Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Members of the Olubadan-in-Council who have been elevated from ‘High Chiefs’ to beaded-crown wearing monarchs have accused the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland and former governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, as the mastermind of the crisis rocking the Olubadan chieftaincy system since the middle of 2017.
The accusation was contained in a statement issued yesterday and signed by the Otun Olubadan and next-in-rank to Oba Saliu Adetunji, the incumbent Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun; Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin; Otun Balogun, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola; Ashipa Olubadan, Oba Eddy Oyewole; Ashipa Balogun, Oba Gbadamosi Adebimpe; and Ekaarun Olubadan, Oba Amidu Ajibade.
According to the monarchs, Ladoja got it wrong on why they released the allowances of Olubadan, which they earlier suspended, adding that the ongoing reconciliation between them and Olubadan was not facilitated by Ladoja as being reported, but by Oba Adetunji.
The statement read in part: “What motivated the release of the suspended stipend was the letter from the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, ref: CB.211/2T1/237 dated August 6, 2018, which is self-explanatory. The ministry’s letter was in response to Olubadan’s letter captioned: ‘Suspension of payment of monthly stipends/allowance of members of traditional Councils in Ibadanland by Olubadan of Ibadan’ dated July 16, 2018.
“The ministry then enjoined us to release the outstanding monthly allowances of the Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, the Olubadan of Ibadan, in the interest of peace.
“Ladoja, as a former governor of Oyo State, is conversant with the chiefs laws of Oyo State, and, so, cannot claim ignorance of the Chiefs Law Cap 28, Section 28(i), Volume 1, which states: ‘that the governor may, from time to time, after consultation with the Council of Obas and Chiefs of the State by order, specify the chieftaincies, the holders for the time being, who are entitled to wear beaded crowns’ and which law ultimately perfected the elevation of 48 Obas in Oyo State, including the Ibadan ‘high chiefs’ to crown and coronet wearing obas by Oyo State governor, on March 22, 2018.
“As a spoiler or confussionist that Ladoja is known for, he should approach the court of law to challenge the governor on the above law, if he feels offended. Oh! He is helpless about it.
“At best, he seemed jealous of our elevation, forgetting that the moment we were elevated as royal majesties, that was the moment our revered Kabiyesi, the Olubadan of Ibadanland became elevated from ‘His Royal Majesty’ to ‘His Imperial Majesty’ in Ibadanland. The ‘high chiefs’ in Ibadanland have become Obas under the Imperial Majesty of Kabiyesi, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, while we are still members of Olubadan-in-Council unadulterated.
“We are obas in our different local government areas as our ‘domains’ as assigned to us by the Subsidiary Legislation of Recognised Chieftaincies (Miscellaneous Provision) order as found on Page 389 Cap 28 section 1,2, and 3 of the Chiefs law of Oyo State.
“By inference, the above implies or means that the elevated high chiefs (new obas) were posted or entitled to their different local governments by law and not by the Olubadan of Ibadan as erroneously held or paraded by mischievous elite in Ibadanland, Ladoja inclusive.
“Ladoja chose to remain (or retain) a high chief by his own design, born out of his egoistic in-born character or manner, because he was not the architect of the modernisation of Ibadan traditional system.
“What he even attempted to do on November 23, 2005, by elevating the Olubadan of Ibadanland to an Imperial Majesty and all traditional chiefs in Ibadanland from Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland to Jagun Balogun of Ibadanland, as well as some Baales in Ibadanland (Onijaye of Ijaye, the Baale of Lalupon, the Onikereku of Ikereku and Baale of Erunmu), all totaling 47 chiefs to first-class traditional rulers/chiefs in Ibadanland, but failed woefully to achieve out of timidity.