Yoruba Council of Elders crisis escalates as president, Agbede, quits

The crisis rocking the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) took another dimension on Tuesday as its President,  Dansaaki S.  Ade Agbede voluntarily quit the exalted position.

Agbede made the announcement at the meeting of the Senior Elders’ Forum of the Council held at the Bodija,  Ibadan residence of the first female Professor of Library Science in Africa,  Prof Adetoun Ogunseye.

At the meeting which was presided over by Prof Ogunseye, it was established that the future of the hitherto robust group of accomplished Yoruba elders and leaders might have been in jeopardy as the elders vowed not to have anything doing with the new leadership midwife by Dr Kunle Olajide,  the suspended General Secretary of the YCE.

It will be recalled that Dr Olajide,  who was placed on an indefinite suspension by the Senior Elders Forum of the YCE organised a meeting which was not sanctioned by the President where another President,  Justice Ademola Bakre (rtd) was purportedly elected.

After Bakre’s emergence, Dr Olajide approached the Court to secure an injunction to stop another meeting scheduled by the Senior Elders’ Forum and put the National Secretariat of the Council,  where the meeting would have been held under lock and key to prevent access into the place.

Following the ugly development,  the Senior Elders’ Forum at its meeting said they would not join issues with Dr Olajide by going to court,  saying, “we do not elect to go to court because we refuse to drag or expose the name and integrity of Yoruba into disrepute.”

Recalling that the role of elders is well articulated in the pamphlet issued by late Papa Emmanuel Alayayande’s administration at the inception of the YCE,  they said,  “the constitution claimed by Dr Kunle Olajide,  Prof Oluwasanmi and Justice Bakre is unknown to us.

“Even though we asked Dr Kunle Olajide to surrender the document with him to the President,  he refused.  In that regard,  we cannot comment on something we have not seen.  The said constitution was hoarded and we have no access to it”, the forum added.

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The Senior Elders also accused Dr Kunle Olajide of consistently treating YCE as his personal property,  citing as an example his putting the National Headquarters of the YCE under lock and key with the gates chained so that they would have no access to it.

The Elders said Yoruba has heritage,  culture and customs,  the forum noted that “elders are the supreme level in Yoruba culture to whom all knotty matters are referred for a solution, a constitution may not cover all areas where convention can resolve,  hence,  Senior Elders’ Forum.

“The group of Dr Kunle Olajide, Prof. Oluwasanmi and Justice Bakre have declared it does not recognize us and we cannot force ourselves on them. Hence,  we hereby dissociate ourselves from the YCE of Dr Kunle Olajide,  Professor Oluwasanmi and Justice Bakre and remain on our own”, the Forum stated further.

It would further be recalled that the current litigation instituted by Dr Olajide, who had been expelled from the YCE in the past would be the second time he would take such step.

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