Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
After more than one year of supremacy battle between two factions in the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), one of the factional leaders, Ade Agbede, yesterday voluntarily threw in the towel.
He made the announcement during a meeting held by the Senior Elders’ Forum of the council at the Bodija, Ibadan residence of the first female Professor of Library Science in Africa, Adetoun Ogunseye, who presided over the meeting.
The meeting was said to have brainstormed on the future of the council and the need to ensure the council’s future is not jeopardised. But they vowed not to have anything to do with the new leadership of YCE, who they alleged was facilitated by Kunle Olajide, the general secretary of the council, who was purportedly suspended by the elders’ forum.
Recently, the other faction chose Justice Ademola Bakre (retd) as the new substantive president general to succeed the last substantive president general, Chief Idowu Sofola in 2017.
Agbede, according to Olajide, was chosen to act as president general of the council and conduct election for a new substantive president general to emerge, arguing that instead of conducting the election, he used the Senior Elders’ Forum to confirm his appointment as the substantive president general. Olajide contended further that the forum was unknown to the YCE constitution.
But the Senior Elders’ Forum that alleged that Olajide has been running YCE as his personal property, noted that Olajide had taken them to court to stop the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, that the faction wanted to hold a few weeks ago, adding that they would not join issues with Olajide by going to court, saying: “We do not elect going to court because we refuse to drag or expose the name and integrity of Yoruba into disrepute.”
The forum recalled that the role of elders has been well articulated in the pamphlet issued by the late Pa. Emmanuel Alayande’s administration at the inception of the YCE.
“The constitution claimed by Olajide, Oluwasanmi and Bakre is unknown to us. Though, we asked Olajide to surrender the document with him to the president, but he refused.
“In that regard, we cannot comment on something we have not seen. The said constitution was hoarded and we have no access to it.
“The group of Olajide, Oluwasanmi and Bakre has declared it does not recognise us and we cannot force ourselves on them. Hence, we hereby dissociate ourselves from the YCE of Olajide, Oluwasanmi and Bakre and remain on our own.”