By: BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji on Tuesday insisted that the ” controversial approval of beaded crowns by the Oyo State Government to Ibadan High Chiefs and Baales ” still remains reversible.
Oba Adetunji made this known in a statement issued by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Alhaji Adeola Oloko made available to newsmen in Ibadan.
The Olubadan who was apparently responding to a statement by Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Monday while distributing cars to the 36 newly elevated traditional rulers in Ibadanland declared that judgment delivered by Justice Aiki of the Oyo State High Court had declared the whole chieftaincy reform illegal, null and void.
“Afterwards, the Oyo State Government decided to file an appeal at the Federal High Court. My position is that if a case is in court, it is no longer open for discussion as this statement is automatically subjudice. If it is not reversible, why did the two parties have to go to court?” he said
Oba Adetunji while faulting the statement by the Governor that the hue and cry, which greeted the controversial crowning of the traditional rulers was political,said “the issue raised is customary and traditional in nature.”
“My humble opinion is that the procedure for approval of beaded crowns for any chief or Baale in Ibadan was not discussed at the Olubadan-in-Council level. If it was discussed, how would any of the High Chiefs bear two titles at the same time? Oba and High Chief? Abomination.”
Emphasizing that while he was not opposed to provision of cars for traditional rulers by the State Government, he asked Governor Abiola Ajimobi to prevail upon the controversial kings to release the eleven months salaries of palace staff which they have been withholding along with Olubadan’s salary cheques, even when the allocations for traditional councils have been released.
Declaring that “it is to avoid breakdown of law and order in Ibadan land and beyond that he maintained dignified silence, Oba Adetunji that if the motive behind the reform was to modernize, then the reform had bred indiscipline and gangsterism.
The Olubadan recalled that one of the cases in mind was the failed attempt by “the so-called new kings, backed by the Oyo State Government to under-mine the authority of the Olubadan who decreed no masquerade dance.”
“Even, when all masqueraders under the leadership of the Olori Alagbaa; Baale Labala and Aare Isese of Ibadan land complied with the order, the State Government along with one of its commissioners went on propaganda spree, saying that Olubadan order had been disobeyed, as masquerades danced in one of the embattled high chief’s compound. We told them to produce the pictures on newspaper pages or television screen. Was Atipako there? Was Alapansanpa there? Was Olunlade there? Was Oloolu there?
On the purported statement credited to Alaaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, decrying long term reservation of Ibadan people to have more obas, Oba Adetunji advised Alaaafin to recommend his high chiefs to become crown-wearing obas, if it was so desirable.