The Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Olushola Alao, has said that the Adebanjo-led Afenifere has lost its integrity adding that the group is not representing the interest of Southwest and the Yoruba.
The monarch said this on Saturday, while featuring on a political program on a radio station in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
The Deputy Chairman, Oyo state Council of Obas and Chiefs said that traditional rulers in the Yoruba land belong to and recognize the Fasoranti-led faction of Afenifere because it doesn’t restrict itself to a particular state but cut across the whole Yoruba land.
He said that Chief Ayo Adebanjo is suffering from old age syndrome, dementia and self entitlement. He added that Chief Adebanjo has vested interest and should be disregarded.
His words: “Afenifere is no more different to any other socio ethnic group. They have lost their integrity. I am referring to the Baba Adebanjo-led Afenifere faction. Baba Adebanjo has lost it. The main Afenifere that we traditional rulers recognize today is Fasoranti-led Afenifere. I will say it loud and clear because Fasoranti-led faction doesn’t comprise only the elders in Ondo, Ogun, Oyo states alone. It is across Southwest but if the likes of Baba Adebanjo will just sit down in his room and come with some few guys and say look, this is our agenda all in the name of Afenifere, we disagree with him. It is a mere fluke.
“I will say it bold and clear today, Pa Adebanjo is not representing any Yoruba, he is not representing the Southwest. The only Afenifere we traditional rulers recognize today is the Baba Fasoranti-led faction and if we are talking about traditional rulers, it is across the southwest states.
“I don’t want to sound rude to Baba Adebanjo but he has not behaved elderly. His behavior is so primordial and very parochial. And it is not to the interest of Yoruba. I think Baba is having this old age syndrome of hallucination, that’s the way I see it. Baba Adebanjo is suffering from old age syndrome and self-entitlement. He is not the only one, even the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo.”
While speaking on why he declared support openly for the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Governor Seyi Makinde, the monarch said traditional rulers can’t continue to sit down and watch.
He cited the Endsars protest as a good instance on why traditional rulers need to speak out when necessary in the politics and governance of their domains.
He added that Governor Seyi Makinde performed very well that’s why he embraced credibility and left partisanship.
He said: “Regarding Oyo state, what we were praying for was that we wanted to jettison primordial sentiment, brigandage. We see a governor that’s performing. If we traditional rulers sit down and just watch, it won’t help us. When the problem of Endsars came, they were going to people’s palaces. What the politicians were trying to portray in Oyo state was for us to leave credibility and take partisanship. Must we leave credibility for partisanship? Must we leave credibility for primordial sentiment? Must we leave credibility because some politicians aren’t eating. That’s why I chose to speak out. What informed our coming out, I in particular, has to do with my findings. I went round Oyo state, I sized up most of the politicians, I found out that most of the people that disagreed with the Seyi Makinde-led government are people that are not up 20 or 50 in the whole of Oyo state.”
Olugbon also spoke on power shift from Ibadan to Oke Ogun and other zones in the state.
He said that to achieve power shift to other zones, engagement of stakeholders across the state must be done adding that negotiation, collective engagement across the geo-political zones must be carried out.
He said: “Everybody has their own thinking. What informed them to say we are keying into Seyi Makinde for a second term. I quite agree with their point. Not only Oke ogun, Ibarapa, Oyo, Ogbomoso, all other zones apart from Ibadan want power shift.
“Depend on how we tackle it. You see, you don’t just come out and say – o, this thing should move to this side. Yes I know, other zones may feel cheated that look, is enough of Ibadan but we need to go into engagement. This engagement is that we need to engage our people including the stakeholders in Ibadan.
“I want to give out one statistics today, Ibadan has 51 or 52 of the entire electoral collage. I want to tell you that 70 percent of the people in Ibadan today that made up that statistics are from Oke ogun, Ogbomoso, Oyo, Ibarapa and other elements from other states. Those who are the real Ibadan indigenes are not up to 30 percent. So, Ibadan is more cosmopolitan. We could achieve it if we want to achieve, we need to negotiate, we need to engage. We have to engage others, it must be a collective engagement across the geopolitical zones.”