The Alake of Egbaland, Oba Michael Adedotun Gbadebo, has replied the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, over his comment on the ranking of Yoruba Obas, describing the Awujale’s comment as indecent and uncivil. Speaking through his Adviser on Media Affairs, Chief Lai Labode, accompanied by Egba Council of Chiefs at a conference at the paramount ruler’s palace in Abeokuta, yesterday, he said: “The Alake’s reply was predicated on the self-indulgence of our respected monarch to churn out outright historical falsehoods in the presence of knowledgeable Nigerians.” The Alake’s speech was entitled ‘Putting the record straight: Egba’s response to Awujale’s allegations’.
The Alake explained that he had been ranked above the Awujale long before independence. According to him, “By the Egba United Government Proclamation of February 1, 1898, approved by the then governor of Lagos, the Egba cabinet was as follows: The Alake was President, the Osile was Minister of Justice, the Agura was Minister of Communication and Works and the Olowu was Minister for Finance. Just as there were the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode, the Akarigbo of Sagamu, the Soun of Ogbomoso, the Olowo of Owo, Oba of Lagos and so on, there was the title Alake of Abeokuta.
“Alake is only comparable with the Awujale only now that they are both paramount rulers and rotational chairmen of Ogun State Traditional Council of Obas. Historically speaking, Alake was higher by salary differentials paid by colonial government. Lord Lugard’s grading and salaries of Obas in the Southern provinces: First class (the two monarchs were among First class Obas), Alake of Abeokuta used to be paid £2,250 and Awujale of Ijebu-Ode used to receive £1,700.”
On Awujale’s advice to Alake, having referred to him as a young and inexperienced traditional ruler that needed to receive education from Chief Obasanjo, the statement replied: “Although this concluding part of Awujale’s speech is uncalled for, it is neither civil nor decent. “We do not intend to defile the sacred Yoruba traditional institution. We, therefore, refrain from trading insults with a highly regarded monarch of his status.”