Alake of Egbaland, Ogun State, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo yesterday narrated how he survived dethronement plan by the administration of former Governor Gbenga Daniel.
At a press conference commemorating the beginning of his 10th coronation anniversary held in his palace in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, the monarch said he was saved by an Abeokuta court judgement which prevented governors from dethroning traditional rulers.
The paramount ruler narrated that while the plan to dethrone him was ongoing, a former chief press secretary to General Ibrahim Babagida, Duro Onabule published a two-part article where the court judgement was quoted in the newspaper.
There was an alleged plan by the Daniel administration to remove the Oba from the throne in 2008 for allegedly criticising the state of roads in Egbaland.
While recounting his ordeal, Oba Gbadebo denied criticising Daniel’s administration but that he only called the attention of the government to the deplorable condition of roads in Egbaland at that time.
The Alake explained that the governor’s chief of staff, Abayomi Majekodunmi was present at the occasion where he appealed to the administration to fix the potholes in the state but was misconstrued when the newspapers reported it the following day.
According to the Alake, the governor sent a text message to one of his aides directing that the traditional ruler had become one of the critics of government and must be dealt with.
He said, “As pressmen, you have somebody you called double chief; he is a foremost journalist in this country; he was press secretary to Babangida; he wrote a two-part article on that question you’re asking me now. There is a law court which said no governor has a power to dethrone any Oba; go and check what he wrote.
“The pronouncement came from Abeokuta here. Government didn’t appeal that judgement and so it remains; that was what he was telling that government that you haven’t gotten that power. Try it and you will fail and the shame will be too much for you. He quoted that judgement verbatim and the right of Oba and government didn’t appeal it.”
“I didn’t criticise government. At that place the chief of staff was there and I told him ‘tell your oga, remind him to do this road and this road;’ would you call that criticism?
“But in the text the governor sent he said ‘Alake has joined the group of people criticising us; we must face fire with fire.’ But I don’t like fire and I don’t work with fire either. So, I didn’t criticise government; I only commented on bad roads and I didn’t say they have been spending money on something else instead of fixing the road. I didn’t say they must do the road all over; I only asked them to fix potholes.”
The monarch, however, said that he was fulfilling his dream with the massive infrastructural upliftment currently going on in the state, courtesy of the present administration.
The Alake consequently averred the he would continue to ask for more from government until the state capital was turned to “paradise on earth.”

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