Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), is currently enmeshed in leadership crisis, following the death of the former president, Chief Idowu Sofolahan, in March 2018.
The crack in the council’s leadership became evident, yesterday, when the Secretary General of YCE, Kunle Olajide, addressed a press conference in Ibadan and said the council does not have a president since the death of Sofolahan.
He said: “An attempt to elect a successor to Sofolahan on June 27, 2018 ended in chaos. We, therefore, decided to appoint ‘an Interim president’, unconstitutional though, to oversee the affairs of the council briefly – duration or tenure was not specified, for tempers to cool before the election of a new president.
“Col. Samuel Agbede (retd), who had not never been a member of the National Executive Council (NEC), was appointed in the belief that he was not likely to be ambitious and would, therefore, be able to impartially supervise the election of a new president.
“Unfortunately and unbelievably, he became so ambitious that he has resisted every attempt to elect a new president. He has taken unwholesome actions, including bringing uniformed bouncers to terrorise members at a meeting. On another occasion, he brought miscreants and thugs to disrupt the meeting of state chairmen.
“At a point, he got five members to pronounce him president and insisted he remains president without due process.”
But, in a telephone interview with Daily Sun yesterday, Agbede countered Olajide and said he remains the president
Agbede described the submission of Olajide as a false and distorted information, adding that the elders of YCE chose him as interim president and later ratified his appointment as president, when the elders noticed his achievements in office within a short period.
He contended that Olajide embarked on the sinister moves based on frustration because he wanted to be the council’s president, but the elders reportedly rejected him because he had taken YCE to court once, adding that Olajide “is free to take the council to court the second time.”
Agbede said the elders are united in their decision and have cautioned the council’s leadership against talking to journalists on Olajide, because the more they talk about him, the more they would expose his alleged misdeeds in the running of affairs of the council and using the council to curry favour from politicians, when the council is a non-partisan body.
Olajide, however, said the way forward is for the state chairmen of the council from Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, and Kwara states to come together and elect an authentic president for YCE. But Agbede said he did not lobby to be president of the council, but the elders made him president.