Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Lekan Balogun has made it clear that he had never endorsed the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi as erroneously reported.
The monarch and members of his advisory council said in a statement today, December 14, that the throne does not get involved in politics and so cannot endorse a political candidate.
“The attention of the palace of Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Sen. Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II has been drawn to the claim of endorsement of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi by the monarch and his members of Advisory Council, a claim described as false and self concocted one to mislead the general public.
“The palace could have ignored the report and dismissed it with a wave of hand, but with the torrents of inquiries by some of our credible media houses seeking clarification before publishing and the need to counter social media trending of the foul report without professional touch, this reaction becomes imperative.
“How could anybody would have in his or widest imagination assume that a presidential candidate of any political party would receive an open endorsement from a place like the palace of Olubadan? That must be a crude joke carried too far. It is preposterous to say the least.
“While discountenancing the claim of endorsement by the Olubadan Advisory Council, our politicians are counseled to please leave the palace out of their game. The campaign is just starting and the visits to the palaces are part of the itinerary of the candidates and how would they feel should the gates of palaces be locked against them?
“For the umpteenth time, let it be emphasised that Olubadan and his cabinet members do not and cannot belong to any political party and they would never express preference for any candidate or political party in the public no matter the degree of temptation. The palace of Olubadan belongs to all just as the occupier of the exalted stool remains father of all as well.”
Peter Obi had led his campaign team on a courtesy visit to the Olubadan last Saturday. Some members of the monarch’s advisory council joined to receive Obi at the palace.
The attendees among the high chiefs were the Balogun of Ibadan, his Otun, Osi, Ashipa, Osi and Ekerin Olubadan namely high chiefs Owolabi Olakulehin, Tajudeen Ajibola, Lateef Adebimpe, Kola Adegbola, Eddy Oyewole and Hamidu Ajibade respectively.