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Ladoja absent as Olubadan-in-Council endorses Balogun as Olubadan-designate

By Seye Olumide and Rotimi Agboluaje, Ibadan
06 January 2022   |   4:12 am
Ten of the 11-member of the Olubadan-in-Council, yesterday, endorsed Senator Lekan Balogun as the next Olubadan of Ibadanland.

Abese Olubadan, Chief Bayo Akande (left); Ekaarun Olubadan, Omiyale Ajibade; Ekerin Olubadan, Chief Abiodun Kola-Daisi; Asipa Olubadan, Chief Eddy Oyewole; Otun Olubadan, Chief Lekan Balogun; Balogun of Ibadan, Chief Owolabi Olakulehin; and Otun Balogun, Chief Tajudeen Ajibola at a news conference to confirm the support of Olubadan-in-Council to the Otun Olubadan as the in-coming Olubadan, in Ibadan…yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

• Oyo ex-AG cautions governor over issue
Ten of the 11-member of the Olubadan-in-Council, yesterday, endorsed Senator Lekan Balogun as the next Olubadan of Ibadanland.

But, a former governor of the state and member of the council, Rashidi Ladoja, was absent from the meeting.

He is the Osi Olubadan.

The council made the announcement after Balogun addressed a press conference at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to commiserate with Ibadanland on the demise of Oba Saliu Adetunji.

The council members, who are kingmakers, insisted that no court case would stop the appointment and installation of the next Olubadan.

They pointed out that the administration of the late former Governor Abiola Ajimobi did not tamper with the Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957 by elevating them.

The Osi Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola, who spoke on behalf of the kingmakers, stated: “The council, which is the king-making body, has met and resolved that Balogun is next in line, and will in line with the tradition, ascend the throne of Olubadan.”

Other high chiefs at the media briefing included Balogun Olubadan, Owolabi Olakulehin; Otun Balogun, Eddy Oyewole; Ashipa Olubadan, Tajudeen Ajibola; Osi Balogun, Amidu Ajibade; Ekaarun Olubadan, Lateef Gbadamosi; Ekaarun Balogun, Kola Adegbola and Ekerin Olubadan, Abiodun Kola-Daisi.

In the statement also read by Balogun, he re-echoed his position as the Prime Minister of the Olubadan-in-Council – Otun Olubadan.

He said: “By way of duty, as the Prime Minister of the Olubadan-in-Council, we owe the people of Ibadanland and Oyo State in general, the obligations to inform and update you all on the latest developments at our palace.

“It is no longer news that our much-revered Kabiyesi, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogunguniso II, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, has joined his ancestors.

“The good deeds he had done in respect of his dedication and commitment to the promotion and sustenance of peace and development of Ibadanland and Oyo State, in general, shall remain indelible in the hearts of our people.

“He was a peace-loving and an outstanding custodian of culture and tradition, who held on strictly to the principles of excellent leadership. He would forever be remembered for his consistency and tenacity of purpose in whatever he believed would advance the course of Ibadanland.

“He has come, served and gone like everyone before him. And so will everyone at his own time.”

Balogun added: “I enjoin you all to remain peaceful in all your conduct in order to sustain our unequalled historical peaceful co-existence for which Ibadanland is globally known.”

HOWEVER, a one-time Attorney-General of the state, Michael Lana, has asked Governor Seyi Makinde not to allow ‘strangers’ to mislead him on who becomes the next monarch.

In an earlier letter to the governor, Lana claimed that Balogun and all the high chiefs, who were crowned Obas in 2017 by the late Ajimobi, were unfit to be Olubadan.

He argued that since they were already kings, courtesy of the crowns given to them by Ajimobi, it was traditionally wrong for them to aspire to be installed king again.

On Tuesday, K. Eleja, Wahab Egbewole and Adekunle Sobaloju, legal representatives of the high chiefs, faulted Lana’s letter to the governor. They contended that the content of the correspondence was not a true representation of the law and the facts on the ascension to the Olubadan stool.

While reacting to the lawyers’ position in another letter to the governor yesterday, Lana advised Makinde to be wary of advice from “those who do not have knowledge of Ibadan chieftaincy laws.”

His words: “I urge Your Excellency not to allow strangers to mislead you in further desecrating our tradition and custom. Your Excellency, as an Ibadan man, it behoves you to get our tradition back.”

Lana told Makinde in the letter that the lawyers’ claim that they are representing the Olubadan-in-Council could not be true because there was no “formal process that employed them as the council’s representatives.

“I know as a fact that they are not solicitors to the Olubadan-in-Council, rather they are solicitors to the high chiefs, who were made Obas by your predecessor (Ajimobi) and it was in that capacity that they instituted Suit No.1/22/2020,” he said.

Lana continued: “I know as a fact, that High Chief Rashidi Ladoja is a bona fide member of the Olubadan-in-Council, and at no time, did that council meet to appoint the said solicitors, its counsel to institute an action against High Chief Ladoja or respond to my letter.

“I am not like them, who are not from Oyo State, not to talk of being from Ibadan. Thus, it is of no moment to them, if they misadvise their clients to dig deeper into the grave of illegality. They, therefore, have no qualms if Ibadan burns.

“The question they failed to answer is whether an Oba can again be elevated to an Oba. The position of Oba is final and does not require further elevation.”