Anyone who was in Oyo State during the eleven-month reign of Otunba Alao Akala as Governor when his boss was sacked unconstitutionally would readily agree that Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the Alaafin of Oyo was one of the forces that stood behind the Ogbomoso born politician then. He was also there for him during the campaign and the legal tussle for his seat. They no doubt enjoyed a chummy relationship then. Though when their cold war started, the two denied any crack in their relationship then. But it was obvious to most followers of events in Oyo Stste that both were only pretending that all was well. The cold war that drove a wedge between them became public knowledge when the monarch petitioned the Inspector General of Police over his security which some believe may be compromised. Oba Adeyemi III soonjolted the public when he alleged that Governor Akala was after his life. The Governor’s response further strained the already frosty relationship. Akala had openly stated that “he cannot become the Alaafin and the Alaafin cannot become the Governor”. Speaking further on the issue, Gov. Akala said “why will I think of killing the Alaafin when I can depose him?”, a question most Oyo indigenes found insulting.
Before long, the war drum sounded again. The executive council of Atiba Local Government was dissolved, an action many felt was in a bid to frustrate the chairman of the Local Government. Apart from the fact that the Local Government is domiciled in the heart of the Alaafin’s kingdom, the Chairman of the Local Government then was Prince Akeem Adeyemi, a son of the Alaafin of Oyo. Incidentally, of the four local governments in Oyo town, only the executive council of Atiba was dissolved.
Street Journal gathered that one other thing that pitched the Alaafin against the Governor is the fact that the commissioning of the Erelu Waterworks in Oyo was stopped by the state government. Not many thought the state government was responsible until Honourable Kamil Akinlabi, the member representing Oyo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives brought made it known.
Supporters of the Governor have also come out to offer explanations to the situation. They pointed out that the dissolution of the Local Government affected the Chief of Staff, All Supervisory Councillors and all Special Assistants. The Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary remained in office and performed their official duties till caretaker chairmen took over. The explanation did not, however, go well with some people who felt ‘the plan behind the dissolution was to transfer all major career officers in Atiba Local Government in order to cut down the performance of the Chairman.’
Investigations carried out by Street Journal revealed that the origin of the bad blood between the two leaders can be traced back to a time when the Governor went to discuss his second term bid with the Iku Baba Yeye, it was gathered that he also used the opportunity to seek for the monarch’s blessings; the Governor was irked that the Alaafin of Oyo asked for time to think about his request for his blessings on the re-election bid. That might not be unconnected with the Governor’s failed attempt then to remove the Alaafin of Oyo as the permanent Chairman of the council of Obas and his perceived romance with monarchs who have openly challenged the Alaafin’s supremacy.
One other factor that made the 73-year-old traditional ruler oppose the Governor’s reelection is that but for some snitches, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III would have been removed from the throne of his fathers. Written documents on his alleged misconduct and recommendation for disciplinary procedures had been prepared. A leakage however occurred and photocopies of the papers got to the palace at Oyo. That of course led to the chucking of not less than thirty six indigenes of Oyo town who were staff of the state owned printing company. The monarch in turn called those who could talk to the Governor, not long after; the Ooni of Ife and Aare Arisekola Alao were there to broker peace.
Evidence that the achieved peace was disrupted within a short time emerged at the home of the slain PDP leader in Atiba Local Government. The Governor was quoted as telling the mourners that he would soon deliver them from the hands of the oppressors. One other thing the Governor’s camp held against the Alaafin was his relationship with Honourable Akinlabi who they claim the monarch failed to call to order when he was pitching his tent with anti-Akala forces. The Federal lawmaker was said to be a major antagonist of the Governor’s second term bid in the House of Reps.
Those in the Governor’s camp believe that the Alaafin’s excessive demands caused the sour turn in the relationship. A palace source, however, pointed it out that the root of the matter lies in the re-composition of the council of Obas. The source went further that ‘the report the Akala administration is holding on to was a machination of the Lam Adesina government. Lam, however, could not implement it before he was voted out. When Ladoja came, he tried to do it but we saw what happened to him. Now the same thing has happened to Akala
Sensing that the Alaafin’s domain was one of the places where the ACN sealed its victory during the Governorship elections, the visibly wounded Governor hurriedly gave accent to the amendment of the law that changed the structure of the Oyo State Council of Obas.