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Balogun, Ibadan chiefs drop crowns, revert to original hierarchy

By Rotimi Agboluaje, Ibadan
14 January 2022   |   3:41 am
The crisis rocking the Ibadan chieftaincy institution appeared to have been laid to rest, yesterday, after members of the Olubadan-in-Council (previously promoted as kings) agreed to drop their titles.

The crisis rocking the Ibadan chieftaincy institution appeared to have been laid to rest, yesterday, after members of the Olubadan-in-Council (previously promoted as kings) agreed to drop their titles.

The decision was taken during a meeting at the Olubadan’s Palace in Oja’ba, attended by the coronet-wearing Obas, who were Baales in the suburbs of Ibadan before their elevation, and some Mogajis.

The Osi-Balogun Olubadan, High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola, who addressed journalists on the outcome of the meeting, said they agreed with Governor Seyi Makinde’s decision to revert to the original concept.

He recalled that the process of nominating the next Olubadan, which kingmakers concluded on Tuesday, was done according to the original concept.

“We agreed with the governor. All the processes leading to the nomination of a successor to the late Olubadan were in line with the original concept of hierarchy, in accordance with the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration.”

He said commenting on the case in court “is sub-judicial.” He maintained that what was taken to court was an infringement on the fundamental human right of the respective plaintiffs, asking the court to determine the lawfulness of judging a case in the absence of the direct beneficiaries of the issue in contest.

The controversy began in 2017 when the administration of the late former Governor Abiola Ajimobi embarked on reform of the ancient Ibadan traditional system, which culminated in elevation of High Chiefs to Royal Majesties and Baales to Royal Highnesses.

Despite the then government’s position that all stakeholders should be carried along, the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji and Osi-Olubadan, who is also a former governor in the state, Rashidi Ladoja, opposed the reform. It was subsequently challenged in the court of law.

Though the case is yet to be determined, Makinde, during a condolence visit to the palace of the late Adetunji, on Tuesday, publicly denounced the reform made by his predecessor.

Makinde said he would toe the path of the late Adetunji on the issue, which was total rejection of the reform and revert to the pre-reform status of all personalities involved.

The meeting was attended by six members of the Olubadan-in-Council: High Chiefs Owolabi Olakulehin (Balogun of Ibadanland), Tajudeen Ajibola (Otun Balogun), Lateef Adebimpe (Osi-Balogun), Kola Adegbola (Ashipa Balogun), Eddy Oyewole (Ashipa Olubadan), and Hamidu Ajibade (Ekarun Olubadan). Also present were: 20 Royal Highnesses and 15 Mogajis.