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Enters the new Olubadan: All hail the King


OlubadanOba Adetunji: From cradle to King

All roads lead to the ancient city of Ibadan, Oyo State today as entertainment Impresario, Chief Saliu Adetunji is installed as the 41st Olubadan Of Ibadan, by the Governor of the State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.

Chief Adetunji will adopt the appellation of “Aje Ogungun Niso 1’’ (Commerce is the source of wealth) of Ibadan land, a pointer to his successful life in the world of commerce.

Though he would be hugging the limelight of royalty today, the 87-year old patriarch of the Adetunji Family of Opopo Yemoja was never born with a silver spoon in his mouth. As a young man, the Olubadan-designate grew up encountering multitude of challenges that made his journey rough.

He was born into the family of Adetunji of Popo Yemoja over eighty years ago.

His parents were both traders and growing up under the wings of his trader parents shaped his career in business, though he strayed into tailoring vocation at a point in his life.

Adetunji had little education, but as he grew up, he made up for this gap with his native intelligence and knack for business.

The new Olubadan is also a lady’s man and had fathered children with eight women. He is presently married with four wives and has about 24 surviving children, having lost some of them to the vagaries of life.

His philosophy of life is “live and let live”. He often admonishes the people around him to cherish peace and conduct their affairs without rancour.

“I want everybody to practise their religions peacefully and not overdo things that would get them into trouble. They should do all things in moderation, in order not get into trouble with the law, because we are subjects of the law,’’ he said.

Adetunji’s family lineage is noted for its proficiency in the handling of shekere musical instrument. The highly exclusive instrument is made of big gourds and surrounded with beads to produce a unique sound.

Dexterity on it requires many years of practice and its masters are in high demands in celebration circle in the length and breadth of the South Western state. As a young lad, Adetunji was also
skilled in the use of shekere.

His favourite food up till date is the Yoruba delicacy, amala and gbegiri, highly favoured by the itinerant shekere practitioners. He was recently promoted to the exalted position of the Balogun of Ibadan land by the late Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade, following the demise of two prominent chiefs, who were his seniors in the line of succession to the throne of Olubadan.

Adetunji, who have been two-time lucky in life, had been involved in creative endeavours all his life.
He was a tailor by training and practice, around the Agarawu area of Lagos Island, until lucky smiled his way and found himself in the world of a musical record merchant. He later founded and managed his own record label.

The incoming Olubadan was versed in the making of both native and English dresses until when he met the late Badejo Okunsanya, the scion of a record label owner and veered into the music industry, marketing records produced by his customers and later founded his first record label, Baba Laje Records in 1960. Having found a new business, he ended his tailoring profession as he stepped into alluring and flamboyant music industry.

He later founded and became the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of a conglomerate of three music marketing companies with subsidiaries known as Omo Aje Sound Studio, Adetunji Label. The Olubadan-to-be is well known for his humility, a trait that turned his life around for
the better.

Being a managing director notwithstanding, he was known to execute his customers’ orders to the letter. Another trait that put him in good stead and which set him apart from others was his entrepreneurial spirit which propelled him out of the lowly place of tailoring vocation and turned him into one of the biggest record label owners in the South-West of Nigeria.

In an interview he granted last year, he narrated how he benefitted from his initiative, sheer luck and quick thinking.
“A record seller had given me some records to play so as to entertain my customers when they came to sew or pick up clothes I had sewn for them. But to my surprise, rather than listening and enjoying the records, many of those customers were more interested in buying the records from me.

“I sold everything and took the money back to the man who supplied me the records. That was in 1960. The man then revealed to me that he and my dad had been in business together in 1940 and thereafter took me to other record marketers. That was how I started,” he narrated.

Chief Adetunji was later to be known as the man behind the discovery and success of popular leading Fuji star, Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde Marshall, and before him, the likes of Salami Balogun, Alhaji Amoda Sijuade, Dauda Epo Akara, Saka Olayigbade, and many more.

The system that would see Chief Adetunji as the next Olubadan is not hereditary, but rather a graduated system in which descendants of certain households graduate through 21 stages to mount the throne of the ancient city.

As if paving way for Adetunji’s ascension to the throne of his forefathers, his predecessor, Oba Odulana Odugade,  had a brush with the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, when in defiance of the directive of the Oyo State Government that all high chiefs wanting to be promoted and installed by the Olubadan should surrender themselves to security check and a medical report, the late Oba Odulana Odugade, late last year, installed nine chiefs to fill the vacancies in the
Olubadan-in-Council, including Chief Saliu Adetunji, who was promoted to the exalted position of the Balogun Of Ibadanland.

Those also elevated included the former governor of the state, Rashidi Ladoja, as Osi Olubadan of Ibadan; Chief Lekan Balogun as the Otun Olubadan; Chief Akinloye Owolabi Olakulehin as Otun Balogun and Chief Olufemi Olaifa as Osi Balogun of Ibadan land.

Others were Chief Eddy Oyewole to the rank of the Ashipa Olubadan; High Chief Tajudeen Abimbola as Ashipa Balogun; High Chief Kola Daisi as the Ekerin Olubadan and High Chief Solomon A. Adabale as the Ekerin Balogun.

As if the gods in conspiracy wanted Adetunji to succeed the immediate past Olubadan, the cold hands of death, snatched away two high-ranking chiefs, the Balogun Olubadan of Ibadan and Otun Olubadan, Chief Sulaimon Adegboyega Omiyale and Chief Omowale Kuye.

They both were Olubadan-in-waiting.
Little wonder, Governor Ajimobi described his emergence as Olubadan-designate as a divine arrangement that no one could change.

The governor’s endorsement seem to have put paid to the agitation by the  Head of Seriki family, Chief Adebayo Oyediji, who has being in court seeking to restrain the Olubadan-in-Council from installing Adetunji as the next  Olubadan after the demise of Oba Odugade on January 19.

Oyediji has  claimed that with the consecutive demise of two High Chiefs:
Sulaiman Omiyale (Balogun Okubadan) and Omowale Kuye ‎(Otun Okubadan) in  November last year, the position was open for the Seriki line to join the Olubadan line as Ekerin Olubadan and subsequently, the next to be installed  Olubadan of Ibadanland.

While addressing the entourage of the Olubadan-in-waiting, Ajimobi has said, “When recently, Baba (Adetunji) came to discuss with me his promotion to the post of Balogun following the death of High Chief Sule Omiyale, nobody could have thought that so soon after his promotion to the exalted seat of Balogun, he would be celebrating his imminence to the exalted throne of Olubadan of Ibadan land. But, this is the way of God. When God turns to you, then it is
your turn.”

The Olubadan-in-council, also endorsed his candidacy, when the Chairman Coronation Organising Committee and the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Lekan Balogun, in a press conference  at the traditional Mapo Hall arcade told journalists that the decision to fill the vacuum arising from the transition of Oba Odulana, Odugade 1 is “in line with the established and unique culture, tradition and precedents laid down of our revered ancestors in the ancient city of Ibadanland”.

Balogun stressed “the unrivalled uniqueness” of the succession system and ascension lines to the Olubadan stool which recognised two main succession lines, namely Otun Olubadan and Balogun with all the logical and sequential steps.

“It is statutory and common knowledge that contenders for this royal stool invariably are rooted essentially in the two approved lines: Otun Olubadan and Balogun lines, with each line having 22 and 23 steps respectively on its ladder in a promotional system that cannot be circumvented. The two lines are marked with genealogical significance.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the provisions of the aforementioned Declaration states that ‘the line whose turn it is to present a candidate shall nominate a candidate for the chieftaincy at a meeting
of the kingmakers to be summoned by the most senior chief of the chieftaincy line not presenting the candidate.

“Oba Samuel Odulana, Odugade 1 ascended the throne from the Otun Olubadan line. Since the ascension is “strictly rotational” between “the two major chieftaincy lines” according to the 1957 chieftaincy Declaration, the next, that is, the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland must ascend the royal stool from the Balogun line. Having satisfied all the conditions precedent, the Olubadan-in-Council has appointed the Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Saliu Akanmu Olasupo Adetunji as the
new and the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland,” Chief Balogun declared.‎

Balogun revealed that the Olubadan designate is a famous business magnate, who became Mogaji in 1967 and became Jagun Balogun in 1978 and was promoted through these years along until 2015 when he became the Balogun of Ibadaland.

Several endorsements poured in for Adetunji, even from religious bodies.

Just few days after his selection, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of the Shafaudeen in Islam worldwide, described  High Chief Saliu Adetunji as a divinely ordained monarch for credible leadership due to his age, patience and wisdom.

Olagoke made the assertion, during a courtesy visit to the Olubadan-elect at his Popoyemoja, Ibadan residence. Sheikh Olagoke also explained that Adetunji as a silent achiever has contributed to the success of many in music industry and the society as a whole. He noted that his wide cceptability and aura of God in him would make his reign successful.

He however, called on indigenes and residents of Ibadan to support the monarch for the realization of his developmental agenda of the city, chiefly which is the quest for creation of Ibadan state.

At the occasion, the public had a glimpse into the personality of Olubadan-designate as a humble and God-fearing man, when he responded to the Imam’s speech. Responding, High Chief Adetunji  was full of praises to Allah and said his accession to the stool is an unchallenged act of God envisaged by the late Olubadan and the late Balogun of Ibadan, High Chief Omiyale, whom he claimed God used for him to be the next Olubadan.

Adetunji noted that it was the late Omiyale who mounted pressure on him to be the Mogaji for three years. The music industry, also endorsed the new Olubadan as its new monarch. This became evident when usually reserved, Juju music maestro, Chief Ebenezer Olasupo Obey Fabiyi, visted Alhaji Adetunji, in his Popoyemoja, Ibadan residence, immediately after his selection.
Chief Fabiyi, has at the occasion endorsed his enthronement and prayed for his reign.

At the occasion, Adetunji revealed how his selection process was arranged and how the installation ceremony would hold.

He said; “Sincerely, the Olubadan-in-Council must not only make, but submit their endorsement of the new Olubadan to His Excellency, the Oyo State Governor, Ajimobi. Then, the Governor must
ratify the decision.

“Once you cross the barrier, you get the date. So, the date is Friday, March 4 at Oja’Ba, Ibadan where the previous Olubadan received their staff of office. But, Saturday, March 5 is for big reception at a venue that is yet to be decided,” he revealed.

Earlier, the Juju music maestro, Chief Ebenezer Obey had described the Olubadan-designate as a dependable and reliable pillar in music recording, composition, promotion, advertisement and marketing. He said nothing could be too much for any musician to do to ensure the
success of Olubadan’s coronation.

Ebenezer Obey prayed for continued peace, progress and development in Ibadanland under the new leadership.

Adetunji has made the protection and mentoring of the millions of youths in the town in particular and state in general, a top priority.

The new Olubadan, pointedly urged elites in the land to properly mentor the youths for them to be what God wants them to be. He said this when the members of the Oluyole Social Elite visited him in his Popoyemoja, Ibadan to pledge their loyalty.

Adetunji, stated that there is no one on earth who at one time or the other does not need other people’s critical intervention to make it in life.

Said he: “One of my mentors, who did something remarkable in my business life was the late Chief Samuel Badejo Okusanya. I was a cut and sew tailor when Late Badejo introduced me to the music industry in 1957 where I rose to become a star. Another person who influenced my life positively was Sule Omiyale, the late Balogun of Ibadan land. He was the one, who prevailed upon me to apply for and become Mogaji of Adetunji family house. It took the Late Sule Omiyale three years to convince me to become the Mogaji.

‘’And, if you don’t take the first step by becoming the Mogaji, how can you become the Jagun and begin to climb the steps to become the Olubadan? So what they have done in my life remains unforgettable, even after their exit’’.

He also urged his people, to show more love towards the underprivileged in their midst, while also urging members of the Federation of Ibadan Students Union Alumni who also paid him a visit to avoid anti-social behaviour, saying “good name is better than gold and silver.”

As if these were not enough, the former governor of the old OyoState, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, also joined the queue of those endorsing Adetunji’s selection as he said the new  Olubadan, has fulfilled the requirements of the Chiefs Laws of the state to become the new Olubadan of Ibadanland.

However, the Olubadan-in-council declared that there was no legal impediment to the installation of the new Olubadan. The apex traditional body said all legal encumbrances have been cleared and that the process will be pursued to its conclusion without hindrance.

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