GOVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi was at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Tuesday, to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the crisis arising from his installation of new obas (kings) in Ibadan, saying though, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, has done things that warrant his deposition, he will never remove him from office.
Speaking to State House corespondents after the meeting with the president, he revealed that he has given Buhari assurances that the royal father remains a father to him and he will therefore maintain that father and son relationship.
He also said that his administration’s new initiative on the state chieftaincy has been accepted by all concerned councils except one gubernatorial aspirant in the state.
The governor expressed confidence that the crisis was being resolved with the intervention of some well meaning stakeholders in the state.
Asked to disclose the thrust of his meeting with the president, he said it was to discuss the possibility of Oyo State taking over the Ikere Gorge Dam and the security issue from the Olubadan matter.
He said: “I also mentioned the issue of security to the President. Recall that Oyo State has been in the news because of the issue of Olubadan chieftaincy declaration.
“So, I came to let him know that the Olubadan is my father. He is a younger brother to my own father and we have had a very long relationship, which has been father-son relationship.
“I assured him that come rain, come shine, I will never depose the Olubadan because he is a father and a son does not depose his father.
“Even though his has done so many things that could be used to remove him, I will never remove him. We have to continue to show respect.
“I also made him to realise that that particular chieftaincy declaration is being politicised. Politicians have hijacked it.
“Out of 11 council members, two of them are dead now and we have only nine remaining. It is only one that is not supporting it; and that one that is not supporting, is a politician. He wants to run after I leave office.
“So, I believe that the Olubadan declaration issue is being hijacked by politicians.
“But let’s thank God that elders, stakeholders and well meaning Nigerians have intervened and I think reason will prevail. These are the things I have to let the President know.”
On the dam with a 600 million cubic centimeter reservoir, the governor argued that it would benefit the people of the state in terms of irrigation, water supply for households and industry.
He stated: “I came to talk to him about infrastructure that we require. For instance, we have the Ikere Gorge Dam in Oyo state, the fourth largest earth dam in the world, stretching almost 50 kilometers.
“We felt it would provide benefits to us, like in the area of irrigation, water supply, both industrial and household.
“Similarly, that dam can provide us with opportunities for farming and energy generation.
“So, I felt that Ikere Gorge Dam should be handed over to Oyo State or we participate through PPP in resuscitating the dam such that Oyo State can benefit from all the deliverables from the dam.”
He pointed out that it was just like Dakin Kowa Dam which had been transferred to the relevant state government.
“Similar thing was done in Dakin Kowa dam in Gombe state. The dam was given back to that state. So, Ikere dam can be given back to us as we are willing to make it work because it can serve Ogun, Lagos and Oyo State. I think we can make it work,” he said.
According to the governor, the President Buhari was happy with the idea.