A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, has warned the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, against manipulating the emergence of the next Ooni of Ife.
Following the passage of Oba Okunade Sijuwade, ruling houses in Ife, Osun State, will meet as part of the process of picking a new monarch.
However, George, who is the Atona Oodua of Yoruba land, told our correspondent during an interview, on Monday, that Tinubu should not use his relationship with the Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, to manipulate the process.
George said Tinubu should have learnt from the recent National Assembly crisis that undue interference in the affairs of established institutions could spell doom.
He said, “He will be making attempts to manipulate the process. They will do politics with it but it will blow up. They should allow the kingmakers to do their work. If he manipulates the process, he will create a huge problem in Yoruba land.
“Let him allow the kingmakers do their job. He should not set Yoruba land on fire. Aregbesola should, instead, focus on paying salaries.”
Ife is considered to be a stronghold of the PDP in Osun State.
When asked to react to the late Ooni’s closeness to former President Goodluck Jonathan, George said it had nothing to do with the process of the emergence of a king which is a sacred process.
George said the politics of Ife was not like that of Lagos and Tinubu should not set a bad precedence in Yoruba land.
“He (Tinubu) tried it at the National Assembly but came back with a slap. He should, therefore, not go out of his way to bring in an APC-inclined man as the next Ooni. We want an Ooni that will be fair and not connected with all these politicians.
“We need an experienced person. We want the person that the kingmakers will approve of. As the Atona Oodua, I know how these things are done.”
George urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the South-East produced the next Secretary to the Federal Government.
The PDP leader said doing otherwise would make the people of the geopolitical zone feel left out.
However, Tinubu’s spokesperson, Mr. Sunday Dare could not be reached for comment.