Kwara 101-year-old monarch begs for salary arrears

Kwara 101-year-old monarch begs for salary arrears

The traditional ruler of the ancient Jebba town in the Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State, Oba Abdulkadir Alabi Adebara, has pleaded with the state governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to restore his status as a traditional ruler in the state.
The 101-year-old Oba of Jebba also begged the government to pay his 21 years outstanding salary arrears and personal emoluments.

Speaking with Arewa PUNCH in an exclusive chat in his palace in the ancient town of Jebba, the traditional ruler explained that he was installed a Third Class grade monarch by the government of late Alhaji Adamu Attah in 1982, and Alhaji Mohammed Lawal reconfirmed his status over 20 years ago (May 16, 2003) when he was also as a governor of the state.

Kwara 101-year-old monarch begs for salary arrears

However, Adebara said that he was surprised when his title and office were withdrawn by subsequent administrations that emerged in the state.

While corroborating the allegation of the centenarian monarch and also highlighting his plight , the trio of Jebba traditional chiefs, led by the Eesa of Jebba, High Chief Jaiyeola Omotosho, Asiwaju of Jebba, Chief James Akano Babatunde, and the president, Jebba Descendants Union, Mr. Abdulkareem Yusuf, who said they were speaking on behalf of the people of Jebba,
opened up that the legal advice by Governor Abdulrazaq to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to effect the payment and restoration of the grade has yet to be obeyed.



They further stressed in a statement over the issue that, “HRH Oba Abdulkadir Alabi Adebara was appointed the Oba of Jebba, of Third Class status, on 16th May, 2003 by the then Executive Governor of Kwara State the late Alhaji Adamu Attah. Earlier in 1983, the stool of the Oba of Jebba was graded 3rd class by late Governor Adamu Attah. The grading was, however, withdrawn in 1984 by the military regime of late Group Captain S. A. Latinwo, ostensibly to please the feudal lords.

“But again, in 2002, also as a governor of the state, the late Alhaji Muhammed Alabi Lawal restored the grading of the Oba of Jebba and subsequently appointed the incumbent monarch when the stool became vacant, o nly for Dr. Bukola Saraki to withdraw it again, upon his assumption of office as governor of Kwara State, to appease the feudal lords,” the statement added.

The chiefs who said the entire community is unhappy over the mockery which the Jebba people have been subjected over the issue, urged the sitting  governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to direct his searchlight on the state Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs “by questioning the Commissioner over his role in this subterfuge.”

It maintained, “Even the reminder written by HRH the Oba of Jebba Ref.
HRH/OBJB/S.P/GOV/12/2023 dated December 18, 2023 on the subject matter has had no effect. We have strong reasons to believe that some officials of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in cahoot with one or two traditional rulers who are out to frustrate the payment of the accumulated salaries and allowances of our monarch.

“These traditional rulers have vowed that as long as they live, the Oba of Jebba shall not earn any salary,” they alleged further.

In the face of the situation, the Jebba community, therefore, implored the governor to implement in full, the two previous court judgments which insisted that, “The immediate constitution of a separate Traditional Council
for Moro Local Government” was probably the only way out of the present quagmire.

“The immediate upgrading of the stool of Oba of Jebba to First
Class status in line with his contemporaries of 1983 e.g.
Elese of Igbaja, Olosi of Osi, Olupako of Share, Etsu Tsaragi etc. Even stools that were not graded by 1983 are now First
Class e.g. Emir of Okuta, Emir of Yashikira, Emir of Ilesha
Baruba, etc., in the interest of justice, equity, and fairness,” the statement pleaded.

It maintained, “We pray that, Kwara State would continue to progress in peace and unity where no one will be oppressed.”
When first contacted for the state government’s reaction, the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mallam Abdullahi Bata, was said to have gone to Baruten Local Government for an official assignment last week Wednesday.

However, after several visits to Bata’s office, Arewa PUNCH finally met with him in person on Monday to clarify the matter, but he declined to speak, turning down every question asked him over the issue.
Pressed further, the Commissioner simply vacated his office and didn’t return, insisting that he would only return when all the pressmen had left his office.

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