Culture

I didn’t bar Atiku from my palace – Alaafin of Oyo

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The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, has described reports that he barred the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from his palace as “fake news”.

Various reports on social media quoted the Alaafin as endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2019 presidential election.

According to the reports, when Titi Abubakar, Atiku’s wife, visited the Alaafin to seek support for her husband recently, the revered monarch allegedly told her, “PDP is dead. I’ve no problem with your husband, but, Buhari didn’t offend the Yoruba. In fact, he has done more for us than any other government since 1999. And in this place, they call me Baba APC…but, I will pray for you. I wish you journey mercies.”

But in a statement he personally signed over the weekend, Oba Adeyemi described the report as an attempt to tarnish his image.

Oba Adeyemi also denied saying that Buhari had done more for Yorubas than any government from 1999.

He said, “In recent time, I’ve been hurt by the pain inflicted on me by the circulation of fake news, especially on social media. Some users of the social media have been taking advantage of anomie to do a lot of havoc in our social life.

“Ordinarily, I cannot imagine how some people will buy statements supposedly from me, even in total falsehood without my consent and permission. The most recent and, indeed, most injurious of such stories was the visit of Mrs. Titi Abubakar to me recently.

“Anybody familiar with my public life would not believe that the language of the said story, which suggested alienation of Atiku Abubakar could have emanated from me. This is because all aspirants to all public office at all tiers of government are children of Oyo palace, the political capital of the Yoruba.

“Be that as it may, however, the Oyo Palace remains neutral as it leaves the ultimate choice to the people under the democratic tradition.

“I and the Oyomesi, the Oyo traditional cabinet, accorded Mrs. Titi Atiku all courtesies befitting a distinguished Yoruba daughter, a loyal wife and example of virtuous womanhood, who gathered hundreds of Nigerian girls (sex workers) away from the streets of various Italian cities, brought them back home, rehabilitated and gave them vocational training and occupation.

“She restored their dignity and pride as women. They became better women, good house wives and mothers to their own children. Those, she did through her individual initiatives and personal resources. Nothing can ever dim the achievements of Mrs. Titi Atiku in this regard.

“The palace of Oyo remains open to all aspirants. The Alaafin casts no aspersion on anyone’s candidature for any elective office.”

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John is a University of Lagos-trained, tech-savvy journalist with an uncanny nose for news. His views are always the end products of a deliberate search for information and knowledge. He has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He is an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming. If you know the capitals of 45 African countries by heart, then you are exactly like him.

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