Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The leadership crisis rocking the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has deepened within the past two days, and the end seems to be far away.
The indication emerged on Thursday and Friday in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, as the council purportedly suspended its Secretary General, Dr. Kunle Olajide, indefinitely.
The decision to suspend Olajide was said to have been taken at the YCE Joint Meeting of Senior Elders’ Forum and chairmen of state chapters held at the council’s National Secretariat, Old Bodija, Ibadan, on Thursday.
But Olajide, fired back on Friday, saying he remains the Secretary General of YCE, and that his alleged suspension was a joke taken too far.
President of YCE, Col. Ade Agbede (retd), explained that Olajide was suspended based on allegations of gross misconduct and insubordination, adding that Olajide had been directed to surrender all the council’s property and documents to his office with immediate effect.
The meeting, which reportedly passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of Agbede, was said to have appointed Mr. Sam Agbetuyi, as acting Assistant Secretary-General 1 for YCE, also known as ‘Egbe Igbimo Agba Yoruba.’
But in his reaction, Olajide said: “My purported suspension by a collection of hand picked comedians was a joke taken too far because I am yet to recieve any letter of suspension from this innocuous body unknowing to the Yoruba Council of Elders’ constitution.
“This reaction is merely to assure our Yoruba compatriots who have been disturbed by this unwholesome act that my purported suspension by the elderly comedian is a ruse blowing in the wind, and the National Executive Committee, which is the apex organ of the council will meet and address the press on the issue very soon.”
The statement he issued and made available to journalists in Ibadan on Friday, read further that “Yoruba nation is resolute in forging ahead of people seeking relevance to distract people.”
Olajide stated that the former president of the YCE, Chief Idowu Sofola (SAN), “passed on suddenly last Februrary, and the National Executive Committee decided to honour his memory by not electing a successor immediately. So, Col. Agbede was mandated to act as interim president, pending the election of a new president by the National Executive Committee, the only organ empowered by the constitution to do so.
“Col. Agbede has made it impossible for the National Executive Committee to meet. He sourced for a few sycophants above 80 years old, constituted them into what he called Senior Elders Committee unknown to YCE constitution.
“I have remained and wi remain resolute that due process must be followed in electing or appointing new officers of the council. The apex Yoruba socio-cultural organisation cannot flout its rules to adopt unorthodox method to elect its officers.
“The state chapter will react shortly and the National Executive Committee is expected to meet very soon to either confirm Agbede as the council president or elect a new president. The Yoruba nation should please ignore the so-called suspension of these jesters.”