By Tunde Oyekola
…ask subjects to vote according to conscience.
Traditional rulers in Osun State appeared to have been divided over the purported endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan, the Presidential Candidate of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), as some rulers dissociated themselves from the purported endorsement, describing it as embarrassing to the traditional institution.
Briefing newsmen shortly after a meeting at the palace of Akinrun of Ikirun, Oba Abdulrauf Olayiwola Adedeji, the monarchs also criticized the rain of dollars on some traditional rulers that attended the visit of the President Jonathan at Ooni’s palace, calling on the people of the state to cast their votes according to their conscience and not on the consideration of monetary graft.
The traditional rulers included the Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Adesola Lawal; Akinrun of Ikirun, Oba Olayiwola Adedeji; Olokuku of Okuku, Oba Abioye Oyebode Oluronke II; Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba Abdulrasheed Olabomi; Olunisa of Inisa, Oba Joseph Oladunjoye Fasikun II; Elende of Eko-Ende, Oba Rauf Adebayo Olaniyan; Oloyan of Oyan, Oba Kelani Adekeye Oyedare; Onirun of Oke-Irun, Oba Isaac Adetoyi Adetunlurese; Elerin of Erin-Osun, Oba Yusuf Omoloye Oyagbodun, among others, said the process by which monarchs pointed their beaded walking sticks at the president to pray for him negate the traditional institution in Yorubaland.
“It was also alleged that in the process, huge amount of hard currency was doled out to the traditional rulers. This has become the general talk in the public domain that all the traditional rulers in the state without exception were involved in such prayers.
“Consequently, our subjects have been accosting us, demanding our explanation for engaging in such acts. Some of our subjects have also demanded for their share of money that was collected. No doubt this is an embarrassing situation to us.”
The monarchs, however, maintained that their main concern is good governance, noting that they will support any government that will bring life more abundant to the people, adding that “it is therefore our wish and prayer that whoever emerges as the winner will be the one that will bring life more abundant to our people”.
They therefore called on the people of the state to vote according to their conscience and not on consideration of monetary inducement.
The monarchs also appealed to politicians to play the game according to the rule devoid of violence and any other forms of foul play.
The traditional rulers further appealed to INEC and law enforcement agents to ensure a level playing ground for all candidates.
They warned law enforcement agencies against unwarranted arrest and harassment that may lead to disenfranchising anybody from exercising his or her fundamental human right of participating in the election.