The Olubadan stool
SINCE the ancient city started the monarchical system in 1820 with Baale Maye Okunade as the first king, the well-arranged traditional structure that is adjudged the best in the South-West has been followed.This orderly ascendancy to the throne of the Olubadan makes Ibadan unique in Yoruba land.
Titleholders are appointed on a rotational basis to occupy the stool immediately a king passes on.The Olubadan, which is the royal title of the king of Ibadan land, is a revered one. Although Ibadan was founded in the 16th century, Yoruba people only took control of the territory around 1820 and by 1850 they had established their succession practice which is quite different compared with others in Yoruba land.
It usually takes decades to groom an Olubadan for the stool through stages of chieftaincy promotions, meaning that just about any male title-holder of the metropolitan centre is a potential king.
There are two ruling lines to the throne of Olubadan, Egbe Agba (civil) and Balogun (military), from where Olubadans are appointed on a rotational basis to occupy the stool on the death of a monarch.
The next to Olubadan and most senior on both lines are the Otun Olubadan and Balogun, who under the Western Nigeria Law are recognised as second class traditional rulers and who are included on the Nigerian equivalent of a civil list as a result.
Others are the Osi Olubadan, Asipa Olubadan, Ekerin and Ekarun, as well as Otun Balogun, Osi Balogun, Asipa Balogun, Ekerin and Ekarun Balogun, while the Seriki and Iyalode, (“mother of the town”, female chief) are also members of the Olubadan privy council.
The 11 high chiefs that form the Olubadan-in-council, apart from the Seriki and Iyalode, are each recognised as the traditional head of each of the 11 LGs in Ibadan land.
With Omiyale’s death, Otun Balogun, High Chief Saliu Adetunji, is expected to get promotion to the office of Balogun Olubadan while the Osi Olubadan, Senator Lekan Balogun will move up to Otun Olubadan.
A top member of the Olubadan-in-council who pleaded anonymity said although the death of two top members of the council within two weeks was saddening, it was not unusual.
The high chief in an interview with The Guardian said: “It is unfortunate we lost two high chiefs within two weeks but there’s nothing new. The succession arrangement in Ibadan land is clear; the Otun Balogun will succeed Balogun while the Osi Olubadan will move up the ladder to become Otun.
The late Oba Odulana was from the civil line so the next monarch will come from Balogun line while everybody on the Olubadan line will move one step up.
Then from the Mogajis, one person will become Jagun Olubadan and Jagun Balogun. Therefore, the death of the two Olubadans-in-waiting may have altered the order of ascendancy, but the structure of power laid down by tradition remains the same.
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