By James Ogunnaike
THE Olofin of Ado-Odo in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, Oba Lateef Adeniran has cleared the air on his purported return to the palace after seven years and seven months in exile that followed his attack in 2013.
It would be recalled that Oba Adeniran was in April 2013 attacked by some angry youths in the town.
He was beaten and stripped naked by the people, who were said to have earlier invaded his palace to vandalized cars and torch his house.
The youths at the time were protesting a Supreme Court judgment of January 12, 2009, which validated Adeniran’s appointment as the Olofin of Ado-Odo, Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.
Since then, the first-class Oba had been living in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, even as he attends to issues that have to do with the stool.
But Oba Adeniran, who spoke with Vanguard, said his return to the ancient town of Ado-Odo on Sunday 20th, December 2020 was at the instance of the youths of the town who invited him to a summit as the royal father.
The monarch said: “Though my entry into Ado-Odo last Sunday was greeted with pomp and pageantry accompanied by notable traditional rulers, it was at the instance of the youths of Ado-Odo. I was surprised by the type of reception I received when I got to Ado-Odo because everybody; young and old, male and female, trooped out to welcome me. I thank God for that and I thanked my people for the honour and respect they accorded me.
“Let me correct an impression in the media that suggested I returned to the palace. I was not dethroned or removed as an Oba. So, since I was not removed, how can they say I returned to the palace?
“All I have to say is to give thanks to God for His protection and benevolence on me in the last seven years and seven months. He has been gracious to me and my family.
“I will go back to Ado-Odo before the end of this year or early in 2021 because as I speak to you, the palace that was vandalized then is not yet ready for habitation.
“I have forgiven all those that attacked me then. To err is human and to forgive is for God. I don’t have anything against anybody. Immediately after the attack, I forgave them and I pray God to forgive and have mercy on them.
“I got a call from Ado-Odo that Sunday that immediately I left, it rained. Also, I learned that before my visit that Sunday, there was no light in Ado-Odo, but the power was restored after my visit. All these indicated that God has answered the prayers of Ado-Odo town and that peace has finally returned to the community.
“On my coronation day, there was rain as well.”
“I want to appreciate the youths of Ado-Odo, especially, Johnson Adegbola who initiated the youth summit that I was invited to as a royal father.
“I want to thank Governor Dapo Abiodun for the role he played to ensure that peace return to Ado Odo town. His efforts show that he is a man of peace and father of all.
“I want to urge all sons and daughters of Ado-Odo, both at home and Diaspora to embrace peace because, without peace, our town cannot grow.
“I will equally appeal to all Baales, Chiefs, and indigenes of Ado-Odo to join hands with me so that the desired development will come to the town.”