By Thomas Richard
The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1 has said that he has no objection to the return of his embattled high chiefs to the palace once they remove their illegal crowns.
Reacting comprehensively to the statement credited to the embattled chiefs, the first class monarch stated that he was not responsible in the first instance for their desertion from the palace and by so doing, for abdicating their responsibilities to Ibadanland.
The development was contained in a release signed and made available to newsmen by the Personal Assistant/Media Director to Olubadan, Adeola Oloko.
He also stated that rather than engage in blame game, the embattled high chiefs who are understandably afraid of what is likely to befall them after May 29 when power would have changed hands should have been bold enough to apologise to the entire people of Ibadanland in particular and the Yoruba people in general for undermining our custom and tradition.
According to him, there is nowhere in Yorubaland where two kings sit inside a palace, adding it is always the king and his chiefs. “Apart from violating our customs and tradition, there is no law that backs the wearing of illegal crowns in Ibadanland.
He recalled that he had expected the high chiefs to comply with the Oyo state High Court judgment which declared the State Government reform that produced the crowns as illegal, null, void and of no effect.
The royal father stated further that when the high chiefs say their efforts to resolve the crisis have been frustrated, what they do not tell the unwary public is that Olubadan should approve through the back door the crowns that the court has out rightly rejected. Oba Adetunji stated that if the people of Ibadan want the crowns, he would have long ago approve it but all indications show that the overwhelming majority of our do not approve it.
Oba Adetunji stated categorically that contrary to allegation of the high chiefs, he had done no wrong nor acted illegally at any time there is no stay of execution. He stated further that despite efforts made to hinder the smooth running of the palace by the high chiefs and their promoter, they must begin to wonder why the palace had begun to grow from strength to strength.
Oba Adetunji stated that the high chiefs exhibited little or no knowledge of our custom and tradition when they accused him of installing Mogajis and Baales without recourse to them. According to him, Section 22 (2) of the Chiefs Law, Cap 28 Law of Oyo State 2000 makes the Olubadan the Prescribed and Consenting Authority on all chieftaincy matters in Ibadanland, the first class monarch argued that the Olubadan-in-Council is merely an advisory council without any power whatsoever.
According to Olubadan, if anybody should be castigated for denigrating our institution, it is the embattled high chiefs with inordinate ambition to become monarch without domain that should examine themselves. It is those who commit crime against Yoruba customs and tradition and do not repent that deserve to be castigated.
It is those who run away from the palace and turn round to say they are not carried along. It is those who flagrantly disobey court orders. It is the chiefs who are sent to represent the Olubadan at the Local Government Traditional Councils but seize Olubadan’s salaries that have violated our customs and tradition.