the party in Osogbo, Alhaji Fatai Oyedele, called on the President to call the PDP and the ministers to order.

They alleged that the PDP was planning to bring in fake soldiers to unleash terror on the people and arrest APC leaders before the election.

The letter read in part, “The President should order his party, PDP, to halt any plan to violently rig the August 9 governorship election through the undemocratic process of militarising the state and terrorising its citizens with thugs dressed in military camouflage shortly before, during and after the election.

“Mr. President, we have also been reliably informed by dependable sources within the PDP that a mass arrest and possible assassination of top government officials loyal to our party, including our party elders, was being planned by the PDP supporters.

“A PDP hit list for arrest and assassination has been drawn-up. Those on the list are top government functionaries and APC elders. It perhaps may interest Mr. President that top on the PDP hit list is Rauf Aregbesola, the incumbent governor of Osun State.”

The allegation came on the same day a national leader of the APC, Gen. Muhamadu Buhari (retd) escaped a terrorist attack in Kaduna State. This development is making some of the residents of Osun State to believe that the allegation might not be spurious after all.

Although the allegation of planned assassination of Aregbesola is yet to be proved beyond reasonable doubt, the killing of a member of the APC in Ilesa, Tolu Adeosun, during the campaign of the PDP candidate in the town has triggered tension ahead of the poll. It was gathered that some APC hoodlums had on Thursday night attacked PDP members pasting Omisore’s campaign posters in the town ahead of the rally scheduled for Friday. Having suffered defeat in the first brawl, some PDP thugs were said to have invaded the area on Friday during the campaign and Adeosun, whose wife was said to have been delivered of a baby recently, was killed in the crisis.

With the attacks, allegations and counter-allegations coming from the two leading parties, tension is beginning to rise among the residents of Osun State. But what is paramount on the mind of the people is that security agents should step up their work and ensure that there is peace before, during and after the poll while transparency by the Independent National Electoral Commission is very important to ensure that the will of the majority is not perverted.

Source: THE PUNCH

ooni

Ahead of Osun guber poll- Ooni sends message to politicians, Ife people

OSOGBO—The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade has appealed to all the politicians in Ile-Ife not to turn the community into a theatre of war.

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The foremost traditional ruler also advised the residents of the ancient town to shun violence before and during the August 9 governorship election in the state. Oba Sijuwade’s appeal came against the rising wave of violence between the supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC and its main challenger, the Peoples Democratic Party PDP.

The monarch, who spoke through the Obalufe of Ife, Oba S F Omisakin at a press briefing held at the House of Chiefs in the Palace of the Ooni of Ife warned against political violence in the ancient town.

The monarch, who decried the recent violent attack between members of the APC and those of the PDP stressed the need for all politicians in the town to preach peace and work towards sustenance of peaceful co-existence.

At the briefing attended by all traditional chiefs in Ile-Ife and heads of various quarters, the Ooni of Ife, who is also the President, Osun State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs said only a peaceful election could guarantee development in the state.

He stressed that all the candidates seeking the Governorship position were his children, hence his resolve to render necessary advice to them in the interest of the state and the Yoruba nation at large.

“I have no preferred candidate among all the candidates’ they are all my children. There is non of them that would emerge as the winner that can neglect Ile-Ife, this is because they are all from the source”, he said.

He also called on the residents of the ancient town to be vigilant to strange faces recruited to distrupt the hitherto peaceful atmosphere of the town.

The first class monarch also advised Political gladiators in the state to refrain from violence and play politics in the most peaceful style as lay down by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

However, he maintained that “Ooni remains committed to Ife sons and Daughters who have been contributing in kind and cash to the progress and development of Ile_Ife, but says no to violence and thuggery as miscreants and political thugs shall be handed over to the law enforcement agents.”

BY GBENGA OLARINOYE

Culled from: VANGUARD

Ooni, Alaafin

Yoruba obas to reconcile Ooni, Alaafin •Meet in Ibadan

OONI & ALAAFINTRADITIONAL rulers from the Yoruba speaking states of the country have said that in a short while, the feud between two foremost obas in the region, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II, and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III.

The traditional rulers, under the aegis of Yoruba Obas Conflict Resolution Committee, made this assertion in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Saturday.

Leader of the committee, the Olugbo of Ugbo kingdom, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan, who addressed journalists after the five-hour closed-door meeting, said as much as it ought to be understood that the two first class traditional rulers were fathers to all Yoruba, their coming together would foster the possibility of the race speaking with one voice, adding that this would be realised sooner than expected.

“The two of them are very senior obas. We are their children. With time and very soon, they will come together,” he said.

The committee also spoke on the forthcoming national conference, noting that though it had not got mandate to make public the position that Yoruba obas would canvass at the confab, it could confirm that those positions were already being compiled.

“The conference matter has already settled itself. We have not been authorised to say what our positions are. But I can tell you that we are compiling our positions, since we have agreed that it is a good omen for the country.”

The Olugbo had earlier seized the occasion to present the new secretary, Public Relations Officer (PRO) and treasurer of the committee to the public. They are the Sabiganna of Iganna, Oba Saliu Oyemade Azeez (Oyo); the Obagbalure of Igbetu, Oba Adeniyi Ajayi-Kool (Ondo); and the Olojodu of Ojodu, Oba Sikiru A. Obatula (Ogun), respectively.

Other traditional rulers at the meeting were the Odoka of Ogbaro, Oba Obafemi Ogbaro; Odede of Igboegunrin, Oba (Dr) P. O. Kalejaiye; the Oniwere of Iwere-Ile, Oba Raphael Olatunde Akinyemi; the Ajobu of Araromi-Osu, Oba Aderemi Adesola; the Owa of Ogbagi-Akoko, Oba Victor Adetona, the Molokun of Ajijere, Oba Samuel Adeoye Edema; and the Ahaba of Ajaba, Oba T. O. Adesayo.

Source: Tribune

Ooni of Ife

Ile-Ife already in place before birth of Jesus Christ, Oyo town – Ooni of Ife

Ooni of IfeOoni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade said yesterday in Ibadan that Ile-Ife had been in existed over 10,000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, and even before Oyo town, warning people against distortion of history.

Sijuwade made this fact known while delivering his goodwill message at the Lead City University where he was given an honorary Doctor of Public Administration award along with three others.

He furthered: “Ile- ife was created 10,000 years before the birth of Christ. Epeland was created in 1832, Agodoyo where Alaafin is was created in 1837.

Then how can anyone say it has existed before Ile-Ife. This is distortion of history and it should be stopped. We all belong to Ile-Ife and it will remain forever until God decides otherwise and by that time, none of us here will be around.”

He also kicked against the idea of parents sending their children to government institutions, saying “this is my first time at the Lead City and with what I saw here today it is better for our children to attend private university than government own university. I can say with all emphasis that Lead City University is better than many of the government owned universities around. I am very proud of the university.”

Other awardees were Mr. Falil Ayo Abina (a banker) who received Doctor of Banking and Finance Science, Dr Thompson Abayomi Osin, a physiotherapy in Nigeria and Africa’s first physiotherapist who received the doctor of science and Mr. Bayo Jimoh, Group Managing Director (GMD) of Odua Investment Company who received a Doctor of Science, Business Administration.

Source: Vanguard

Ooni of Ife

Ooni’s Peace Initiative

Ooni of IfeThe Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, played the role expected of him as an elder and a father of all when he averted what would have snowballed into a bloody clash between members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employees Association (RTEAN) recently.

These two unions in their characteristic bellicose approaches to issues had been at loggerheads over which of them would control the motor parks in Ife Central and Ife East Local Government Council Areas. But for the intervention of Oba Sijuwade, another bloody crisis would have ensued which might to have resulted in wanton destruction of lives and property. This is why we find the peace parley initiated by the Ooni of Ife a commendable one.

According to report in this newspaper, Oba Okunade Sijuwade on hearing about the muscle-flexing between the two associations had invited them to his palace where amicable resolution of the issue was achieved. Report in this newspaper further quoted Oba Sijuwade (while settling the quarrel) as saying that; “what the ancient city needs most is development and peace not unnecessary bickering or leadership tussle.”

Traditional rulers in their respective domains are expected to be peace makers. They must ensure that peace and tranquility reign supreme in their domains at any given point in time, for it is under an atmosphere of peace that we can witness development. This is the message that the Oba of Ife transmitted to the unions. In playing this pacific role Oba Okunade has shown exemplary leadership.

Any traditional leader that is worth his title must be seen to be keeping peace within his domain and not fueling crises. There had been situations in the past when traditional rulers who are supposed to be fathers for all had taken sides on issues like this or similar ones in which case the consequences had been disastrous. Taking sides on issues like this would have aggravated situations. And like we stated above it’s on this score that we believe that Oba Sijuwade deserves praise for the fatherly role he played by averting what could have led to a major bloodbath.

In retrospective, clashes between transport workers had always left unquantifiable destruction in their wake. We recall here the transport workers’ clash in Ibadan between Gani Akinsola’s (popularly known as Tokyo) faction and Elewe Omo’s faction. It’s still fresh in people’s memory how many lives were lost and millions of property destroyed. Even the innocent who had nothing to do with their crisis also became victims. Whenever there was crisis between these unions a lot of havoc had always been wreaked before government succeeded in overpowering them.

Thus, the destructions that would have been recorded in the aborted clash is better imagined especially when viewed against the background of the volatile nature of the area where the clash wanted to take place – being an area in Yoruba land that is prone to ethnic clashes. Should the unions be allowed to war-war then some ethnic bigots could catch in on it which might lead to another ethnic clash. The Ife-Modakeke wars in the past remain sad commentaries of Yoruba history. We pray such will never happen again.

No doubt a major crisis had been averted by Oba Sijuwade’s wise intervention. We want to see him treading this path and we like to also call on all monarchs in Yoruba land to borrow a leaf from the step the Ooni of Ife took. He has actually lived up to the billing. Like we earlier stated this is what is expected of our Obas who are the custodians of our culture. They must always be seen to be playing neutral and pacific roles. This is the only way they can retain their honour and integrity. Any monarch that revels in aiding and abetting crises is not worth his title.

While we give kudos to Oba Sijuwade for doing the expected in this circumstance, we like to appeal also to our transport unions to always embrace peace in their doings. They must always vote for amicable resolutions of issues that may occur between them because it is only under an atmosphere of peace that we can witness progress and development. Thus it is important we all work together to ensure peace so we can help the present government to achieve one of its cardinal objectives; ‘To achieve communal peace and progress’

Ooni - Obasanjo

Aregbe’s Victory: Ooni, Obasanjo’s Final Demystification

Ooni - Obasanjo

Once again, the transience of power played out itself in Osun State penultimate Friday when the state erupted in a spontaneous wild jubilation over the fall of impostor Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola from the Olympian height of power. Never in the history of the 19-year-old state has such a common source of joy experienced in the nooks and crannies of the state. It was only the sudden demise of another military President Sani Abacha that attracted such nationwide wild jubilation. Oyinlola’s crash from power became a common binding factor among the different strata of the long-suffering people of the state of the Living Spring.

Immediately the landmark judgment was heard, people who had long been held in literary captivity rolled out drums, turning the state into a theatre of monumental celebration. Joy, happiness, freedom, prosperity and hope which had, long ago, taken flight from the state hurriedly staged a come back with the speed of thunder. All these virtues were sighted walking on four legs. Just as such a binding factor of joy was a rarity in the state prior to the landmark verdict under discuss, it would be doubtful if any event can arouse a similar common interest again in the state.

Prior to the filing-in of the five-man member of the Court of Appeal panel under the chairmanship of Justice Clara-Bata Ogunbiyi, there was apprehension in the court because it was a day a winner and a loser would emerge; a day set aside to tell the people of Osun who their governor they actually voted for was. The apprehension was further felt when it was only one Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Deji Sasegbon, that led other lawyers to represent the petitioners while the respondents paraded no fewer than five SANs led by Chief Adebayo Adenipekun. There was further apprehension when the panelists which started sitting at 10.00am were busy conferring among themselves and scribbling down something for 37 minutes. Oyinlola’s SANs came into the court with high spirit, exchanging pleasantries and banters with Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s lone SAN, asking him: “What should we expect today?” It was Mr Nathaniel Oke who actually asked the question. Malam Yusuff Ali (SAN) who had been leading Oyinlola’s lawyers was conspicuously absent on the day of the judgment which was read for about five hours (between 9.30am and 2.30pm).

A unique feature of the judgment was that all network services of mobile telephones inside the court room were demobilized as nobody could either call, or receive any information through telephone. This feature which was first noticed by me at the Press Gallery proved disastrous to Mr Kunle Kalejaiye, one of Oyinlola’s senior lawyers who has just been indicted by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) over his unprofessional conduct in the election case which has become a watershed in the history of election petition cases in this country; being the longest that lasted three and a half years. Unknown to Kalejaiye that all phone lines had been demobilized, he tried severally in vain to get across to God-knows-who through text messages. He became apparently worried, sinking further into the bench on which he was sitting. His face suddenly became swollen and dejected and it was as if he had been bedridden for months. When the tone of the verdict as it was being read was not in the favour of his client, Kalejaiye became dumbfounded, gazing at the ceiling of the court room. Initially, there was a false confidence in the camp of Oyinlola’s lawyers when the court upheld the cross appeal of their client. It was this cross appeal ruling that prompted some marginally literate members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to storm out to feed their equally illiterate and uninformed members with a false imformation that the PDP was winning. At this juncture, the PDP members had busted into victory songs accompanied with attack on ACN members around.

At a point, Mr Adebayo Adelodun (SAN), one of Oyinlola’s counsel, rebuffed copious efforts by Kalejaiye to explain something to him while the judgment was being read. Former Osun State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Niyi Owolade who could not believe the outcome of the judgment for some time sank into his bench. If he had the supernatural power, Owolade would have asked the floor of the court room to swallow him. But it was too late. The Ifetedo-born Oyinlola’s Attorney-General pretended to be sleeping throughout the duration of the verdict session. At the end of the verdict, Owolade was too dazed to make his allocutus, thus denying the people an opportunity to listen to his manufactured Queen’s English. About two hours into the reading of the judgment, a PDP governorship aspirant in Osun State, Mr Diran Odeyemi who doubles as an aide to another controversial and ornament-loving Oyo State Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala was the first person to leave the court with dejection.

Osun PDP Director of Publicity, Mr Adeolu Adeyemo followed suit after he had conferred briefly with Kalejaiye. The Editor of OSUN MAIL Newspaper, the mouth organ of the PDP in the state, the Egbado, Ogun State-born Seun Adeoye, also left the court room when he was disappointed beyond redemption with the judgment. He was too shocked; how he would splash the headline of the verdict became a big concern to him. Will Adeoye put in a banner headline of his newspaper that his principal had lost election? Alas! He was in a dilemma which was orchestrated by a long-time unprofessional approach to journalism profession. The newspaper was off the street for that week.
omo-osun
It was learnt that OSUN MAIL edition for last week could not be distributed because it had wrongly pre-empted the verdict; the publication of which would have hung sedition charges on the neck of the newspaper and its handlers.

If the news of the Oyinlola crash from power attracted a tumultuous ecstatic crowd from all walks of life, the inauguration of Engineer Aregbesola as authentic Osun State Governor On November 27 at Technical College, Osogbo, was first of its kind in the political history of the state. Being the product of the longest election petition litigation in the country, virtually all segments of the society were interested in the outcome. As early as the eve of the inauguration, Osogbo, the state capital started to play host to admirers and well-wishers from across the nation in thousands. The influx of the people continued in a geometrical proportion to the extent that the hitherto scanty state capital became overpopulated with both human and vehicular traffic.

On the inauguration day, I did not envy security operatives of the police, State Security Service (SSS) and Nigerian Civil Defence Corps extractions as they performed optimally in order to keep orderliness on the occasion. The venue became jam-packed with human beings who were anxious to be part of the celebration.

It is on record that since I was launched into this world, no event had ever attracted such a multitude of people. Something similar to that was when that renowned German tele-evangelist, Pastor Reinhard Bonnke, carried his missionary activities to the state of the Living Spring about eight years ago. The inauguration epitomized triumph of truth over falsehood. It was indeed a day of liberation for the psychologically traumatized people of Osun State. The judgment day was indeed the day of reckoning for Oyinlola which had been severally foretold in this column. It will now dawn on the Okuku prince that he had been living in a fool’s paradise. He surrounded himself with sycophants who were attracted to him because of his power over the state treasury. The one-star retired Army General mistook sycophantic patronage for political popularity and acceptability, flaunting his 35 years’ working experience as a military man. With the Okuku prince’s braggadocio, Rauf, a civilian, thrashed him beyond redemption. Sources close to Oyinlola disclosed that he was still sedated and jolted with the outcome of the electoral litigation that has finally nailed his political coffin. Fear of unknown after the verdict is now haunting him. Oyinlola and some of his group of cohorts should be ready to answer all criminal allegations contained in the final police security report on the April 14, 2007 governorship and house of assembly elections. There cannot be peace without justice. Now that the coast is clear, the police must swing into action dispassionately and do what is right, fair and just in the interest of justice. Afterall, it is on record that so many people were killed by the PDP thugs at the instance of their principals on April 14, 2007 in Osun State.

Oyinlola is not the only loser of the mandate stealing episode; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade; former President Olusegun Obasanjo; fake Awoist Chief Ebenezer Babatope; Alhaji Shuaib Oyedokun; Senator Iyiola Omisore; Chief Abiola Ogundokun; Alhaji Ademola Rasaq among numerous others are all losers. Infact, the development is a total demystification of the pungently and brazenly partisan Ooni Sijuwade who pitched his tent with political rascals and nincompoops with the sole aim of defrauding the state. It will be on record that the Ooni, once again, missed an opportunity to make restitution when he had all the time at his disposal. At eighty something, I doubt it if it is not too late in the day for him to change over a new leaf by genuinely identifying with the people. The Ooni, against numerous cautions, abandoned the people and became an active partaker in attracting sorrow, under-development, harassments, oppression mandate stealing and other socio-political ills into the state of the Living Spring by being a political godfather to a political infidel like Oyinlola. I wonder the business of the old monarch in partisan politics that has brought avoidable shame and insult to him at the twilight of his life?

The Aregbesola electoral victory is also an indication that anything achieved through fraudulent means will never stand. Retired General Obasanjo’s ‘empire’ which was fraudulently built in 2003 in a bid to give a false impression of his popularity and acceptability in the South-West geopolitical zone is now crumbling before him. Which disgrace can surpass that? My prayer is that God should spare the lives of the Otta chicken farmer and the Ooni when Ogun and Oyo states would be retrieved from the reactionary group. Chief Babatope (Ebino Topsy) must be licking his wound now with the summary defeat of Oyinlola. What happens to Babatope’s imperial justification of his party’s pyrrhic victory that ‘Aregbesola won in the rural areas’ in the April 14, 2007 elections?. The old and former disciple of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo should bury his head in shame with the current political development in Osun as what he wanted to eat blackfolded him from saying the truth. Oyedokun has long being boxed into a ward leadership in Odo-Otin from a national leadership of his party. This is enough shame to the political harlot who raised up Rauf’s hand during his short fraternity with the progressives.

Ogundokun who has a pending case of burglary and theft against him in Lagos State should quit politics because unfolding events have shown that he is one of the spent political forces in this state. Omisore’s political coffin has been finally nailed; he should perish his thought of going back to the senate as it is known to rational minds that in a saner clime, he is not even an ideal candidate for a local government council chairmanship election. The state chairman of the opposition party, the PDP, Rasaq, notoriously known as ‘Landero’ who has been under intensive medication since the tsunami verdict that swept off the PDP from the political theatre of Osun will now know that power indeed is transient. I wish him speedy recovery from his shock-related ailment. Till next week.