Nine high chiefs of the Olubadan-in-Council and 21 other baales, have been elevated to Kingship status. But the head of the Seriki line in Ibadan, Chief Bayo Oyediji, had said that the move by the governor was illegal
According to the Punch Newspaper, The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, on Friday presented letters of conferment of kingship to 30 new kings in Ibadan.
The presentation followed the recommendation of the committee set up by the governor to review the Ibadan chieftaincy declaration.
Nine high chiefs of the Olubadan-in-Council and 21 other baales, who were elevated to kingship status, made up the number.
Among those slated to receive the letter was the former governor in the state, Rashidi Ladoja, who has contested the move in court. He was not present at the ceremony.
Earlier in the day, the Ibadan high chiefs held a press conference to announce their support for the governor’s proposal.
The letters were dated, August 25, 2017, and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Governments and Chieftaincy Matters, Mrs. Olawunmi Ogunesan.
It was stated in the letter that the conferment qualified the new kings to wear royal beaded crowns and that each of the high chiefs elevated would be addressed as His Royal Majesty, while each of the newly promoted baales would be addressed as His Royal Highness. It stated further that the Olubadan of Ibadan would henceforth be addressed as His Imperial Majesty.
The High Chief elevated are the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Senator Lekan Balogun; the Ashipa Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Eddy Oyewole; the Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Owolabi Olakuleyin; the Osi Balogun of Ibadaland, High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola; Asipa Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Latifu Adebimpe; Ekarun Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Dr. Kolawole Adegbola; Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Abiodun Kola-Daisi; and the Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Amidu Ajibade. Each of them will now be addressed as His Royal Majesty.
The elevated baales are the Onijaye of Ijaye, Chief Lasisi Akano; Oniroko of Iroko, Chief Ismaila Olasunkanmi; Onikereku of Ikereku, Chief Moses Olasunkanmi; Baale Olodo, Chief Mudasiru Adebayo; Elegbeda of Egbeda, Chief Victor Okunola; Baale Okelade-Okin, Wahab Okedina; Alakufo of Akufo, Chief Olabamiji Thomas; Onido of Ido, Chief Gbolagade Babalola; Baale Awotan, Chief Dauda Omotoso; Baale of Abanla, Chief Tiamiyu Ladipo; and Baale Akanran, Chief James Obisesan. Each of them will now be addressed as His Royal Highness.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Olalekan Alli, said the coronation and presentation of instrument of office would hold on Sunday, August 27, at Mapo Hall, Ibadan.
The move to review the declaration by Ajimobi has pitched him against the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, who is opposed to it.
With the proposal, the existing 11 high chiefs, who are now presiding over the affairs of their council areas as the head of the traditional councils, will be recognised as kings, but they will still retain their high chief titles.
This means that Balogun will become His Royal Highness, Oba Lekan Balogun, and the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland. However, any baale that is elevated in the council that falls under him will be answerable to him, while the Olubadan will be the paramount ruler over all of the traditional rulers.
The 11 high chiefs will also retain their status as potential Olubadan, which means that despite being a king in a council area, Balogun will still become the next Olubadan.
But the head of the Seriki line in Ibadan, Chief Bayo Oyediji, had said that the move by the governor was illegal, while a former governor in the state, Omololu Olunloyo, said the government would erase the controversy surrounding the proposal by making public the report of the commission that reviewed the declaration.
While objecting the proposal, the head of the Seriki chieftaincy line, Oyediji, said every step taken concerning the Olubadan stool or any other chieftaincy matter in Ibadan was illegal because of a case that was in court.
“What the governor is doing is illegal. There is an existing case which I instituted concerning the Olubadan stool. Any action taken before the determination of that suit is illegal,” he said.
On his part, Olunloyo urged the government to be transparent about the proposal.
He said, “I have not seen the report so I don’t understand what the recommendations are about. I urge the government to publish it so that it becomes a public document. In that way, the people will understand what this is all about. But I remember that the governor once said that the succession system in Ibadan is the best in the country. I don’t know if he wants to tamper with it. But all these will be clear if the document is published,” said the former governor.
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