OYO, Nigeria – Scores of traders under the umbrella of Coalition of Market Groups of Oyo State, on Tuesday, protested against the installation of Babaloja of Oyo State by the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji.
OgeneAfrican learnt that the Olubadan had last month, installed Chief Yekini Abass as the Babaloja of Oyo state.
But, the traders, who stormed the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Secretariat in Ibadan to register their displeasure over what they termed as imposition, noted that the installation of Babaloja is not the duty of the Olubadan to select or appoint Babaloja in Oyo state.
The five trade unions under the coalition, has the Oyo State Market Men and Women led by its chairman, Alhaji Dauda Abiodun Oladepo, Ibadan Joint Traders Association led by Chief Odunade Kayode Danjuma, National Association of Nigeria Traders led by Alhaji Kamorudeen Salaudeen, Progressive Trade Men and Antisans led by Chief Tewogbade Tobalase and Association of Concerned General Traders.
Others at the rally included the Iyaloja- General of Oyo state, Alhaja Wuraola Atanda-Daisi, Southwest Coordinator of National Traders Association of Nigeria, Chief Odunade Kayode-Danjuma, and her secretary, Chief Abiodun Adegoke.
Oladepo, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, explained that Olubadan had promised not to interfere in the internal affairs of the traders.
He noted that the unions were surprised to discover that he is now imposing Babaloja general of the state on the people rather than maintaining his stand on the said issue.
“We appreciated the governor for allowing us to work during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. If you see the different unions present here today, you will see that we are the real authentic Traders. On this issue of Babaloja of the state, we can’t accept any imposition. Our own Babaloja is Alhaji Jimoh Akinremi.
“Appointing Babaloja General of the state has a process which must be duly followed. All the marketers in the state have started the process by visiting the house of chiefs, secretariat Ibadan before we heard someone has been installed.
“We are talking about Babaloja of Oyo state and not Ibadan land. If the government ratifies the imposed Babaloja, we are going to ensure that all zones have their Babaloja General.”