Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, on Sunday, made good his threat to install 21 monarchs in Ibadanland, with a strong message to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1, not to allow failed politicians confuse him.
Speaking at the installation which held at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, the governor said he had earlier visited the Olubadan and explained the good intention behind the review of Ibadan Chieftaincy law and the monarch agreed.
But, when he left the palace, the monarch allowed some disgrunted elements to confuse him.
Ajimobi said if Lagos has about 52 monarchs, then Ibadan deserves no less.
Oba Adetunji and the Osi Olubadan, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, shunned the installation, witnessed by a mammoth crowd.
Ladoja, who had earlier rejected the new status of Oba conferred on him, is in court to challenge the review, citing illegality in the action of the governor.
The former governor is challenging the review of the 1957 Chieftaincy Law of Ibadan which produced the Obas as opposed to the system which had only the Olubadan as the beaded crown-wearing monarch in Ibadanland.
Ajimobi said: “Let us shun acrimony, politics and all sorts of bickering. All our brothers who are getting angry should go and cool temper. This is our time. By 2019, it will be time for others. I had been to our father, the Olubadan, and explained everything regarding this review to him and he understood and agreed with me. But immediately I left his room, other people went in and dissuaded him.
“Our Olubadan is still to be promoting the Chiefs; he is still to be collecting tributes (Isakole). Our father made me the Aare of Ibadanland. I’m begging our father not to be partisan. He should ignore those telling him untoward things. Those who are confusing him have been beaten thrice. I call on all stakeholders to join hands together and lift Ibadanland. We are not tinkering with the tradition of the Olubadan succession stool. There must be General in the Army, but if he does not have able lieutenants, the troop is not viable. We are only keeping tradition alive by adding something to it.
“The decision to elevate our Chiefs was not my unilateral one. Many stakeholders, including our late Otun Olubadan, High Chief Omowale Kuye, had approached me, asking that the present tradition be changed. A situation where our own Olubadan goes to functions without other lower Obas accompanying him is not in line with modern tradition.
“In Lagos State, there are 52 Obas apart from Oba Akiolu. Other zones of Oyo State also have Obas except Ibadanland. I am not fighting our Olubadan. After this ceremony, I will still go and greet him at home and appeal to him in the interest of Ibadanland. He remains our paramount ruler”.
The governor maintained that the innovation was not to change history, culture or tradition but to consolidate and elevate the exalted position of the Olubadan.
At the occasion, Ajimobi said the elevated eight High Chiefs and 13 Baales are now to be known as Royal Majesties and Royal Highnesses.
He said the Olubadan is now to be addressed as “His Imperial Majesty” in view of his position as the paramount ruler of Ibadanland.
Ajimobi said further: “We are not changing history, tradition or culture of Ibadan, but rather we are consolidating, elevating the exalted position of the Olubadan of Ibadanland. We are promoting the Olubadan-in-Council, promoting every aspect of Olubadan Chieftaincy Tradition and our father, Olubadan, remains the Imperial Majesty. No Oba should play politics or be used by disgruntled politicians in this state”.
The governor also stressed that his action was not unfounded as other Administrations had attempted reforming the tradition.
“The Military in 1974 and 1981 effected some changes while former Governors Kolapo Ishola and Lam Adesina also attempted, but could not carry out the implementation of the White Paper endorsed. Former Governor Ladoja was also not left out during his administration but could not come out with his recommendations through the Oloko Commission. With the support of all stakeholders, the review has come to fruition during my own time”.
Noting that he did the review according to the law and tradition of Ibadanland and in line with Sections 10 and 25, Cap 28 of the Oyo State Chieftaincy Law, 2000, Ajimobi declared: “Oyo State Government has ensured that due process has been followed and we are not encumbered by any legal inhibition”.
The High Chiefs elevated to the position of Oba, adorned with beaded crowns and staffs of office are His Royal Majesty, Oba Moshood Olalekan Balogun, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland; Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, the Balogun of Ibadanland; Oba Tajudeen Ajibola, the Osi Balogun of Ibadanland; Oba Eddy Oyewole, Asipa Olubadan of Ibadanland; Oba Kolawole Adegbola, Ekarun Balogun; Oba Latifu Gbadamosi Adebimpe, Ashipa Balogun of Ibadanland; Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi, Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadanland and Oba Amidu Ajibade, the Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadanland.
The Baales elevated to the position of His Royal Highness and adorned with beaded walking staff and coronets are Oba Gbolagade Babalola, Onido of Ido; Oba Olabamiji Thomas, Alakufo of Akufo; Oba Wahab Okedina, Oloke of Okelade-Okin; Oba Dauda Omotoso, Alawotan of Awotan; Oba Adeboye Salako, Olofa of Offa; Oba Rafiu Alawusa, Onilagun of Lagun; Oba Tiamiyu Ladipo, Alaba of Aba-Nla and Oba James Obisesan, Alakanran of Akanran.
Others are Oba Lasisi Akano, Onijaye of Ijaye; Oba Ismaila Abioye Opeola, Oniroko of Iroko; Oba Moses Akinyosoye, Onikereku of Ikereku; Oba Mudasiru Adebayo, Ololodo of Olodo and Oba Victor Okunola, Elegbeda of Egbeda.
At the event were the deputy governor, Otunba Moses Adeyemo, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Olalekan Ali; the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Gbade Ojo; Commissioners for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun; Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Bimbo Kolade; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Micheal Adeyemo; former Military Governor of Lagos and Ogun states, General Raji Rasaki; Chief Lanre Oyelade, a member of the House of Representatives, Saheed Fijabi; Chief Lamidi Ajadi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Niyi Akintola; Chief Bayo Oyero, Chief Bayo Akande, Oloye K.O Olatunji, Alhaji Gbenga Arulogun, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigerian, Oyo State chapter, Pastor Benjamin Akanmu; the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Daud Akinola and the Mogaji of Ile Ajimobi, Alhaji Wasiu Ajimobi.