Home Politics THE DAY ROYAL FATHERS DISOBEYED GOVERNMENT

THE DAY ROYAL FATHERS DISOBEYED GOVERNMENT

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It is not very clear to most people that our traditional rulers are Public Officers on account of the fact that they are maintained with public funds. It is not a question of denigration, but a statement of fact. But they are the fathers of all,  who have the responsibility of promoting their domains. It is also true that royal fathers are not completely insulated from partisan politics because politicians get the involved and they are human beings too, who naturally have their preferences. The account narrated here is highly significant and is written to celebrate and congratulate the OwaObokun of Ijeshaland, Oba (Dr) Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran on the attainment of a memorable milestone of 80 years a few days ago. It also forms part of my compiled reminiscences during my outings in government, first as Chief Press Secretary from 1994-2000; and later Special Adviser on Policies, Programmes& Plans Monitoring/Head of the Governor’s secretariat in Osun State from 2003-2010. It was during a critical period in Nigeria’s history when Nigeria was drifting precariously towards precipice; and even those in government were not sure of where the ship of state was heading.  It was the period that Lt. Gen. Donaldson Oladipo Diya (retd) was going through the ‘’valley of the shadow of death’’. Diya had been accused of masterminding a coup plot against his boss, late Gen. Sani Abacha and was in detention awaiting the final hour. He was going through the dark tunnel in company with senior military officers like Major General TajudeenOlanrewaju,(retd) late Major General AbdulkarimAdisa, and eight others for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government of General Sani Abacha. Eight others included colonels Daniel Akintonde, Edwin Jando, Peters Akinyode, Emmanuel Shoda, Major Olusegun Fadipe, and Diya’s political adviser and criminologist, Professor Femi Odekunle. They were arrested in December, 1997, in Abuja.  It wasn’t a joke that the No 2 citizen of the country was in jail and what could befall him was unknown. Abacha’s critics and cynics disbelieved the coup story, claiming that it was part of the transmutation plan of Gen Abacha. The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) in its reaction said the coup story was diversionary, and an attempt to distract attention from the death of Major-Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua who was Chief of Staff (Supreme Headquarters) when Gen Obasanjo was military Head of State from 1976-1979.  In order to eraze doubts from the minds of the…

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