A visibly angry Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, on Tuesday descended on the leadership of a pressure group, ‘Ijebu Agenda’, directing the people to stone them wherever they are found, as they were out for pecuniary gains instead of a genuine agitation for an Ijebu to emerge as the next Governor of Ogun State in 2019.
The Ijebu Agenda, a pressure group within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State led by Dr. Gbolade Osinowo, had recently endorsed Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, as its consensus candidate after a controversial selection process opposed by party leaders and traditional rulers across Ijebuland.
But the Awujale, who spoke in parables about his desire for an Ijebu to become the next Governor of Ogun State, distanced himself from the leadership of the group and everything they have done so far. Speaking to a gathering of Ijebu business, political and religious leaders at the pavillion in his palace during the annual Christian prayer for Ijebuland, the Awujale urged the people not only “to disregard these merchants of pecuniary gains, but to stone them anywhere they are found.”
According to him, “Some people recently came to me here in the palace to discuss the politics of succession in Ogun State, saying Ijebus were about to be cheated of their turn in 2019. These people are politicians, and normally, I do not dabble into politics, because most of them are dishonest. They have since proved me right, because their work so far has shown they have no love of Ijebuland at heart. They are only after what they can get for themselves.
“After all these their deceptions using the name of Ijebu people and collecting money from governorship aspirants all over the place, if you see them, stone them; throw sticks at them; make them know shame. Be assured that they are Omolanke (hand drawn cart), they cannot carry loads from Ijebu Ode to Ibadan. So, those being deceived by them should take note.”
In a subtle reference to the agitation for an Ijebu Governor in 2019, the Oba said, “Let’s be prayerful. Nothing is impossible with prayers. Our star will still shine in Ijebuland. We are often worried when things are like these. But we must have faith, because Ijebu has always shone. We will shine again. Let’s keep our focus on God. With prayers, God will fulfill our dreams.”
On the deplorable state of roads across Ijebuland, which earlier speakers had complained about, the Awujale assured the gathering that the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has promised that ongoing road projects will be completed with new ones being done as well. “Our Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has assured me that the bad roads in Ijebuland will soon be a thing of the past. But we pray that this promise is fulfilled,” he said.
Speaking almost in a similar vein to that of the Awujale, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), which organized the programme, Rev. Richard Oladele, said, “2019 will bring forth a new thing in Ogun State from Ijebuland. Our people should go and register to vote. Get your voter’s card. We need a Governor who will bring real development to Ogun State.” He also urged the Ogun State Government to complete all ongoing road projects ahead of the raining season in order to ease the hardship of commuters.
Dignitaries at the event included, former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; Akija of Ikija, Oba Kayode Alakija; Ogun State APC gubernatorial aspirant, Otunba Jimi Lawal; Gbegande of Ososa, Dr. Toye Alatishe; former Ogun State Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Lekan Bello; founder FCMB, Olori Omo Oba Subomi Balogun; property mogul, Rev. Jide Awosedo; Senator Lekan Mustapha; Otunba Seyi Oduntan; and Director General, Lands & Surveys, Mr. Biyi Ismail among others.