Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
New kings in Ibadan have vowed not to return to the palace of Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji Aje Ogungunniso I, as ‘high chiefs’ but as kings.
The decision of the kings, who are members of Olubadan-in-Council, was made known to journalists in Ibadan, yesterday after a meeting at Alalubosa residence of the Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin.
The former administration in Oyo State, led by Abiola Ajimobi had on Sunday, August 27, 2017 installed eight among the 11 members of Olubadan-in-Council as beaded-crown wearing kings.
Before the past administration reviewed the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration, all the 11 members of the council had the prefix of ‘high chiefs’ before their names, in order to separate them from senior and junior chiefs on the two lines to the Olubadan stool.
One member of the council, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, who is the Osi Olubadan and a former governor of the state, rejected the crown. The other two members died before the installation day. But beaded-crown wearing monarchs are lesser in royal status to Olubadan.
Oba Olakulehin, who is from the Balogun Line, one of the two chieftaincy lines that produce occupier of Olubadan stool on rotational basis, was not at the meeting held on Monday, at the Popoyemoja palace of Oba Adetunji, which was attended by Ladoja and two of the beaded-crown wearing kings: the Otun Olubadan, Oba Lekan Balogun and Ekarun Olubadan, Oba Hamidu Ajibade, who are all from the Otun chieftaincy line.
But at the end of their own the meeting yesterday, the new kings vowed that they would only return to the palace in order to be having regular meetings with Olubadan, if Oba Adetunji and his aides are ready to recognise them as kings, saying their new status as kings had been gazetted by the government, which means they are legally recognised as kings and not ‘high chiefs.’
But Oba Adetunji has refused to recognise them as kings,
In the statement jointly signed by Oba Balogun, and Oba Olakulehin, they said: “The reform carried out by the immediate past governor of the state, Ajimobi, was in the best interest of Ibadan and in response to the age long agitation for befitting status for the Ibadan ‘high chiefs’ within the larger Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs.