By: Ibidapo Balogun
The move by Governor Abiola Ajimobi to review the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration got a major boost on Wednesday, as the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, and members of the Olubadan-in-Council endorsed the move.
Some high chiefs like the Otun Olubadan, Chief Lekan Balogun, and former governor and Osi Olubadan, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, had proceeded to the court to challenge the review.
The governor had, on May 19, inaugurated a seven-man judicial commission of inquiry, headed by a retired High Court judge, Justice Akintunde Boade, to review the existing chieftaincy declaration and other related chieftaincies in Ibadanland.
Speaking at the end of a meeting held with the governor at the Governor’s Office, Olubadan said he and all his chiefs were in full support of the exercise, saying it would bring development to the ancient city.
Olubadan said: “Our visit (to the governor) today, as you can see, is to put paid to the rumours and misgivings about the review of the Olubadan Chieftaincy declaration.
“We have come to show our sincere support to the governor and to let him know that we are on the same page with him as the review is for the progress of Ibadan and its people.’’
Also speaking, the Otun Olubadan, High Chief Balogun, who was one of the two High Chiefs that had dragged the governor to court over the issue, attributed his action to what he called communication gap.
According to him, the exercise was aimed at modernizing the methods of ascension to the Olubadan throne.
Balogun said: “Change is the only constant thing in life. There is nothing that is above change. All the furore which had resulted from government’s move was due to communication gap but that has been resolved now.
“Life is dialectical; things must be changing and we must all be growing with it. The government is quite right to have set up machinery to look into the law and see how it can be made better.
“We believe it is a welcome development, especially with the kind of governor we have who is keenly interested in the growth and development of Ibadanland,”
The high chief said that the benefits inherent in the review were many, noting that the Olubadan would henceforth enjoy the company of beaded crown chiefs whenever he had any outing.
This, he said, would raise the status of Ibadan as one of the most important cities in Yoruba land.
He added: “The benefits to be derived from the review are enormous. Even if we don’t want to pre-empt the future, we will wait till things are resolved fundamentally. But, we know that Olubadan will no longer be moving alone any longer.
“Of course, there will be high chiefs with the nomenclature of Obas, the Olubadan won’t be on his own anymore. When royal majesties (in other cities) go out, they are always in company with beaded crown Obas.”
Another member of the Olubadan-in-Council, High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin, said virtually all the neighbouring Yoruba states had adopted the system being contemplated for Ibadan through the review.
Other members of the Olubadan-in-Council at the meeting were the Otun-Balogun, High Chief Olufemi Olaifa; Ashipa Olubadan, High Chief Eddy Oyewole; Osi Balogun, High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola; and Ekaarun Olubadan, High Chief Amidu Ajibade.
Others were Ashipa Balogun Olubadan, High Chief Lateef Gbadamosi; Ekaarun Balogun, High Chief Kola Adegbola; and Ekerin Olubadan, High Chief Abiodun Kola-Daisi.