AWUJALE’s UNWARRANTED ATTACKS ON THE ALAKE AND PARAMOUNT RULER OF EGBALAND: FACTS & FALLACIES.
The attention of the Egba Nation has been drawn to the unwarranted vituperations of the Awujale of Ijebuland, His Majesty, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, on the Royal Person of the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, His Majesty, Oba Michael Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, CFR, Okukenu IV, on Thursday 10 March, 2016. The spate of Oba Sikiru Adetona’s outbursts formed a major part of his speech at the launch of fund for a Chair at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye. This was in glare of many ompinion leaders, decision makers and character molders in Nigeria. They included Traditional Rulers, Captains of Industry, and the Academia.
We are however constrained to draw your attention to a Yoruba proverb, “Eni to o ha maybe he ogun k’ogun, yip pa itan k’itan. He who wants to justify his qualification ( albeit it unjust) for rights to an inheritance, would tell all sorts of stories, however ludicrous.
We are not concerned if the anger of the Awujale dwarfed the import his launch of fund for a Chair at the Olabisi Onabanjo University. Neither are we bothered that some Nigerian “creme-de-la-creme” present at the occasion were openly worried about the undue opportunity taken by the Awujale to insult their intelligence on contemporary history.
Our worry is predicated on the self-indulgence of our respected “Grandfather Monarch” to churn out outright historical falsehoods in the presence of knowledgeable Nigerians. In spite of our belief that his audience would have taken his attempt to rewrite contemporary history, according to personal feeling wishes, as an excursion into illusion, there is the urgent and necessary need to emphatically state hard facts and figures.
We wish to assure all Nigerians, indeed the Egbas, that we shall never degenerate into insulting the person of the Awujale in order to score blow-for-blow points. That would amount to a desecration of Yoruba Traditional “Omoluwabi” System. In fact the person and pedigree of our Suzerain, His Majesty, Alayeluwa Oba Michael Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, CFR, Okukenu IV, the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, does not support brazen disrespect to Traditional Institution. He even directed against tit-for-tat. We are therefore set to graphically put the records straight.
The Awujale devoted Paragraphs 21-29 (9) out of 25 of four and half page speech to unwarranted, unnecessary and misdirected personal and institutional violent verbiage against the Alake as well as the Egba Nation.
ALLEGATION: Alake quoted wrongly from a 1903 Government Gazette.
FACT: Alake quoted Government Gazette, Colony of Lagos, Saturday, 20th February, 1903. page 100,paragraph 16. You may wish read it up.
Paragraph 23: ALLEGATION: “Awujale made several calls to Alake to check if Alake actually made the statement. Also Awujale claimed that Oba Rilwan Akinolu, the Olowo Eko, also contacted Alake on same issue-which Alake again denied.”
FACT: Neither of the two Monarchs spoke with the Alake on the issue. THEREFORE ALAKE WOULD NEVER HAVE RENEGED ON A SUBJECT NOT DISCUSSED WITH EITHER OF THEM.
Paragraph 24: ALLEGATION: ALAKE REFERRED TO A NEWSPAPER REPORT AS GAZETTE.
FACT: Alake referred to Government Gazette of Saturday 20 February, 1903, page 100, paragraph 16. Even then a newspaper might source its information from a Government gazette.
Paragraph 24: ALLEGATION: “Who categorized the Yoruba Traditional Rulers?”
FACT: The then Ooni did at the of Central Native Council Meeting which was chaired by the Governor-General, His Excellency Sir William MacGregor, M.D, KCMG,CR. at Government House, Lagos. “Those in attendance included the Akarigbo of Sagamu, Elepe of Epe, Prince Obanikoro represented Prince Oyekan of Lagos, and the Alake of Abeokuta among others.” Please see the same Gazette.
Paragraph 24 ALLEGATION: “Alake was a junior chief in Egba Forest under Alafin from where he fled to Ibadan, only to be later sacked by the Ijebu army, which in turn sacked him before fleeing to Abeokuta- where he met the Oshile, the Olowu, the Agura and Olubara, all of who had settled in Abeokuta before him.”
FACT: There was no Alake in the Egba Forest. There was no Alake that fled to, or took refuge into Ibadan. Chronologically speaking, the arrival of the Alake in Abeokuta and those allegedly preceded him, does not appeal to any logic. This looks like a fairy tale or a history-turned upside down. The first Alake in Abeokuta was installed in 1845. Oshile and others followed much later.
Paragraph 24: ALLEGATION: “Alake from all historical records is a junior Oba like those under the Awujale in Ijebuland.” (We deliberately refuse to mention the names of the innocent obas so as not to humiliate them further as done earlier by the Awujale).
FACT: Just as there were the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode, theAkarigbo of Sagamu, the Baale of Osogbo, the Olooko of Oko, Prince of Lagos and so on, there was the title, “the Alake of Egbaland. These are part and parcel of the dynamics of history.
Alake is only comparable with the Awujale even now that they are both Paramount Rulers and Rotational Chairmen of Ogun State Traditional Council of Obas. Historically speaking, Alake was higher by the Salary Differentials paid by Colonial Government. For example see the table below.
LORD LUGARD’s GRADING AND SALARIES OF OBAS IN THE SOUTHERN PROVINCES.
A: First Class
Alaafin Oyo £4.200
Alake of Abeokuta £2.250
Awujale of Ijebu-Ode. £1,700
Oba of Benin. £1,65
Ooni of Ife. £1,440
Olubadan of Ibadan £2,400
Ona of Ijesha. £1,450
Oshimawe of Ondo. £350
Orangun Ila £200
Source-Page 4,paragraph 4, Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Information National Archives, Files Nos. 33044, CSO 26, letter SP11828120, Secretary’s Office, Southern Province,Enugu. 31st January, 1938).
Paragraph 25: ALLEGATION: “Awujale , and Immediate Past Alake Oba Oyebade Lipede sat with former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on the issue at Aso Rock. Note that the Awujale did not give the outcome of that meeting. We don’t want to insinuate that if it were advantageous, he could mentioned it.
Paragraph 25:ALLEGATION: “My advice to Alake, being a young and inexperienced traditional ruler, is that he should contact Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for proper education so as to save himself and his people from further embarrassment.”
FACT: Although this concluding part of Awujale’s speech is not fair, not civil, not appropriate, nor is it measured, we are under strict order not injure the sacred Yoruba Traditional Institution not to reply any intemperate language to an elderly man, let alone a Monarch of Awujale’s magnitude.
We want to thank and appreciate all those who were agitated by the Awujale’s speech. We have been reading a lot of favorable and sympathetic reactions from the social and conventional media. Many of the comments, eloquently testify to our stand to date.
The initial and consistent intention of the Alake was not to whip up any
controversy. Rather it was to help put the polity in a better and more understanding pedestal. Facts are facts. We shall continue to stand by that.
A befitting response from a worthy Oba.
I just spoke to Kabiyesi, Alake of Egbaland, about 30 mins ago.