The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Senator Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II, has described claim that he endorsed the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi for the 2023 presidency as falsehood concocted to mislead the general public.
The denial followed viral video being shared by Obi’s supporters in which one of the chiefs of Olubadan was seen praying for the success of the Labour Party candidate.
The video was taken during the visit of Obi and Labour Party leaders to the palace of the last Saturday.
The Labour Party presidential candidate was received by the Ibadan monarch and some of his high chiefs at his Alarere residence.
But in a statement issued on Tuesday, the palace of Olubadan said the prayer for Obi does not amount to endorsement of his candidacy as being insinuated by the LP’s presidential candidate supporters.
The Palace emphasized that Olubadan and his cabinet members cannot belong to any political party and would never express preference for any candidate or political party in the public.
It added that the the palace of Olubadan belongs to all just as the occupier of the exalted stool remains father of all as well.
The full statement read: “The attention of the palace of Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Sen. Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II has been drawn to the claim of endorsement of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi by the monarch and his members of Advisory Council, a claim described as false and self concocted one to mislead the general public.
“The palace could have ignored the report and dismissed it with a wave of hand, but with the torrents of inquiries by some of our credible media houses seeking clarification before publishing and the need to counter social media trending of the foul report without professional touch, this reaction becomes imperative.
“How could anybody would have in his or widest imagination assume that a presidential candidate of any political party would receive an open endorsement from a place like the palace of Olubadan? That must be a crude joke carried too far. It is preposterous to say the least.
“While discountenancing the claim of endorsement by the Olubadan Advisory Council, our politicians are counseled to please leave the palace out of their game. The campaign is just starting and the visits to the palaces are part of the itinerary of the candidates and how would they feel should the gates of palaces be locked against them?
“For the umpteenth time, let it be emphasized that Olubadan and his cabinet members do not and cannot belong to any political party and they would never express preference for any candidate or political party in the public no matter the degree of temptation. The palace of Olubadan belongs to all just as the occupier of the exalted stool remains father of all as well.
“In the meantime, I commend my professional colleagues and their respective media houses who saw the oddity in such claim and sought for further clarifications following their putting the report in abeyance.
“I also appeal to the social media handlers to always think twice before rushing out with report as the season we are in presently does not call for undue sensationalism,” the monarch added.
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