“I’m not interested in anything they are doing because it is illegal. Ibadan chieftaincy issue is a native, local law, not a state law. So, it is the business of Ibadan people”.
With these words from former governor of Oyo State and the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, the stage was set on Friday for a major crisis in the ancient city.
The peace of the city, known for its orderly succession plan into the office of the Olubadan, was shattered recently when Governor Abiola Ajimobi announced that
30 prominent chiefs would be made kings with the titles ‘His Royal Majesty’ and His Royal Highness’.
Ladoja, one of the chiefs elevated to the status of a king, immediately approached the court to declare Ajimobi’s action illegal but on Friday, the governor issued letters of conferment of Obaship on 21 of the chiefs.
Their coronation will hold on Sunday at Mapo Hall, Ibadan.
To Ladoja, everything Ajimobi has done is illegal, unlawful, null and void.
He said: “I am already in court to prove that the government does not have the right to interfere in the Olubadan chieftaincy matter. And I am sure government has been served court processes because the Attorney General was in court for hearing on Monday. The AG said nothing would be done. ”
While explaining its decision, the state government said its action was in line with the provisions of the recently amended 1959 Declaration of Olubadan and other related chieftaincies in Ibadanland as well as the government White Paper as conveyed in Government Gazette No 14, Notice 27 Vol. 42 of 23rd August 2017 and Gazette No. 15 Notice 28 Vol. 42 of August 24, 2017 respectively.
The government stated that the governor exercised his powers as conferred on him by Section 28(i) Cap. Vol 1 of the Chiefs Law of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000 and the amended 1959 declaration.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Olalekan Alli, who presented the letters at the House of Chiefs, explained that eight High Chiefs were given letters elevating them to Obaship and changing their titles to “His Royal Majesty” while 13 Baales were elevated to “His Royal Highness”, noting that nine vacant Baale stools were not conferred but their positions are now recognised as Obas.
Alli said that High Chief Senator Lekan Balogun, Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland; High Chief Eddy Oyewole, Ashipa Olubadan of Ibadanland; High Chief Akinloye Owolabi Olakuleyin, the Balogun of Ibadanland; High Chief Tajudeen A. Ajibola, Osi Balogun of Ibadaland; High Chief Latifu Gbadamosi Adebimpe, Asipa Balogun of Ibadanland; High Chief Dr Kolawole Adegbola, Ekarun Blaogun of Ibadanland; High Chief Abiodun Kola-Daisi, Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadanland and High Chief S. Amidu Ajibade, Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadanland will now be addressed as Royal Majesties while the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, remains the Imperial Majesty with no disruption or amendment to the traditional Olubadan Chieftaincy ascendancy system or structure .
He stated that Chief Lasisi Akano, Onijaye of Ijaye; Chief Ismaila Olasunkanmi, Oniroko of Iroko, Chief Moses Olasunkanmi, Onikereku of Ikereku; Chiief Mudasiru Omodele Adebayo, Baale Olodo; Chief Victor Sunday Okunola, Elegbeda of Egbeda; Alhaji Wahab Olabamiji Okedina, Baale Okelade-Okin; Chief Olabamiji Ahmed Thomas, Alakufo of Akufo; Chief Gbolagade Muritala Babalola, Onido of Ido; Chief Dauda Omotoso, Baale Awotan; Chief Tiamiyu Labiyi Ladipo, Baale of Abanla and Chief James Oladipo Obisesan, Baale Akanran were conferred with His Royal Highness status.
Speaking on behalf of the new Obas, Lekan Balogun thanked Ajimobi for answering the call of the people to review the Olubadan chieftaincy declaration of 1959, stressing that the new development is God-ordained.