Premium Times has reported on the continuation of the verbal War of the Monarchs. In the report, the Alake of Egbaland, Adedoyin Gbadebo responded to the Awujale of Ijebuland, Sikiru Adetona’s statement describing him as a junior and uneducated traditional ruler who was distorting Yoruba history stating they were not on the same cadre considering he earned higher salary.
The Alake said the comment was uncalled for and not civil. He however said while he would provide details negating the Awujale’s claims, he would refrain from trading insults with a highly regarded monarch of Awujale’s status.
At a press conference held at his Ake palace, Abeokuta, Gbadebo, represented by Egba Chieftaincy Committee headed by Sikirulai Atobatele (Balogun of Egbaland), said his ranking was supported by documentary evidence.
He said in 1937, the Ooni of Ife categorized Yoruba Traditional Rulers at the Central Native Council Meeting chaired by the then Governor-General, Sir William Macgregor, at Government House, Lagos.
“Those in attendance included the Ooni of Ife, Alafin of Oyo, Oba of Benin, Alake of Abeokuta and Awujale of Ijebu-Ode,” he said.
“The Egbas arrived and settled in Abeokuta mainly in 1830. The first Alake in Abeokuta was installed in 1854, followed by the Olowu in 1855, the Agura in 1870 and the Osile in 1897,” the committee said.
The statement said Egba cabinet approved by the then Governor of Lagos under the Egba United Government Proclamation of February 1,1898 had Alake as President, Osile(Minister of Justice), Agura (Minister of Communications and Works) and Olowu (Minister of Finance).
“Historically speaking, Alake was higher by salary differentials paid by colonial government. (1) Alake of Abeokuta £2,250 (2) Awujale of Ijebu-Ode £1, 700,” the statement said.
The committee attributed their information to page 4, paragraph 4, Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Information National Archives, File Nos 33044, CSO 26, letter SP11828120, Secretary’s Office, Southern Province, Enugu, 31st January, 1938.