The Oyo state government, has on Thursday, September 2, issued a press statement, stating reasons why the two paramount traditional rulers, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III and the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, were barred from entering the new Lekan Salami Stadium on Wednesday, September 1, during the unveiling ceremony of the rehabilitated stadium.
In the Statement, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said that the two first class monarchs, were too important to be stopped from attending the event, to which they had been duly invited.
In the Thursday Statement titled, “Lekan Salami Stadium Unveiling: Alaafin, Olubadan Not Stopped From Entering – Oyo Government”, the State government explained that, the Alaafin and the Olubadan’s presence were well recognized and appreciated, with their seats duly and honourably reserved at the event, contrary to what some news reports have said.
Mr. Adisa speaking on behalf of the Oyo State government said, the State government valued the presence of the Monarchs, with emphasis that,
“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 at reports indicating that the convoys of the revered monarchs were not treated accordingly and would take appropriate steps to correct any untoward indication…”
He added that,
“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.”
Adisa however, cautioned peddlers of fake news, to desist from such act, which is capable of causing unnecessary rifts between the Oyo State government and the traditional leaders. He further gave clarification on what actually happened at the Lekan Salami Stadium complex, on Wednesday September 1.
“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 Oyo State Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, therefore, stated the names and titles of all other monarchs well recognized at the event and who were seated inside the VVIP box as at the time the incidence was said to have happened. They include: the Olugbon of Ile Igbon, Aseyin of Iseyin, the Okere of Saki, the Olu of Igboora.
He stressed that,
“this was an evidence that the government places huge premium of respect on the stools of our forebears as occupied by the Kabiyesis.
Mr. Taiwo Adisa, again, used the medium to debunk false news disseminated by some media houses alleging that the Aseyin of Iseyin and the former Governor of the State, Rashidi Ladoja shunned the Wednesday event.
“For instance, some online reports claimed that, the Aseyin of Iseyin was not allowed entry. That is very far from the truth. The Aseyin was inside the stadium and he stayed throughout the event.”
“Some of the mischief makers also alleged that former Governor Rashidi Ladoja boycotted the event and this too, is a big lie, as the Osi Olubadan attended and gave a goodwill message at the event. We can only advise mischief makers and fake news carriers to stop their ploys, as no antic would work against the good intentions of the governor and the positive impact that the re-modelling of the once-neglected Lekan Salami Stadium has made on Oyo State.”
The Oyo Chief Press Secretary, also thanked the Aseyin of Iseyin, for clarifying the untrue stories reported by some media outfit. He said,
“It is instructive that the Kabiyesi has come out to clarify that falsehood and also adduce reasons, which could have been responsible for the inability of the Alaafin of Oyo and Olubadan of Ibadanland to gain access into the Stadium.”