Kogi State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Barr. Salami Deedat Ozigi has revealed that the absence of Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Dr. Ado Ibrahim, at the commissioning of projects by President Muhammadu Buhari was a deliberate act of insubordination.
In a statement issued in Lokoja on Monday, Ozigi said he personally paid a visit to Ohinoyi of Ebiraland and duly informed him of the programme of event.
The commissioner said the royal father responded negatively that he would not attend, but he persuaded and entreated him to kindly attend in view of the importance of the project and especially the personality of the President that would commission the project.
“It is now known to all and sundry that he made good his negative disposition not on any account of ill health or circumstances beyond his control, but a deliberate act of disloyalty and insubordination to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Executive Governor of Kogi State.
“It may interest the public to know that the official visit of Mr President to Kogi State to commission projects was not limited to Okene alone, sundry projects were commissioned by the President in Lokoja, the State capital. To this effect, the President, Kogi State Council of Chiefs, His Royal Majesty, Matthew Alaji Opaluwa Oguche Akpa, Attah Igala led other Royal Majesties and all 1st Class Chiefs from both East and West Senatorial Districts and from their far domains to receive the President at the designated venue in Lokoja.
“It is therefore left for the public to judge if it was fair and appropriate for His Royal Majesty, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, whose private residence is a few meters away from the venue of the commissioning of the palace and being the principal beneficiary of the project to stay put in his house while all the Graded Chiefs within the Central Senatorial District were present in solidarity with him to honour and receive the President,” he said.
Ozigi said it has become highly imperative to brief the general public on the issues surrounding the issuance of letter of query to the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland because what ordinarily should have been an official process has been made public by the recipient of the query and as such the public deserve to be abreast with the truth and isolate it from falsehood.
“First and foremost, the reconstructed palace of Ohinoyi of Ebiraland which was commissioned by the President and Commander-in-Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces has all along been the official palace/residence of successive Ohinoyi of Ebiraland. It is on record that when President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR visited Okene in the year 1984 as a Military Head of State, it was in the same palace that he was received by the then Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, late Alh. Sanni Omolori, may Allah bless his gentle soul (Amen). The palace has been remodeled and reconstructed to a magnificent edifice that every son and daughter of Ebiraland could be proud of.
“Albeit, the current Ohinoyl of Ebiraland, His Royal Majesty, Alh. Dr. Ado Ibrahim CON opted, on his own, to stay in his personal house and use it as a palace, that does not erase the fact that there is an official palace built over the years for Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, it was for this reason that when the idea to reconstruct the palace to make it befitting for the revered stool of Ohinoyi of Ebiraland was muted, he (Ohinoyi of Ebiraland) was sufficiently consulted and he gave his consent,” he explained.
The commissioner, however, allayed fears of victimization as he gave assurance that the state government will handle the matter with utmost objectivity devoid of any sentiment.
“The panel that will be set up to look into the matter will be dispassionate, diligent and rational and will ensure fairness, equity and justice.
“The government of His Excellency, Alh. Yahaya Bello is a responsive and responsible Government and will not allow any person or group of persons no matter how highly placed to ridicule, humiliate and cast aspersion on or disdain the genuine intention of this administration to usher unprecedented development in the State.
“Actions that are tailored towards disloyalty, insubordination and that which tends to affect the peace, security, good image and cohesion of the state will not be treated with levity. This administration will continue to ensure that this state is governed by the rule of law, respect for authority and humanity and the guarantee of equal rights for all citizens,” he said.