…Ajimobi condemns act, orders investigation
By Ola Ajayi
Ibadan—PANIC gripped residents of Popoyemoja area of Ibadan yesterday as four yet-to-be identified gunmen stormed the palace of Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji and fired several gunshots during an installation ceremony of new Baales at the palace.
The monarch had just conferred chieftaincy titles on two of the four Baale nominees when the hoodlums drove into the palace in a black Toyota Sienna van.
A former Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Chief Sarafadeen Alli and three journalists narrowly escaped death, during yesterday’s attack on the monarch’s palace.
Meantime, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, has condemned in strong terms the act of brigandage.
In a press release from the Special Adviser to the governor on Communication and Strategy, Mr. Yomi Layinka, the governor, after condemning the act, directed security agencies to ensure that the masterminds are swiftly arrested, interrogated and brought to justice.
Yesterday’s shooting which happened some minutes past 11am lasted for about 10 minutes.
After the sporadic gunshots, the gunmen who were unchallenged were said to have escaped through Molete axis of the city.
The gunshots forced residents of the area to scamper for safety.
Some newsmen were among those who escaped being hit by stray bullets.
Former Governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, known to be opposed to the review of 1957 Olubadan chieftaincy declaration and Chief Alli were at the palace at the time.
Alli, who is a strong politician in the state was particularly affected as his vehicle and others were riddled with bullets.
The bullets shattered the windscreen of his car. The black Sports Utility Van, SUV Land Cruiser with registration number, LAGOS: EPE 447 ER, was still at the palace ground at the time of filing this report. Another black Honda car also had its side window smashed.
Oba Adetunji and Ladoja opposed the recent review of the declaration and eventual installation of 21 new kings. Both of them have filed suits in court to challenge the review.
Though, the installation of the new Baales by the Olubadan was yet to be concluded at the time the hoodlums swooped on them, it was still carried out after the incident.
Reacting to the incident, Ladoja said he expected any aggrieved person over the installation to seek redress in court instead of resorting to violence and intimidation.
The ex-governor who rejected the beaded crown given to others in Olubadan-in-Council but preferred his Osi Olubadan title condemned yesterday’s shooting saying; “What the gunmen did was very bad. Anyone who is aggrieved about what the Olubadan is doing in his palace should go to court instead of resulting to violence. Sending gunmen to the palace to scare people is not the right thing to do. They want to scare people away from the palace because they know that the people are on the side of the Olubadan.
The-Olubadan-in-Council is an advisory body to the king. He has the right to install Mogajis and Baales.”
At the time violence erupted at the palace, the 21 new kings recently installed by the governor, were meeting at Mapo Hall.
Ajimobi condemns violence at Olubadan’s palace
Governor Abiola Ajimobi, while condemning the attack said: ‘’The attention of the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has been drawn to the alleged act of brigandage during a ceremony at the palace of the Olubadan, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji, yesterday.
‘’The governor condemns the said act in its entirety and has directed security agencies to ensure that the masterminds are swiftly arrested, interrogated and brought to justice.
‘’The governor has vowed not to brook anyone or group of people desirous of bringing back the regime of violence and brigandage to the state.
‘’He wishes to reiterate his commitment to the security and protection of lives and properties of all citizens of Oyo State, which he has laboured hard to restore and maintain in the last six years.’’
Those installed as Baales
Those installed yesterday were Baale of Lagelu Aboke Village, Lagelu Local Government Area, Sayeed Aderemi Alatise and the Baale of Adigun Village, Ona Ara LGA, Mr Taye Makinde Aikomo.
Vanguard gathered that some Baales, having been warned by some new Obas did not show up for installation. They were Tajudeen Oladejo Babaode and Pa Ezekiel Akinboade Ojedeju.
New obas tried to stop installation of baales The new obas had warned that the installation should not be done because it was not supported by all members of the Olubadan-in-council.
Oba Lekan Balogun, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, on behalf of Ibadan Obas in Council, had written a petition to stop the installation.
Consequently, the Ministry of Local government and Chieftaincy Matters, reportedly wrote to His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adetunji, to stop what they described as illegality.