The Oyo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Dotun Oyelade, revealed on Friday that the traditional ruler of Ido town in the Ido Local Government Area of the state, Oba Gbolagade Babalola (Gbadewolu I), was suspended over his alleged link with illegal miners.
Barely three weeks ago, an explosion rocked Adeyi Avenue, Old Bodija, in Ibadan, the state capital, linked to the storage of explosives in a residential area.
Five people died, 77 sustained varying degrees of injuries, and 58 houses were damaged during the January 16 explosion.
Makinde had attributed the explosion to the activities of an illegal miner who he said stored explosives at home.
The governor, on January 31, 2024, signed into law Executive Order 001, 2024, on the handling and storage of harmful substances.
Oyelade revealed in a Friday statement that the government took the tough measure of suspending the monarch to send signals to those aiding and abetting criminals within their territory that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Specifically, the commissioner revealed that Onido was suspended because of an intelligence report linking him to illegal miners in the local government area.
Oyelade said, “In the light of our recent experience and the government’s daily efforts to rid our land of criminals, we are sending the signal to all like-minded elements to vacate our zone or be caught and brought to justice.”
On the issue of the possibility of Onido being dethroned when an investigation is concluded, the commissioner said, “All options are on the table.”
A letter dated February 2, 2024, and signed by the state Commissioner for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Matters, Olusegun Olayiwola, a copy of which was obtained by The PUNCH in Ibadan, the state capital, said the state governor, Makinde, approved his suspension on Thursday, February 1, 2024.
Olayiwola said, “I wish to inform you that the Executive Governor of Oyo State of Nigeria, in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Sub-sections 1 and 2 of Section 26 of the Chiefs Law, Cap. 28 Vol. I, Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000, and by virtue of all other enabling powers in that regard, have approved your suspension as the Onido of Ido in the area of authority of Ido Local Government Area of the state.”
He, therefore, directed the monarch to hand over all government property in his possession to the chairman of the local government.
PUNCH Online reports that the suspended Onido, Oba Babalola, came to the throne in 2018, following the deposition of his predecessor, Baale Tajudeen Agura, by the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, during the administration of the late former Governor Abiola Ajimobi.