On Friday, the 11th day of March 2022, Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, performed a state function that anyone who becomes governor in Oyo State will forever cherish as epochal and historical- the installation of the Olubadan of Ibadanland.
On that epoch-making day, Oba Senator, Dr Olalekan Balogun Alliwo, Alli Okunmade II, was installed by the governor as the 42nd Olubadan of Ibadanland, lending credence to the saying “all is well that ends well.”
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Now, Governor Makinde can heave a sigh of relief that he has proven himself worthy as an Ibadan son, the kind that the Yorubas would refer to as “atuntileto,” having wisely navigated the troublesome labyrinthine plots introduced to Olubadan system by the previous administration. Most detractors of Governor Makinde had expected the governor to falter and fall from the landmines planted by the Abiola Ajimobi’s government. But today, Makinde can borrow the words of the late Apala sensation, Yusuff Olatunji, who in his Volume 17 album, entitled Yegede, had the last laugh over his enemies, who spread rumours of his amputation. The Olubadan matter, which many detractors of Makinde think would be Makinde’s waterloo, has been settled in favour of Ibadan people. Araba o wo, oju ti iroko yin o!
With the climactic installation of Oba Balogun Alliwo, a curtain was drawn on a needless drama that became unamusing to many Ibadan and well-meaning Nigerians, who have, over the years, been fascinated by the organised and well-ordered ascension system to the Olubadan throne. That drama, created by individuals the Yoruba would probably referred to as “a t’oko wa ba ile je,” became the Frankenstein’s Monster to the one who started it, former Governor Abiola Ajimobi and his party, APC. That administration had failed to heed the warnings to be wary of the Ides of March…aja ti yoo s’onu kii gbo fere olode.
Thankfully, like the Biblical allusion of one Adam introducing sin to the world and a second Adam ushering in salvation, GSM has now cleared the mess left behind by the APC administration. It was, however, instructive that Governor Makinde, who as Citizen Makinde, fought on the side of true Ibadan sons and daughters to oppose the needless disruption in the Olubadan chieftaincy system, also had the opportunity to right the wrongs he fought against as the governor, who installed the new Olubadan. It is equally gratifying that the governor became the one to put an end to the misadventure and install the new Olubadan, who will lead his people into the glorious future. Talk about Omi Tuntun, igba otun and this glorious installation of Oba Balogun Alliwo would fit perfectly into the picture.
But before we all forget how we got to this happy ending, it must be pointed out that it took the strong nerve and determination of two individuals; one, a former governor and the other, a serving governor. High Chief Rashidi Ladoja fought from the judicial point of view while Citizen Makinde and later Governor Makinde fought with the needed political verve to crash-land a chieftaincy review plane that would have taken Ibadan to ignominy.
Indeed, Governor Makinde’s masterful handling of the chieftaincy crisis eventually proved to be the salvation for the Olubadan throne. The decisive and timeous resolution of the crisis made the emergence of Olubadan Balogun Alliwo seamless and classic. For this, I believe, Makinde will never be forgotten. If some people lay claim to being “ko seleri” for causing crisis in a chieftaincy system that is world-renowned and exemplary over the years, Makinde can walk away with the acclaim of restoring sanity to the system that was nearly ruined through reckless arrogance and impunity. Only that Governor Makinde, known for his self-effacing nature, is not one to chase acclaims and adulations for doing his part as a true Ibadan son and a lover of his people.
Now, how can history forget the governor who installed a Ph.D. holder and senator as Olubadan, with the full glory and honour of the Olubadan Chieftaincy back in place? How? Just how can history forget a governor, who is not an Arobafin? History never forgets and on this note, I am sure that it will remember Governor Makinde for good.
Alao is the Special Assistant (Print Media) to Governor Seyi Makinde