The Oyo State government has said it did not have the powers to change the itinerary of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as such could not have influenced President Goodluck Jonathan to visit the Olubadan of Ibadan during his visit to some traditional rulers in the state last Saturday.
Rather, the government said the Olubadan should blame the Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, an indigene of Ibadan, who was on the President’s entourage.
The government made this known in an interview with reporters by its Commissioner of Information and son of the Olubadan of Ibadan, Prince Gbade Lana.
It was against the backdrop of accusations against it and the presidency that the President overlooked the Olubadan by calling on the Alaafin of Oyo during his visit.
The Olubadan-in-Council, in a communique after its meeting at the monarch’s palace, had frowned on the President’s visit and particularly accused Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi of not influencing the itinerary of the President.
But in its reaction, the state government absolved itself of blame in the visit, stating that the palace ought to have directed its blame to Akinjide.
According to the state government, Akinjide was not only with the president on the day of the visit, as the state representative in the federal cabinet, it was unthinkable that the presidency would not have sought her opinion on the visit.
“More fundamentally, Ms. Akinjide was with the President in his chopper to visit the Ooni of Ife in Ile-Ife and on the visit to Alaafin and other traditional rulers. Her failure to inform the President and the presidency of the visit must have been a costly oversight,” the government said.
The government also stated that it got the notice of the visit of the President in the evening of Friday, a few hours to the visit and said that the letter by the presidency to the governor asked him to welcome the President at the Alakia Airport and “escort” him to the palace of the Alaafin.
According to the commissioner, like every citizen and government who must respect the authority of the office of the President, Governor Ajimobi suspended all other state functions to honour the President and even travelled to the ancient town of Oyo to welcome the President, beside who sat a daughter of Ibadanland, Ms. Akinjide.