The Government of Oyo State, on Thursday, has given reasons why two first class monarchs, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, could not enter the Lekan Salami Stadium Complex during the unveiling of its main bowl on Wednesday.
The government, in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said that the two foremost royal fathers were too important to the state government to be prevented from attending the event, to which they had been duly invited.
According to the statement, the inability of the monarchs to gain access into the main bowl was because of the huge enthusiastic crowd that swarmed on the stadium and obstructed the movement of the monarchs’ convoys to the designated VVIP Drop Off zone, which was the easiest channel to their reserved seats.
“What happened was that security operatives advised that the drivers of the revered monarchs make their way through another gate, since their convoys were unable to access the VVIP Drop Off Zone from the gate they entered through.
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“From the VVIP Drop Off Zone, it would be easy for the monarchs to access the VVIP box without meandering through the stairs, as that would have unduly stressed them given their age.” the statement said.
It added that seats of the monarchs were already reserved, and that the government valued their presence, saying, “It is unthinkable that some individuals would try to create a wedge between the palaces of the respective monarchs and the state government, which holds them in high esteem.”
The statement noted that all other monarchs who were inside the VVIP box including the Olugbon of Ile Igbon, Aseyin of Iseyin, the Okere of Saki, the Olu of Igboora were well recognized, stating that “this was an evidence that the government places huge premium of respect on the stools of our forebears as occupied by the Kabiyesis.
“His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde wishes to categorically state that the Alaafin and the Olubadan were well-expected at the event and that their seats were reserved.
“The government frowns on reports indicating that the convoys of the revered monarchs were not treated accordingly and would take appropriate steps to correct any untoward indication,” the statement added.