The government of Kogi State has responded to comments being expressed in the social media by Ebira people on the query which the State Government issued to the Paramount ruler, the Ohinoyi of Ebira land, Dr. Ado Ibrahim over his alleged failure to turn up to receive President Muhammadu Buhari on December 29, 2022.
In a statement today, January 9, 2023, the State Commissioner of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Barrister Salami Momodu Ozigi Deedat, said that the query became necessary when it was obvious that the Ohinoyi deliberately avoided the newly remodeled official palace of the Ohinoyi.
The Commissioner said that when the idea to reconstruct the palace to make it befitting for the stool of Ohinoyi of Ebiraland was muted, Dr. Ado Ibrahim was sufficiently consulted and that he gave his consent.
“Upon the completion of the project which has received commendation from far and wide and the date for the commissioning by the President was approved and announced, I personally paid a visit to Ohinoyi of Ebiraland and I duly informed him of the programe of event.
“Although he responded negatively that he would not attend, I 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 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 the State.”
The Commissioner said that the official visit of the President to Kogi State to commission projects was not limited to Okene alone, adding that many 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.”
Barrister Salami Deedat said that government of Yahaya Bello, being a responsive and responsible one 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 the 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.
“Let the general public be rest assured that Government will handle this matter with utmost objectivity devoid of any sentiment.
“The panel that will be set up to look into the matter will be dispassionate, deligent and rational and will ensure fairness, equity and justice.”
Part of the statement goes thus:
“It has become highly imperative to brief the general public on the issues surrounding the issuance of letter of query to His Royal Majesty, Alh. Dr. Ado Ibrahim CON, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland.
“This is 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.
“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 Ohinoyi 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.”