Lukman Gbadegesin

29.04.2023 Featured Real Reasons Oyo Gov’t Rejected the Candidate of Atiku, Oyomesi for Alaafin

Published 29th Apr, 2023

By Joseph Adeiye

On April 26, there were articles and rumours packaged as news that Prince Lukman Gbadegesin had been crowned the new Alaafin of Oyo.

The Oyo State Government quickly responded that it had not given assent to a new Alaafin.

Many of those blog posts have since been deleted but a couple of articles and a video on YouTube still refer to Gbadegesin as the new Alaafin.

Gbadegesin was a personal assistant to Alhaji Aruna Elewi, a minister of state for communication during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. He had also told FIJ that he had been close to Atiku Abubakar, former Nigerian vice president and the Peoples Democratic Party candidate for the 2023 presidential election.

READ MORE: Lukman Gbadegesin Is One of the Favourites To Become Alaafin of Oyo. But He Has a Multimillion Naira ‘Fraud’ Stain

So, why did news of Gbadegesin as the new Alaafin make haste to blogs and what does the Oyo State Government really think about the kingmaking process?

“Due process must be followed; up until now, no name has been approved. The state governor, Seyi Makinde, has asked that they should go back and follow due process. Once that is done, the public will be briefed appropriately,” Wasiu Olatunbosun, the commissioner for information, told The PUNCH on Thursday.

It is believed in some quarters that Gbadegesin has become the favourite of the Oyomesi, the privy council that nominates the next Alaafin. More accurately, FIJ understands Gbadegesin has become the favourite of a faction of Oyomesi for the Oyo traditional stool.

However, Makinde has refused to approve any candidate’s name because the Oyomesi had not followed due process.

READ ALSO: Lamidi Adeyemi, Longest-Reigning Alaafin of Oyo, Is Dead

Why is Gbadegesin not the perfect candidate for the vacant and revered Alaafin position? An FIJ report from 2022 would suffice as an answer to the question.

FIJ had found that Gbadegesin had held on to over N30 million in a business deal gone wrong for over a year. Gbadegesin had also left a couple of others terrified of him.

Akin Adejumo, an engineer and an erstwhile acquaintance of Gbadegesin, told FIJ that he sent N64 million to Gbadegesin who had offered to help him purchase some agricultural equipment.

Adejumo said that he asked for a refund when Gbadegesin failed to deliver his N64m equipment as agreed in 2015.

“I didn’t take the case to any law court, I only reported the case to the office of the Inspector General of Police. Truly, he has been able to refund some of the money. I think he started to pay back in July 2021. I cannot tell if he will pay up the rest soon; that, I cannot tell,” Adejumo said.

“He is a younger brother but he is a criminal. I wouldn’t want to say anything more than that.”

READ ALSO: FACT CHECK: Is the Alaafin of Oyo Still Alive?

Other sources who had had an ugly experience with Gbadegesin told FIJ that they feared him.

A petition written against Gbadegesin to the Inspector General of Police in 2019 claimed that he threatened lives.

“You should stop searching for me on this matter if you want to remain alive. And if you report this matter to anybody, you and that person will endanger yourselves and your entire family,” the petition quoted Gbadegesin as saying.

If the Oyomesi did a background check on Gbadegesin’s business history, this would normally be scandalous for a potential Alaafin.

The Oyomesi nominates Alaafin candidates but it is the state government that holds the stamp of approval.

An 86-man shortlist, including Gbadegesin, had been available for the Oyomesi to pick a new Alaafin from since September 5, 2022.

The Alaafin stool has been vacant since Alaafin Adeyemi’s death on April 22, 2022.

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Published 29th Apr, 2023

By Joseph Adeiye


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