By Daud Olatunji
Abeokuta—Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, yesterday, met with the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, in a bid to broker peace between the two top Yoruba traditional rulers.
Alake placed Ooni of Ife as number one, followed by Alaafin of Oyo, Oba of Benin, himself as number four and Awujale last.
He had based his grading on the classification provided by the colonial masters based on their remuneration. But Awujale responded at an event in Lagos where he described Alake as a junior traditional ruler in Yorubaland.
The governor and the two monarchs emerged from the meeting held at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan at 3:45 pm.
The meeting, which was reportedly at the instance of the governor lasted for three hours.
The closed door meeting was held by the governor, Awujale and Alake while those who accompanied them were not allowed at the meeting.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the meeting was stormy as the Awujale reportedly came with some newspapers which carried the latest Alake’s vituperation to express his anger.
It was further gathered that the Alake also expressed his disappointment over the Awujale’s comment on the ranking and the allegations levelled against him.
A top government official told Vanguard that the Awujale brought out a copy of Vanguard newspaper which carried the recent Alake reaction to his comment in Lagos.
Fielding questions from newsmen, the governor said the presence of the two monarchs had nothing to do with the current crisis between them.
The governor when asked about the outcome of the meeting with the Obas, said; “I don’t want you to go and write anything out of context. Yes, we are here, our fathers are here to see me. Of course, we deliberated on so many things. I’m sure you want to say what is happening. Indeed nothing is happening.
“They came here to see the possibility of how to make sure we have peace in the state, among so many other things that we discussed.
When asked about what transpired at the meeting, he said; “Don’t just sit somewhere and write. But for this matter, there is nothing like ranking of Obas. We know ourselves.”
When asked why he was at the governor’s office, Awujale said “I want to say hello to you….there is no problem gentlemen, please. Thank you. There is no crisis between us, thank you.”
In his response, Alake said he was at the Government’s House to brief him on the ongoing strike action by the state workers.
Our fathers have ways, even before the advent of the colonial masters and we have ways of living in harmony and I think we will continue to do that.
“Don’t forget, and I’m saying this again with all sense of responsibility, that in the context of we Yorubas, we know our pre-eminence status.
‘’Those of us from Ogun State want to keep up with that tradition. We are not going to fan any ember of disunity. What we are known for in Ogun State is that we are one and we are still one. Indeed, in the comity of the Yorubas, we know what we do, we know what we stand for and we will continue to do that”.
Attempt by newsmen to get the governor talking on the crisis failed as he was evasive, denying intervening in the crisis by asking; “Intervene in what?”