Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Lekan Balogun Alli Okunmade II, on Saturday, conferred traditional titles on the Kano State governor, Umar Ganduje and his wife, Hafsat. They were honoured with the Aare Fiwajoye and Yeye Aare Fiwajoye of Ibadan land titles.
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.
The Olubadan, who made the explanation at Ibadan’s old Mapo hall, stated that traditional and honorary Ibadan chieftaincy titles are not for sale.
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Balogun described the title as a “bridge between the South West and the North West,” explaining that it will not only strengthen the long-standing affinity between the people of Ibadan and Kano.
He went on to say that it would go a long way toward preserving handshakes across the Niger and engendering the much-desired togetherness that has become brittle over time.
The monarch, whose prepared statement was delivered by his younger brother, current Senator Kola Balogun, who represents Oyo South in the National Assembly, emphasised that Ganduje and his wife were not chosen as Aare Fiwajoye and Yeye Aare Fiwajoye of Ibadanland because of money.
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.
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“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 acknowledged that bestowing chieftaincy titles on them was not a mistake.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Lagos State, commended Olubadan for fostering peace, togetherness, and harmony among Nigerians in his goodwill letter.
The new Aare Fiwajoye, Ganduje, said the chieftancy title given on them will further foster regional unification in his statement following the conferment.
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He said the honour will strengthen links between Ibadan and Kano, the two oldest and largest cities in the country.
As a result, Ganduje urged Nigerians to allow their children to marry outside their tribes or ethnic groups in order to foster Nigeria’s peaceful coexistence.
Other dignataries 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.
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