Why Alaafin May Make Oyo State Ungovernable For Gov. Seyi Makinde By Wale Adedoyin
Alaafin of Oyo is a first class Oba in the history of the Yorubas. He is like a deity they worship. His Kingdom Oyo, a city in southwestern Nigeria, in Oyo State, about 50 km (about 30 mi) north of Ibadan. Oyo is renowned for its craftwork, particularly cotton weaving and dyeing, leatherwork, woodcarving, and the carving of calabash gourds. Locally grown tobacco, cacao, cotton, grain, palm products, and cassava are traded here. The Oyo Empire, established by the Yoruba people, controlled a wide area between the Volta and Niger rivers by the mid-17th century. The capital of the state was moved here (where the current Oyo is) from Old Oyo (Katunga) in the 1830s according to history.
In Politics, the contributions of Alafin of Oyo cannot be underestimated. Virtually all politicians go to him during their campaigns for blessings and support. Alafin of Oyo is like a father to all.
Since the beginning of the military and civilian rules in Oyo State, Alaafin of Oyo has been playing some very prominent roles.
This was actually noticed during the political dispensation of the former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Adewolu Ladoja. The revered Alaafin of Oyo also played a vital role in the impeachment of the former Governor in collaboration with the late Oracle of Ibadan Politics, the Late Ariyibi Adedibu. The impeachment of Senator Rasheed Adewolu Ladoja wouldn’t have been very easy had it been it was only the Late Ariyibi Adedibu that was only involved but with the monarchical support of the Alaafin of Oyo, the impeachment plan succeeded.
Of recent Otunba Alao Akala disclosed some facts why he participated in the impeachment of his former boss; he said he only visited his office to read newspapers while he was then the deputy governor of the state. Governor Adewolu Ladoja did not give him any good job to do.
To revenge Governor Alao Akala’s disloyalty, Senator Rasheed Adewolu Ladoja later supported Senator Abiola Ajimobi who ran for Governorship election against Otunba Alao Akala in 2011 under the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Senator Abiola Ajimbi later won and Otunba Alao Akala lost the election. Although Alafin of Oyo also played a prominent role in that election. He secretly worked against Otunba Alao Akala. The defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) under whose platform the immediate past governor of Oyo State ran his first tenure got second their highest votes in Oyo town after Ibadan. Hon. Akeem Adeyemi popularly known as Skimeh, one of Alafin of Oyo’s sons was then a local government Chairman, while her sister Senator Monsurat Sumonu won her state constituency with huge votes. The rest are now history.
The Alaafin of Oyo also showed his ancestral power, when the former governor who took over from Senator Adewolu Ladoja, Governor Alao Akala moved Ladoke Akintola Teaching Hospital which was supposed to be sited in Oyo to his home town in Ogbomosho. Alaafin Oyo didn’t not only canvass against the second coming of Otunba Alao Akala but physically made the state ungovernable for him. This fight between them later resulted into many issues which this article won’t mention.
It was only Senator Abiola Ajimobi who had a good rapport with the Alaafin of Oyo mainly because Alaafin of Oyo had two of his children serving in Senator Abiola Ajimobi’s cabinet. The two children are Senator Sumonu, who was the first female speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly and Hon. Akeem Adeyemi, who once served as a council chairman in Oyo and later elected a member of the House of Representatives in Abuja.
Currently, some ugly scenes which put the Alafin of Oyo against Senator Adewolu Ladoja and Otunba Alao Akala both former governors of the state are beginning to surface in Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration.
Few months ago, when Covid-19 pandemic virus crawled into Oyo state, Governor Seyi Makinde allocated isolation centres to some local government which are likely to be the centre spread of the virus, from his list Oyo town was omitted. When Alafin of Oyo heard of this, he was not only angry but fumed. With the intervention of some prominent Oyo indigenes in Governor Makinde’s government, Oyo town found her name in the list.
The latest been the sitting of the Police Squadron headquarters which the Alafin of Oyo had earlier written to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to be cited in Oyo was later moved to Ago Are in Oke-ogun by Governor Seyi Makinde. Though Governor Seyi Makinde gave a reasonable point why he did so. He did so because Ago Are in Oke Ogun is close to the border.
For this action, many of the indigenes in Oyo town have taken to their social media platforms to berate Governor Seyi Makinde and they’ve made up their mind to serve as political watchdog against his government.
Governor Seyi Makinde is a respectful, gentle, humble and friendly Governor. What happened between him and Iku Baba Yeye might be coincident as some people opined. But some jobless politicians have turned the issue to another thing. What we are reading on social media platforms are nothing to write home about. Some are even saying because Oyo town did not vote for him in 2019 that is the reason he did what he did. It is not. Some jobless politicians have misinterpreted it. Alafin of Oyo is Makinde’s father. He has been given Governor Seyi Makinde his royal support and blessings since his first day as the duly elected governor of the state. The Chief of Staff to Gov. Seyi Makinde is also from is Oyo; there are other eminent politicians from Oyo serving in his cabinet.
Governor Seyi Makinde should be very careful with the Alafin of Oyo. If what he did to Oyo town and Alafin of Oyo is intentional, then he has stepped on Cobra’s tail as Alafin of Oyo will make Oyo state ungovernable for him as he has done to his predecessors in the past. So Governor Seyi Makinde should tread softly.
Wole Adedoyin is the president of Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW) and Democratic Writers Association of Nigeria (DWAN).