A market leader, Chief Gbadeyanka Alimi alongside group of youths across markets in the 33 local government areas of Oyo State on Tuesday warned Alhaja Folashade Abeo to stop parading self as Iyaloja-General of the State.
Against this backdrop, the group in a separate media briefings with journalists in Ibadan, recalled how all the Iyalojas from the 33 local governments endorsed Alhaja Saratu Aduke Konibaje as Iyaloja-General of the State.
Not only that, Chief Alimi also stressed that out of the 12 clusters of market groups and leaders in the State, Alhaja Saratu Aduke Konibaje won seven votes as against two votes of Abeo in a keenly contested election with branch Iyalojas as participants.
Alimi described a recent media reports that Abeo was being supported by majority of market leaders as unfounded, diversionary and dishonest information to mislead the State Government.
According to Alimi, “the process of appointing or electing Babaloja-General and Iyaloja-General of Oyo State has long been concluded and that was the same process that threw up Alhaji YK Abass who eventually emerged Babaloja-General of the State against Alhaji Sunmaila Aderemi Jimoh. He (YK Abass) was consequently given the certificate by the State Government.
“Both Alhaja Saratu Aduke Konibaje and Alhaja Folashade Abeo went through the same process and the former (Alhaja Saratu Konibaje) won seven votes against Abeo’s two votes. And she has since been recognized by stakeholders across the 33 local Governments who overwhelmingly endorsed her candidature.
“The late Alaafin or any traditional ruler whatsoever cannot appoint Iyaloja because it is not only unconstitutional but also illegal and not found in any statues being used by the market leaders over the years.
“The traders are the ones who choose and elect whosoever is their choice and they have made their choice in Alhaja Saratu Aduke Konibaje as the new Iyaloja-General of Oyo State. Before now, we had eight market clusters under previous administration of late Abiola Ajimobi but today, the current administration of Engr. Seyi Makinde has increased it to 12.
“Election was held amongst these market clusters and out of the 10 leaders that were present when the exercise was conducted, Alhaja Saratu Aduke Konibaje scored seven votes, Abeo garnered only two votes and 10th person absconded. So that’s the position of things as far as the Iyaloja-General of the State is concerned,” Alimi added.
The spokesman of the market youths group, Comrade Gbenga Ajibade appealed to journalists to be weary of unfounded news aimed at misleading the public and whipping up unnecessary sentiments for Folashade Abeo.
Ajibade who stressed that “enough is enough appealed to the religious and traditional leaders to always refrain from dabbing into the issue of Iyaloja-General. They should back out from misinforming the State Government on the choice of market women across the 33 local governments.
“They (our mothers across 33 local governments and the 12 clusters) have spoken loud and clear and elected Alhaja Saratu Aduke Konibaje as the new Iyaloja-General of the State. The State Governor should direct his Commissioner for Trades and Investment to do the needful by handing over the certificate to her.
“The GSM’s Executive assistant, Chief Bayo Lawal was Commissioner for Trades when Alhaja Saratu Konibaje was elected and endorsed by all Iyalojas in the State. Why should anybody destroy the process and destabilize the peace in the markets because of the inordinate ambition of an individual?
“Alhaja Folashade Abeo is not popular amongst the market leaders and more importantly, the Iyalojas across the 33 local Governments and those aforementioned 12 clusters. She should wait for her time and allow Alhaja Saratu Konibaje to enjoy her deserved peace as Iyaloja-General of the State,” Ajibade stressed.