Oyo Govt Suspends Traditional Ruler Over Alleged Link With Illegal Miners

The Oyo State government has announced the suspension of a traditional ruler over alleged involvement with illegal miners. In a statement released on Friday, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Dotun Oyelade, conveyed that Governor Seyi Makinde took the decisive action to suspend Oba Gbolagade Babalola (Gbadewolu I), the traditional ruler of Ido town in Ido Local Government Area of the state.

The suspension, according to Oyelade, was initiated in response to an intelligence report connecting the Onido of Ido to illegal mining activities within the local government area. The state government’s decision to take such a stern measure aims to send a clear message to those who may be involved in supporting or facilitating criminal activities within their territories. It serves as a warning that such actions will not be tolerated, and those found complicit will face serious consequences.

By suspending the traditional ruler, the government intends to underscore its commitment to maintaining law and order, signaling that collaboration with criminal elements will not go unpunished. This move reflects the state’s determination to address issues related to illegal mining and associated activities in a decisive manner.

“In the light of our recent experience and the government’s daily efforts to rid our land of criminals, we are sending the signal to all like-minded elements to vacate our zone or be caught and brought to justice,” he stated.

On the issue of the possibility of Onido being dethroned when an investigation is concluded, the commissioner said, “All options are on the table.”

Similarly, the Special Adviser (Media) to Oyo State Governor, Sulaimon Olanrewaju, said the suspension was approved on Thursday, February 1.

He said the suspension followed a letter dated 2nd of February, 2024 and signed by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Hon. Olusegun Olayiwola.

“I wish to inform you that His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Oyo State of Nigeria, in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Sub-section 1&2 of Section 26 of the Chiefs Law, Cap. 28 Vol I, Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000 and by all other enabling powers in that regard, has approved your suspension as the Onido of Ido in the area of authority of Ido Local Government Area of Oyo State,” the letter read in part.

It directed Oba Babalola to hand over all government properties in his possession to the chairman of Ido Local Government.

This is coming barely three weeks after an explosion rocked Adeyi Avenue, Old Bodija, in Ibadan, the state capital, linked to the storage of explosives in a residential area.

The state government stated that five people died, while 77 sustained varying degrees of injuries. Several houses were also destroyed.