Olubadan ignores Ajimobi’s directive, elevates Ladoja 8 other High Chiefs.
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
Major chieftaincy crisis is now looming in Ibadan as the Olubadan in council has ignored Governor Abiola Ajimobi and the Oyo State government order on the elevation of nine High Chiefs including Senator Rashidi Ladoja and High Chief Lekan Balogun as the Otun Olubadan and Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland as well as High Chiefs Saliu Adetunji as Balogun Olubadan respectively.
Oyo State government had on Thursday ordered all the High Chiefs in Ibadan due for promotion into the vacant stools of Balogun and Otun Olubadan, Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland and seven others to submit medical reports certifying them fit for the positions “in line with extant chieftaincy laws” as well as the requested office of the Department of State Services to carry out security checks on the prospective occupants of the stools.
New Nigerian reliably gathered that the High Chiefs due for promotion but directed to submit medical report “certifying them fit for the positions” included a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, High Chief Lekan Balogun, the Accord Party governorship candidate, Senator Rashidi who is presently challenging the election victory of Governor Abiola Ajimobi at the Supreme Court.
But contrary to the directive by the state government and the purported foot-dragging method by the government, the Olubadan traditional council, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade yesterday promoted the new Balogun, Otun and seven other high ranked chiefs in Ibadanland following the approval of the date which the Olubadan-in-Council arrived at on Thursday at its meeting presided over by the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade.
Sources close to the Olubadan-in-Council said the council resolved to taking the decision after a month of waiting in vain for the state government approval of the elevation in line with the provision of the relevant laws which empowers the Olubadan-in-Council to go ahead with the exercise after 21 days of non-receipt of the approval from the state government.
Other Ibadan High Chiefs elevated by the Olubadan were High Chief
Akinloye Owolabi Olakulehin from Osi Balogun to Otun Balogun, High Chief Dr. Olufemi Olaifa from Ashipa Balogun to Osi Balogun; High Chief Sir Eddy Oduoye Oyewole from Ekerin Olubadan to Ashipa Olubadan, High Chief Tajudeen Abimbola Ajibola from Ekerin Balogun to Ashipa Balogun; High Chief Biodun Kola Daisi from Ekarun Olubadan to Ekerin Olubadan; High Chief Solomon O. Adabale from Ekarun Balogun to Ekerin Balogun at a ceremony presided over by the Olubadan himself with some of his palace chiefs.
Oyo State Government last Thursday December, 31,2015 in a letter signed by the Director of Chieftaincy Matters in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Z. O Jayeola, addressed to the Head of the Ibadan South East Local Government administration directed all the High Chiefs in Ibadan due for promotion into the vacant stools of Balogun,Otun Olubadan and Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland and seven others to submit medical reports certifying them fit for the positions “in line with extant chieftaincy laws” as well as the requested the office of the Department of State Services to carry out security checks on the prospective occupants of the stools,”.
According to the letter, the new directive was “in strict compliance with the Chiefs Law of the state, the ministry” and that “it had set machinery in motion to obtain the approval of the governor for the filling of the vacant tools following a November 30 letter by the Ibadan South East LG on the subject matter”.
“In line with Section 14 (2) Cap 28 Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000, our Ministry has commenced necessary steps towards the executive governor’s approval of the filling of the vacant stools of Balogun and Otun Olubadan of Ibadan land and seven others. In compliance with the dictates of the aforementioned law, the office of the Department of State Services had been requested to carry out security checks on the prospective occupants of the stools,” it said.
The government in the letter added that “in the same vein you are requested to advise the affected Chiefs to submit their medical reports issued by a state-owned secondary health institution to the ministry of local government and chieftaincy matters as part of requirements for being considered for the vacant stools.”
Speaking on the Oyo state government directive, the newly promoted Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja described it as a rumour which he could not react to because he only received a letter from the Olubadan to attend the installation which he duly attended and was installed, adding that such directive by the state government was never part of Ibadan traditional system.
“I think we should just allow the sleeping dog to lie. Olubadan has the prerogative of who to appoint as a chief,” he said.
Also, the new Otun-Olubadan, High Chief Lekan Balogun described the said order by the Oyo State government as strange which had never been in existence before now and could not be effective, adding that he was unaware of the state government’s proposed reformation of the ascension to the Olubadan throne as “the system is self-reforming and doesn’t need any committee or fiat from any quarter”.
High Chief Lekan Balogun described the Olubadan throne ascension as a function of the history of the people, adding that the system “is peculiar to the ancient city and there’s no way it can be compared to any other place in terms of the peaceful transition and the experience garnered over the years before one ascend the Olubadan throne”.