BY DAUD OLATUNJI
Abeokuta—THE Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona has cautioned President Goodluck Jonathan and governors in the country against gagging critics of their governments.
The traditional ruler also advised that rather than attacking their critics with governments machineries, the substance of their criticism should be examined for the betterment of the country.
Oba Adetona stated this, weekend, during the grand luncheon party held to mark his 80th birthday at Dipo Dina International stadium, Ijebu-Ode.
While commenting on the reactions of the governments to criticism made against them, the octogenarian appealed to them to allow free expression of opinions.
According to him, many times these days, your excellencies, I see people making statements when they point out the ills of the nation, the next thing they will say is that, it is treason, he must be prosecuted, the Police must interrogate him, that is not how to run a country.
“People should be free to express their opinion the way they see and the best reaction is to see what substance in the statement, what correction, what adjustment can be done in the interest of the nation.
This is the appeal I have for all governments, I am not limiting it to the Federal Government, I include the state governments, I include local governments, I include Obas, we should be tolerant. Try to see the substance of any criticism, that is the only way we can advance in this country”, Awujale said .
‘Why I call Osoba gentleman in my book’
Meanwhile, the monarch has disclosed what endeared him to the former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Segun Osoba, saying, despite the fact that he opposed Osoba’s governorship ambition in 1999, he did not use his government to humiliate him after he won.
Oba Adetona, while recounting his encounter with Osoba shortly before he became governor of the state, said Osoba was the only personality he referred to as a gentleman in his recently launched book.
According to him, when he was contesting an election, we have had governor from Egba, we have had from Ijebu, so, I said this time, let Yewa (Ogun West) produce a candidate and he came up. I was against him and summoned a meeting with my people, I said this time you must go and pick a candidate from Yewa, but, many of them, I don’t know whether he gave them money or what happened, they betrayed me and supported him.
“So, he emerged as governor of Ogun State. Then, I think the usual thing is to see how he will humiliate me, which I was ready to face, but, rather than do that, he cultivated me and that is the foundation of our friendship till today”, the royal father said.