His Imperial Majesty,
The Olowo of Owo,
Oba (Dr) Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye III
"BEFORE THE TICKING BOMB ON WHICH WE SIT EXPLODES BENEATH US":
EXPRESSED CONCERNS BY CONGRESS OF ILAJE PRINCES AND PRINCESSES
We pay unreserved homage to your Majesty and Royalty.
We, the entire members of this non-partisan organization, write to call the attention of your Majesty to the current political imbroglio between the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and his Deputy Governor, Mr Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa, over the purported plot to impeach the latter.
We would have held our peace and keenly watch from the gallery as passionate spectators, believing that we are being entertained by dramatic display from political gladiators who locked their horns amidst power play, but we recalled that the events that later snowballed into the epochal "Operation Wet e" of 1983 initially started like trivialities, until it became a full blown crisis of monumental proportion.
And what is most frightening is that, the current political brouhaha is bearing all the characteristics of the event that led to the infamous Ondo crises of 1983 that led to the death of many people and loss of valuable properties and resources until military junta truncated civilian administration in Nigeria.
Both the Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and his Deputy, Lucky Ayedatiwa are already drawing sympertizers and polarizing the state into a divided battle ready opponents.
Our decision to write to you, our royal Father and a revered Monarch in Yorubaland, is to the intent that appropriate reconciliatory actions might be taken before the ticking bomb is detonated with its consequent devastating destruction which will not discriminate in unleashing its horrors against our collective wellbeing, thereby, shaking our foundation to its roots.
Your Majesty may recall that when Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu was away on medical leave, the "cabal" held the Acting Governor, Lucky Ayedatiwa and the entire governance architecture of the State by the jugular and by extension, held the entire State to ransome because of their inordinate ambitions. In all these, the Acting Governor remained unperturbed.
But in a twist of event, we are surprised that the incurably baised legislators who could not contemplate moving motion for the impeachment of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on account of his angling health challenges are now engulfed in this unparliamentary travesty that will soil their existence and memories even long after their passage from the earth.
Their ill-motivated plot to impeach the Deputy Governor, Lucky Ayedatiwa is an unpopular and unpatriotic venture which does not attract the blessing nor have the backing of the good people of Ondo State. And it is rather unfortunate that selfish politicians are exploiting the health of Governor Akeredolu to create imaginary rift between him and his Deputy.
We never wanted to read ethnic coloration or weave ethno-tribal sentiments around the matter until it began to crystalise to us that the impeachment is not just a war against Lucky Ayedatiwa but a pre-meditated vendetta against the entire Ilaje nation, and a subtle ploy aimed at depriving us the opportunity of producing the next Governor of the State. Ilaje have served other governors from other parts of the State with utmost respect and unflinching loyalty, despite being the treasure mines that produce about 80% of the revenues from whence the state derive the economic wealth with which she cater for other sections of the Sunshine State to the exclusion of Ilaje local government where the revenues are being mainly generated.
History, in the words of Olaitan Adesina, has a long memory and we do not want a reocurrence of what happened in 1983 between Late Michael Adekunle Ajasin and Akin Omoboriowo that escalated into loss of innocent citizens of the country. The country and the State have not healed completely from that hydra-headed conundrum and its attendant aftermaths.
We are writing this epistle to your Majesty, so that, together, we can evoke the ethos of the Elders to summon the "Aro" and "Odofin" in our subconscious to avert yet another civil unrest within the State.
Your Majesty, we have known you as a great man of wisdom with infallible sense of history and you are well acquainted with the details of what transpired in 1983, same scenario that is now close to repeating itself, moreso because, with an Owo man (like Ajasin then and Aketi now) at the centre stage of this worrisome episode calls for greater caution.
Our conviction is that we can avert this looming implosion by coming together and by speaking the truth to one another, especially addressing the concerned parties. If this interventionist appeal is not treated with the urgency it deserves, Ondo State may become the theatre of war and bloodshed which may spur the global community to wonder why we fail to learn lessens from the unsavoury past historical-political events in Ondo State. It is therefore in our collective interests to do everything humanly possible to avert the looming dangers.
However, if Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN fail to prevail on those who are exploiting the political atmosphere by sponsoring conspiracies against the Deputy Governor, including having to use his constitutional knowledge and legal experience to advice the members of the state house of Assembly over what is perceived as political persecution of his Deputy Governor, there would be no other interpretation read to the matter than to deduce that Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu's administration has declared war against Ilaje nation. And in response, we shall not hesitate to prove that we are not cowards that will run into hiding, as every appropriate actions will be taken to defend ourselves.
As a law abiding citizens we believe in peaceful co-existence but not to the extent of having our fundamental human rights being violated as in the case of witnessing this gang-up against our brother and bonafide citizen of Ondo State, Lucky Ayedatiwa, in flagrant disregard for the cooperation that hitherto exists between the peoples of Owo and Ilaje.
Your Majesty, the age-long cordial relationship and mutual understanding that have existed between the people of Owo and the people of Ilaje are currently being tried and tested in the furnace of affliction at the instance of this political brouhaha, and the historical memories these events would create is largely dependent on how it is being managed, resolved or otherwise escalated.
The wealth of experience and sound wisdom that the great Olowo of Owo Throne is renowned for assuage our fears, knowing that your prompt intervention and royal fatherly role will quickly extinguish the flames that have been ignited by these political undercurrents.
We are most pleased to convey the pleasantries of our Royal Fathers, Council of Chiefs and the Eminent Elders of Ilaje Kingdoms to your Majesty as we look forward to a future of sustained robust understanding between Ilaje and Owo nationalities and Kindoms. We strongly believe that an Ilaje led administration after the full tenure of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu would be mutually beneficial to the people of Owo and Ilaje because of our long standing relationship.
May your Majesty be pleased to accept the assurances of our utmost regards for your exalted stool and royal person.
May you live long to continue to uphold the unity that binds Ilaje and Owo people together as twin brothers living in different geographical locations since the days of our forebears.
Yours in humble reverence,
Prince olorungbonju Edamisan
Princess Iretiola Ademitigha