FORMER governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has identified unnecessary politicking as the cause of rivalry among some first class traditional rulers in the state.
Prince Oyinlola, while answering questions on Rave 91.7 FM, Osogbo, as part of activities marking the state’s 25th anniversary, said history and tradition guided his actions and decisions on the institution of obaship while he administered the state.
He was asked why he gave the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, so much respect and authority over others, which some other first class obas found unacceptable.
“It was the introduction of politics into royalty that brought differences among our royal fathers. I was not too small to note that for the 50 years that Oba Adesoji Aderemi reigned in Ife, no oba ever challenged his authority. And that brought about a kind of harmony among the kingdoms of our land. If we know and refer to one person as the leader, then we will get to go in the right direction and, by the way, if we say Ile-Ife is the source of every Yoruba man on this planet, why can’t we honour our source?” he said.
The third civilian governor of Osun State said his administration made the welfare of civil servants paramount while also balancing it with necessary infrastructural development, describing the civil service as the pivot on which development in the state rests.
He said the decision of his administration to have the Osun State University as a multi-campus was based on the quest to have even development in the state as envisaged and agreed by the founding fathers.
The former governor listed some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state as contributing to his exit from the party, saying those he considered as his political fathers from the state were used in Abuja.
“They went before the press to say that after a meeting they just held, Oyinlola was expelled or suspended. If I may remind our people, it was the removal of Oyinlola as the National Secretary that led to the movement of those five governors that left the party and led to the downfall of the PDP and I warned them.
“I made a press statement on the 13th of November, 2013 and I told them clearly that if I didn’t return as the National Secretary of the party, that party would stop being the ruling party,” the former governor said.
On his strained relationship with his former political associate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Prince Oyinlola said he advised Omisore not to contest as the governorship candidate of the party in the state in 2014 but he refused and listened to those who wanted to gain from him.
“As a leader, I advised him that he should shelve the ambition of running for governor, because I believed he had an albatross on his neck that would not allow us to sail through. I advised that he should look at going back to the Senate. Well, I think he bought the idea and told me at a point that he was no longer running, but some people for their own political ambition went and persuaded him to change his mind.
“Then I said, ‘Okay, if you have changed your mind, I know what I know and it may not be expedient for our party to present you now.’ They ignored my advice; they went ahead and they got the result they deserved,” Oyinlola added.