Sequel to the alleged action of a team of the Department of State Service (DSS) against the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi yesterday at the inauguration of the remodeled Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, words from the Alaafin’s palace are indicative that the Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde was not remotely connected with the incident.
Since the news broke last night, Governor Makinde had been linked with the incident with allegation that he surreptitiously intended to embarrass Oba Adeyemi and other traditional rulers at the ceremony.
TheTabloid.net investigation revealed that Oba Adeyemi, however, was not happy with those stories suspiciously aimed at creating tension between the palace and government house, insisting there was nothing suggestive of Governor Makinde’s disrespect to him, in particular, and the traditional institution as a whole.
The Alaafin was said to have repeatedly warned people around him to be cautious of social media content despite that he is also on the space, but sticks to traditional media because, according to him, they have history and address to trace if there is any need to reach them.
It was learnt that Governor Makinde, through one of his aides, had sent a special invitation card with some pass cards to the Alaafin some days earlier. Some soldiers through whom the royal entourage passed were said to have accorded him respect to his delight.
When he arrived the entrance of the stadium, a senior protocol officer from the office of the Governor was said to have met him with a clear message to make provision for him and his entourage.
Our source also learnt that the protocol officer joined the traditional ruler and his entourage to the gate until the DSS men put their feet on ground that only the Alaafin was entitled into the stadium, even while the protocol officer was reportedly making a case for the royal father.
Director of Media and Publicity to the Alaafin, Mr Bode Durojaye, confirmed the incident and added that Oba Adeyemi had turned back and returned to Oyo sooner afterwards.
Durojaye queried, “Why should anyone wickedly assume that the State Governor was aware of the disturbing treatment meted out to the Alaafin and other traditional rulers?”
He added, “what is worrisome to me is how some misguided elements have been attributing the overzealous treatment meted out to some traditional rulers, including the Alaafin by operatives of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) to His Excellency, the Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde.
“One of us came down from the vehicle and politely met with the Officer who led the soldiers to let him know that it was the Alaafin who came for the event and invited Guest. Immediately, the officer courteously assured our man that Alaafin would be allowed to pass. He immediately commanded his men to open the road road for the Monarch, which enabled us to pass through.
“Were these soldiers not security agents before accorded regard and due respect to the Alaafin? Why were they not needlessly overzealous to the Royal Fathers like the DSS men? The Governor had said it countless times that “Alaafin remains his father and no one can meddle between them”.
In his response to the incident, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa said that the Alaafin and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, were not denied entry into the stadium.
Adisa, in a statement, acknowledged that the royal fathers were too important to the state government to be prevented from attending the event, to which they had been duly invited, clarifying that inability of the monarchs to gain access into the main bowl “was because of the huge enthusiastic crowd that swarmed on the stadium and obstructed the movement of the monarchs’ convoys to the designated VVIP Drop Off zone, which was the easiest channel to their reserved seats.”
Adisa explained, “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. 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.”