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Says Ibadan Chieftaincy titles not for sale but on merit
THE Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero alongside Emir of Bichi, HRH Nasiru Ado Bayero and the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other dignitaries were in attendance, on Saturday, in Ibadan as Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II, conferred Aare Fiwajoye and Yeye Aare Fiwajoye of Ibadanland on Kano state governor and his wife, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje and Professor Hafsatu Ganduje.
Balogun said the choice of the recipients was based on merit not monetary inducement.
The Olubadan, who made the clarification at ancient Mapo hall in Ibadan, submitted that Ibadan Chieftaincy titles, either traditional or honorary, are not for sale.
Describing the title as a bridge between the South West and North West, Balogun explained that the conferment would not only further cement the bond of friendship that has long existed between Ibadan and Kano people.
He added that it would also go a long way in maintaining handshake across the Niger and engender the much sought-after unity which has turned fragile over the years.
The monarch, whose prepared speech was read by his younger brother and current Senator, representing Oyo South in the National Assembly, Kola Balogun, insisted that the choice of Ganduje and his wife, as Aare Fiwajoye and Yeye Aare Fiwajoye of Ibadanland, was not induced financially.
According to him: “On today’s event, which is the first of its kind under this dispensation, the likely question to be asked is why Gandujes? And my response is if not Gandujes, who else could be?
“As I have had cause to say on occasions that Ibadan Chieftaincy titles, either traditional or honorary would not be for sale, I must make it clear that the choice of His Excellency and Her Excellency as Aare Fiwajoye and Yeye Aare Fiwajoye of Ibadanland was not induced financially.
“By the time I spell out the factors that came into play for their choice, you would agree with the choice. I want to put it on record that, but for our brother, Oba Yoruba Kano, Alhaji Engr. Muritala Alimi Otisese, Adetimirin-1, mine and the paths of today’s chiefs might have not crossed. It was this brother of us, who is also a ‘shon of the shoil’ that introduced the Kano state first couple to the palace.
“From the Oba Yoruba Kano, we got to know how detribalized the Kano State Chief Executive is alongside his wife. We were made to know how supportive our guests were to the aspiration and eventual emergence of our brother as Oba Yoruba Kano about two years ago.
“A man of peace, Dr. Ganduje it was who came down to Ibadan when there was a clash between Hausa traders and the people of Sasa at Sasa Market the other time to calm the frayed nerves and peace was restored.
“Let me sum up it up with two paragraphs from the letter of recommendation by Oba Yoruba Kano thus: Bestowing a befitting Chieftaincy title on the hardworking and amiable governor with his wife will be a reward for a man who has been compassionate to us as a people and who believes that any Nigerian can stay and work in any part of the country without molestation or denial of basic things of life.” Balogun added.
He noted that he had not made a wrong choice by honouring them with chieftaincy titles.
In his goodwill message, a presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, thanked Olubadan for promoting peace, unity and harmony among Nigerians.
In his speech after the conferment, the new Aare Fiwajoye, Ganduje, said the chieftancy tittle bestowed on them will further promote regional integration.
He said the honour would boost the bond between Ibadan and Kano states whom he described as the two oldest largest cities in the country.
Ganduje, therefore, encouraged Nigerians to allow their children to engage in inter tribal and ethnic marriages so as to promote the peaceful co existence in Nigeria.
Other dignitaries include Governor Seyi Makinde, whose Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Bayo Lawal stood in for, Oyo APC governorship candidate, Senator Teslim Folarin, state party Chairman, Hon. Isaac Omodewu and former Minister of Communication, Barrister Bayo Shittu among others.