A traditional ruler in Oyo State has been suspended for alleged involvement with illegal miners, according to the state government.
In a statement on Friday, the Oyo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Dotun Oyelade, said the traditional ruler of Ido town in Ido Local Government Area of the state, Oba Gbolagade Babalola (Gbadewolu I), was suspended by Governor Seyi Makinde.
He further stated that the state government took the drastic step of suspending the monarch to send a message to those assisting and abetting criminals on their territory that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
According to the commissioner, the Onido of Ido was suspended following an intelligence report linked him to illicit miners in the local government area.
“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,” he stated.
On the issue of the possibility of Onido being dethroned when an investigation is concluded, the commissioner said, “All options are on the table.”
Similarly, the Special Adviser (Media) to Oyo State Governor, Sulaimon Olanrewaju, said the suspension was approved on Thursday, February 1.
He said the suspension followed a letter dated 2nd of February, 2024 and signed by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Hon. Olusegun Olayiwola.
“I wish to inform you that His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Oyo State of Nigeria, in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Sub-section 1&2 of Section 26 of the Chiefs Law, Cap. 28 Vol I, Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000 and by all other enabling powers in that regard, has approved your suspension as the Onido of Ido in the area of authority of Ido Local Government Area of Oyo State,” the letter read in part.
It directed Oba Babalola to hand over all government properties in his possession to the chairman of Ido Local Government.
This is coming barely three weeks after an explosion rocked Adeyi Avenue, Old Bodija, in Ibadan, the state capital, linked to the storage of explosives in a residential area.
The state government stated that five people died, while 77 sustained varying degrees of injuries. Several houses were also destroyed.