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Don't Drag Traditional Institution To The Mud, Oba Odidiomo Cautions Ondo Monarchs Over Akeredolu

AyoAROWOJOLU 06/26/2020

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Oba Afolabi Odidiomo, the Olu of Igbokoda, a riverine community in Ondo State, has not stopped being vocal, even if his views run contrary to the current tide, especially when speaking truth to those holding sway in the corridors of power.

Not surprising, the monarch, a lawyer, who was known in his days in the late 80's as a radical and an erstwhile leader of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), is still very much himself.

Odidiomo was popularly called "Speedy"at the then University of Ife and had regular brushes with the Police and State Security officers, leading to frequent arrests, incarceration and detention.

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Gov Akeredolu prostrating before Ondo Obas

The monarch's reaction when his opinion was sought over Thursday's purported endorsement, by the Ondo State Council of Traditional Rulers, of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu's second term bid, was that of outrage.

The royal fathers who all lined up before an Akeredolu literally postrating to appease them, vowed not only to support the Governor but to openly canvass for votes in all the 18 local government areas.

In fact, the Olugbo of Ugbo,, Oba Frederick Akinruntan, who spoke for the monarchs openly declared that all Obas in the state, have agreed to set up working committees across the three Senatorial zones who will go from house to house to seek votes for Akeredolu.

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However, in a telephone interview with Oba Odidiomo, he blamed the other monarchs for not being sensitive and foresighted enough to know that their action was capable of further dragging the traditional institution to the mud, regardless of their interest in the Governor.

Hear him: "Ordinarily the role of an Oba is to be the custodian of the tradition and customs of the people, and helping to maintain law and order within their domains.

"I am not disappointed at the outlook of average Yoruba man's rating of our Obas. The Obas have allowed politicians and their quest for money and recognition to make them a pun in the hands of politicians and the wealthy. 

"The general rule is that an Oba should be apolitical. Therefore, it is not possible to say you are apolitical if you adopt a candidate or go out to campaign for a party. Those you do not campaign for will hate or deride you while. members of the other parties will also deride you.

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"I think most Obas today are politicians in one guise or the other. Let us remove the facade that they are apolitical so that the ruling party will not cajole them to say what they don't believe in. So, if any Oba wants to contest election or support any party, he will be so free to so do. 

"We cannot at one breath be partisan, supporting government in power and to others say, we are no politicians. Many are afraid to oppose any government in power even if you are not satisfied"

Asked to specifically comment on the endorsement of the Governor by the monarchs, Odidiomo stressed: 

"Well, I wouldn't want to be dragged into the right or wrong of what the State Council of Obas did. They are all adults and very big Obas. If the majority says we are supporting the Governor, I have no choice. 

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"But, my problem is that there are many contestants. Some are even my cousins. And, it becomes a difficult pill to voice my opinion. I was told by a politician that Obas are civil servants who must support the Government in power. But, I doubt if that is the judgement of the Supreme Court. I know Akeredolu, who is a SAN will respect the law of the land. I am sure he has not forced the Kings but I also know that many cannot openly oppose even if they do."

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Source: opera.com
The views expressed in this article are the writer's, they do not reflect the views of Opera News. Read more>>
Top Comments
Timilad · 06/26/2020
An adage says, the head of a toddler should not go bend in the presence of elders. If the Kabiyesis look on while falsehood, rebellion, perfidy, gangsterism etc, are going on, by the time the negative results of their muteness manifest, the state could have collapsed or be in conflagration. Therefore, I give them kudos for speaking up now that it matters. They cannot pretend not to know what is right or and how the state has feared in the past three and a half years and then decided not to allow retrogression but continuity. Mind you, they know the character of all aspirants.
+234-0810171**** · 06/26/2020
Good talk from a man of integrity, long time and prosperity sir
+234-802696**** · 06/26/2020
These Obas, while can't they learn from what is happening in Edo state? Where the Oba and other traditional rulers have totally insulated themselves from politics and political issues.
GUEST_kwxoJ6ZPw · 06/26/2020
Sorry can any Oba guarantee any victory for any LG Chairman, ler alone State. If the mouthal support given by trado rulers is solid enough to guarantee success for any political leader, then no incumbent will lose any election. Shameful Obas...

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