The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Dr. Ado Ibrahim, has said the allegations made against him during the recent state visit of President Muhammadu Buhari by the Kogi State Government were unfortunate and unfounded.
The monarch said this in his response dated January 6, 2023, to a query given to him by the Kogi State Government through the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
The monarch was queried for being absent on the occasion of President Buhari’s recent visit to the state.
The royal father stated that there was no iota of truth in the allegations levelled against him, stressing that there was no official letter informing him about the visit of the president on December 29, to inaugurate the projects executed by Governor Yahaya Bello.
He said the Commissioner, Mr. Salami Ozigi Deedat, had visited him on December 28, 2022, at about 9.30pm, informing him that the president would visit Okene the following day to inaugurate some projects.
He added that Deedat instructed him to stay back in his, “palace while the president will be coming to pay a courtesy visit upon his arrival.”
“On 29th of December at about 8.15am, I received an unofficial copy of the visit programme of Mr. President and I noted that Mr. President was meant to Commission the Ohinoyi’s palace at 10.10am.
“This observation implied that Mr. President was to Commission another palace other than my current palace that I have been occupying since I was coronated in 1997. It is worthy of note that as the paramount ruler of Ebira land, I have not been officially informed of the existence of any palace.”
The monarch stated that shortly after he had put things in order in his palace to receive Buhari, he heard a bomb explosion at the rear entrance of his palace, close to the new mosque across the street around 9am.
The monarch explained further that, “while I was in the palace ensuring that the casualties of the unfortunate incident was being attended to, I was informed that Mr. President had concluded his programme and departed to Lokoja.”
Also, the monarch said shortly after he discovered that the main wall of the entrance to his palace was breached, all entrances to the palace were barricaded to make access to and fro impossible.
“I have been kept in the dark from the reception arrangements and necessary entertainment to welcome Mr. President on his second visit to Okene, extolling the pleasure of my people to receive him.
“I am not and have no intention to exhibit deliberate attitude and actions regarded as bringing Kogi state and Ebiraland in particular to grave disrepute, and regarded therefore as quite unbecoming of a revered Royal Father of my status,” he said in the statement.
In addition, the monarch said all allegations mentioned in the query were “very unfortunate” and “unfair to my ripe experience and age, coupled with my royal dignity,” in the country and international community.
He added, “It is worth mentioning to enforce gratitude to the Governor Yahaya Bello who I have not seen for sometimes now to have informed Mr. President I was unavoidably absent due to ill-health at his grand reception.
“While on the other hand, a person unknown to me represented me and read out a welcome speech to Mr. President on my behalf which was not sanctioned by me.”
The monarch said since the explosion occurred on 29th December, the query was the first communication from any official of the state government to him.
He added that there was no letter or statement to commiserate or inquire about the unfortunate bomb blast that led to the disruption of the president’s programme, loss of lives of Ebirra people and massive damage to his palace and rancour within his domain.
He therefore said despite the unfortunate incident, he would continue to reign over the good people of Ebirra land with good conscience and convictions. (ThisDay)