Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Tuesday lamented that politicians have hijacked Olubadan chieftaincy declaration as he wrote off insinuations that he was contemplating to dethrone the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji.
Speaking after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Governor Ajimobi said he will not do anything to soil his relationship with the Oba as it dates back many years ago.
While revealing what he discussed with Buhari, Ajimobi said he begged the Federal Government to hand over the Ikere gorge dam to the state government for rehabilitation, noting that the dam has a potential of serving as a source of irrigation for the farming community, including power generation.
He lamented that the dam was being underutilised hence the need to take it over and resuscitate it through state resources or public private partnership arrangement.
He said the dam being the fourth largest globally could boast of water reservoir of 690 million cubic metres.
“On the issue of security, you may recall that Oyo State has been in the news because of the issue of Olubadan chieftaincy declaration. So I came to assure the president that 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 he 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 it 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,” the governor said.
On the Ikere dam, Ajimobi said, “I came to see Mr. President and to talk to him about infrastructure that we require in my state. For instance, we have the Ikere gorge dam in Oyo State, the fourth largest earth dam in the world, stretching almost 50 kilometres.
“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. (It has a reservoir of 690 million cubic metres).
“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.
“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 states. I think we can make it work”.
He lauded the president on his recent speeches both at the United Nations General Assembly and his national broadcast upon his return from medical vacation, saying his address were well delivered and articulated.
“My visitation was premised on two things: first appreciation and commendation to the president for his steadfastness and hitting the ground running since he came back from medical vacation.
“He went to the UN and made a very good presentation. The rendition of his speech was commendable. He eloquently delivered his speech and I commended his eloquence.
“Secondly, in his independence speech, he was succinct. He summarised his achievements to date, particularly in the areas of security, insurgency and others like economy, particularly on diversification into agriculture.
“I also came to give him progress report of Oyo State where we trying to position the state economically”.
via: INFORMATION NIGERIA