The Olubadan of Ibadanland in Oyo State, Oba Senator Lekan Balogun, (Alli Okunmade II), has debunked his reported endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
Balogun and members of his Advisory Council described the reported endorsement of Obi for the 2023 presidential election as false.
According to the monarch, it is intended to mislead the general public.
Obi led his campaign team to pay a courtesy visit to the monarch on Saturday during which some of the members of the traditional ruler’s Advisory Council joined to receive the former governor of Anambra State at the Alarere residence of the monarch.
After the visit, it was reported that the monarch endorsed Obi for the next presidential election.
But in a statement debunking the report, Olubadan said, “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 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.”