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Ibadan to have 32 Obas, as Olubadan remains paramount ruler

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Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (2nd left); Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Lekan Balogun (left); Chairman, Judicial Commission of Inquiry for the review of Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration, Justice Akintunde Boade (rtd); and Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin, during the submission of the commissionís report at the Governor’s Office, Ibadan… yesterday

Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, would soon have a total of 32 beaded crown-wearing Obas, with the Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, maintain his status as the paramount ruler of the ancient city.

This is the highpoint of the recommendations by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry for the review of the existing 1957 Declaration of Olubadan of Ibadanland and other related chieftaincies in Ibadanland, set up by the Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

To reduce the lengthy years it takes a potential Olubadan to get to the pinnacle of the two chieftaincy lines producing the Olubadan on rotational basis, the panel has also reduced the rungs from the existing 22 to 11 on the Otun line, while the Balogun line was reduced to 12 from 23.

The implication is that the Ikolaba chieftaincy would now become the entry point for a potential high chief, instead of Jagun chieftaincy, as it currently stands, if the recommendations sail through.

These were highlights of the report presented to the governor by the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Akintunde Boade (rtd) at the Governorís Office, Ibadan, yesterday.

The presentation of the report by the 11-member commission was witnessed by members of the Olubadan-in-Council, led by the Otun Olubadan, High Chief Lekan Balogun, as well as Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin; members of Ibadan Council of Elders; representatives of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII); all the local government chairmen from Ibadanland; and other eminent personalities of Ibadan extraction.

Receiving the report, Ajimobi said no effort would be spared to ensure that the recommendations were implemented as early as next month.

He said his administrationís resolve to carry out a comprehensive review of the Olubadan chieftaincy was in response to the requests by the Olubadan-in-Council, Ibadan elders, members of CCII and others, insisting that the exercise was not new, as previous administrations had reviewed the chieftaincy declaration, but could not muster the political will to implement their respective reports.

He said the review was necessary to enhance the status of the Olubadan and bring it in line with what obtains in other Yoruba states and to conform to the modern trend in culture and tradition.

The governor said he was not unmindful of the pockets of opposition to the move, noting that he was not bothered, as long as those in support were overwhelmingly in the majority.

Earlier, Boade had explained that in arriving at 32 beaded crowns, the commission gave preference to the current 11 high chiefs that made up the Olubadan-in-Council; nine eligible ancient Baales and five Baales, who are members of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs.

He added that two Baales at the stateís borders with Ogun and Osun states were also considered for beaded crown, judging by their untiring efforts in ensuring that their areas were secured for Ibadanland.

Boade further explained that while one Baale was considered because of historical importance of his area, four others were also recommended on the basis of their historical antecedents.

For the avoidance of any doubt, the commission wishes to emphasise and restate the unassailable fact that the Kabiyesi, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, remains the only paramount ruler in Ibadanland.



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