The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Tuesday, visited the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, to explore possibility of settling the dispute arising from the creation of 35 Local Council Development Areas in the state.
The foremost monarch dropped the hint in an interview with journalists shortly after emerging from a closed door meeting with the governor at the Governor’s Office, Ibadan.
He said that the suit filed by some aggrieved traditional chiefs challenging the alleged ceding of parts of their domain to Ogbomoso under the newly created LCDA would be resolved amicably very soon in order not to subject the people to hardship.
One Chief Oladokun Abiola and 14 others from Oyo East Local Government had challenged the creation of the new LCDAs before an Abuja FHC court on the premise that it would ostracize them from their ancestral land, while the Alaafin was joined as a respondent in the matter.
It is believed that the Alaafin wield enormous influence over the plaintiffs, who are chiefs and indigenes under the vast Oyo empire.
It will be recalled that Justice John Tsoho of an Abuja Federal High Court had on January 20 granted an interim injunction stopping the Local Government election scheduled for February 11 in the original 33 Local Government and the newly created 35 LCDAs in the state
The judge had further ordered that allocations to the original LGs from the Federation Account be suspended until the substantive suit was determined, while the matter was adjourned to February 7 for the commencement of the suit.
However, Oba Adeyemi said that the stakeholders would spare no efforts to settle the matter out of court, so as not to cause hardship to the people at the grassroots, given the extensive impact of the court order on the finances of the LGs and their dwellers.
The monarch said, “What I have come for this afternoon (Tuesday) is to try and trash out the issues as a way of finding amicable resolution. Whatever problems that arise before or even after a war, you come back to the negotiation table to settle it.
“So, instead of going to war that would be costly to both sides, that would be injurious to the populace and the people of the state, I have come to see the governor to find a way around it.
“My position on the issue is that as much as we must be careful not to undermine the legal restraint that is associated with discussing an issue that is before a law court, just take it from me, in my honest view and with all sincerity that this issue will be resolved very soon”.
The royal father described the governor as a listening and responsive leader who could not be unsettled by such legal move, stating that it was important to understand the root cause of the legal tussle.
On whether he would prevail on the Baales, who secured the interim order, to withdraw the case from court, Oba Adeyemi said he believed that deep understanding and reason would prevail in the end.
He reiterated his commitment towards settling the issue out of court in the earliest possible time in order to expose the people at the local communities to untoward hardship on account of the stoppage of allocation to the LGs: “We are not going to coerce anybody, but I can assure you that reason and understanding will prevail. Don’t let me let the cat out of the bag now, but soon, peace will prevail”.