In ambience of intellectual convergence devoid of social distractions at the NUJ Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, yesterday, an array of Ibadan critical stakeholders, including the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Mohood Olalekan Balogun, set agenda for the future of the historic city in the areas of economic development, education, health, politics, governance, and other important sectors and sub-sectors.
A former Secretary to Oyo State Government and Maye Balogun of Ibadanland, Chief Sharafadeen Alli was guest speaker at the gathering which included President-General, Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Prince Oluyemisi Adeaga; Senator Kola Balogun, representing Oyo South senatorial district in the National Assembly; President, Customary Court of Appeal, Oyo State, Justice Mashud Abass; former first lady of Oyo State and Agbaakin Iyalode of Ibadanland, Chief (Mrs.) Mutiat Ladoja; a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Otunba Kunle Kalejaiye; as well as Oyo State chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ademola Babalola.
Alli spoke extensively on ‘Ibadan: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’, as requested by the Oluseye Ojo-led Correspondents’ Chapel of NUJ, Oyo State Council commemorative the 100 days of the Olubadan on the throne.
The Oyo South senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023 general elections disclosed that leadership of Ibadanland had set up neighborhood security network to tackle civil disturbance, gangsterism and hooliganism that had constituted security threat to the future of the city.
He added that Ibadan indigenes were finding a way to insulate every occupier of Olubadan stool from unwholesome interference from any government in power in the state that could bring ridicule to the throne and natives of Ibadan
“Today, our fathers, the High Chiefs are the heads of the traditional councils of the 11 local government areas in Ibadanland. We are also thinking of ways of instituting reforms for that and a lot of work is being done by the present Olubadan and his advisory council. One of the things we are looking at is having things that will fetch money for the institution and as such, no governor or anybody will be able to say or do anything to the Olubadan.
“The fate of Ibadanland has been left too long in the hands of nobody. But, today we have the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) that is doing these things. Also, we have the native security network in Ibadan; those of us in town will know the effect of some of these things. This is because we all have a focus for the Ibadan of tomorrow. We took a cue from the governors of the South West in setting up Amotekun to say let us have our own neighbourhood security network. We are working with the police and Amotekun to ensure that this works.”
Adeaga, who said efforts were being put in place to complete the new Olubadan palace at Oke-Aremo, Ibadan, this year, stated that he wants to see Ibadan natives, contesting to become president of Nigeria and for Ibadan, the capital of Yorubaland, to be upgraded to the status of state like Kano and Enugu, that were capitals of Northern and Eastern Regions respectively.
According to him, “Security is a technical issue and it is not at all about physical assault. A lot of things are being deployed to resolve security challenges. Apart from the psychological aspect of it, there’s deployment of IT for solution to security challenges. Even at Ibadan level, we have a network of security revolving round all Mogaji(compound heads), baales (village heads) and chiefs of Ibadanland.
“Nearly environment where there’s security challenge, it is not always difficult to zero in on place that environment because the Mogajis are involved, they know their people. It is not always difficult to track people in such areas and that is why the incidences are reducing. As regards external attack and when it comes to external attack, that is where we have the security fill challenges, you cannot control people entering the country.”
Balogun, noted that Ibadan of the past consisted of great warriors that stopped the war to capture Yorubaland by Fulani Jihadist many years ago, and he wants Ibadan Airport to become an international airport to serve as an alternative to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. He said nobody is fight physical war again, urging the people of Ibadanland, especially the youth, to engage in intellectual battles, rather than hooliganism, gangsterism, civil disorder (Ija igboro) that is regarded as the disease of Ibadan.
The Olubadan, who was represented by the Osi-Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Lateef Adebimpe Gbadamosi, commended the Correspondents’ Chapel of NUJ in the state for organising the lecture to celebrate 100 days of the new Olubadan on the throne, saying such was unprecedented in Ibadan.
The former First Lady of Oyo State, who was represented by a former state director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mrs. Dolapo Dosunmu, and representative of Otunba Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN); Justice Mashud Abass; and Oyo NUJ chairman, Ademola Babalola, also spoke on the kind of future that Ibadan indigenes must desire and work to achieve.