Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, yesterday commended The Sun newspapers and other media houses on objective roles they played during the chieftaincy crisis that rocked traditional institution in Ibadanland.
The crisis, which pitted members of Olubadan-in-Council against the palace followed the review of the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration and subsequent installation of 21 kings as beaded-crown and coronet-wearing monarchs in the 11 local government areas of Ibadan.
Oba Adetunji gave the commendation when he played host to a chairmanship candidate of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ademola Babalola, and his team, who visited him at the palace ahead of the December 18, 2019 election of the union. The monarch, however, showered royal blessings on Babalola and his team.
The 21 chiefs promoted to the status of kings by the immediate past administration of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State comprised eight among 11 members of Olubadan-in-Council and 13 village heads (Baales). They were all installed as kings at Mapo Hall on August 27, 2017.
A member of Olubadan-in-Council and former governor of the state, Rashidi Ladoja, rejected the crown, while two other members of the council died before the installation.
Ladoja dragged the state government and the installed kings to the state High Court. A judgment delivered in January 2018 by Justice Olajumoke Aiki on the case, declared the review of Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration as illegal, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect. The state under the past administration, however, appealed the judgment of the High Court.
But the current administration of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde, through the Commissioner for Justice, Oyelowo Oyewo, had approached the Court of Appeal that it wanted to withdraw the appeal and settle out of court.
The higher court said it was set for judgment and the case could not be withdrawn. The court then directed that the case be retried at the High Court and should be assigned to another judge.
Ladoja has broken a truce between the palace and the members of Olubadan-in-Council and peace seems to have returned.
Oba Adetunji noted that the media showed their objectivity in the reportage of the events, culminating in the recent truce brokered by Ladoja, in consonance with his Otun, Lekan Balogun.
“The media roles can never neither be quantified nor forgotten in a hurry. Many of you showed loyalty to the preservation of Ibadan cultural norms and tradition, and by extension peace and development of this great city of Ibadan in carrying out your assignments while the crisis lasted,” Oba Adetunji.
The monarch, who commended the media, also thanked sons and daughters of Ibadan as well as non-indigenes for their support, saying: “The palace will continue to support the media and maintain the cordial relationship with progressive-minded individuals in the state,” Oba Adetunji said.
In his reaction, Babalola commended the monarch for his fatherly role in the city, saying himself and his team were in the palace to receive royal blessings from him.