As Muslims in Oyo State celebrate Sallah tomorrow, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji has been advised against observing Eid prayer at Agodi praying ground.
The over 300 Mogajis (family heads ), who spoke under the aegis of Authentic Ibadan Mogajis, said the advise became necesary for “ for safety reasons.”
During Sallah, prominent Muslims in Ibadan use the Agodi Eid praying ground.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi had last week elevated and
installed high and senior Ibadan high chiefs to Obaship status, an action which has continued to generate reactions and counter reactions.
Spokesperson of the group, who is also the Mogaji of Akinsola compound in Oopo Labiran area of Ibadan , Chief Olawale Oladoja, said it was vital to think ahead because of the tension generated by the installation of 21 kings by the Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi last Sunday .
But Oladoja said the monarch and other Mogajis would observe Sallah prayer at the Olubadan’ s palace.
Oladoja said , “Although we are not afraid to confront any troublemakers anywhere, they might want to attack our dear Kabiyesi , the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji .
“We feel that Eid prayer ground is a sacred ground where anything that could warrant any form of clash should be avoided .
“Just this morning (Thursday ) , we went to resume at Popoyemoja , the Kabiyesi’ s palace, in continuation of our solidarity with the highly revered monarch.
“And we sensed there could be clash between people sympathetic to Oba Adetunji and another group that could be pro establishment during the Eid prayer at Agodi , which is a few metres away from the state Government House.
“We feel that to save the Kabiyesi from such ungodly development that may arise, it is important we avoid the Eid ground for this year’ s Sallah .
“By 6 am tomorrow ( Friday), we would all leave our homes and proceed to Popoyemoja where we shall all join Oba Adetunji to observe this year’s Eid prayer within the precincts of the Kabiyesi ’s palace.
“Let me make it clear that avoiding Eid ground is not a sign of cowardice, as Ibadan indigenes. We are not cowards ; after all, our forefathers were warriors and were never afraid to confront enemies.
“Our forefathers laid down their lives for our today and we shall never deviate from what they stood for and handed over unto us as far as the Olubadan chieftaincy succession and Ibadan Natives Laws are concerned .
“We are ready and prepared to ensure the reversal of this charade called coronation of Obas in a land where Olubadan, for many centuries , remains the only King and sole consenting and prescribing authority in the land. ”
Asked if the Chief Imam of Ibadan land was aware of the decision, Oladoja said that he had been notified of the development.
He said , “The Olubadan is a peace loving monarch who will not want violence to erupt in his city. We are not fighting the governor , because all he did was to come up with an idea. It is left for Ibadan people to accept or reject it . A few acclaimed elders cannot accept it on behalf of all Ibadan indigenes.
“Ajimobi is our brother and we have always supported him; but not on this issue. We have notified the Chief Imam of our decision and it is not reversible.”
He said that contrary to what some people had been saying, the group was not behind the Olubadan because of the political affiliation of Rashidi Ladoja, who is also contesting the installation of the new kings.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I am a member of the All Progressives Congress. I left the Accord Party to join APC and Ajimobi is aware. We should try to separate politics from tradition and culture.
“ We have challenged the move in court . Our prayer is that the court should declare vacant the eight positions of those (high chiefs ) people so that the Olubadan can fill them.
“The people we represent say that they only recognise one king and that is the Olubadan, ” he noted.