The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I has said the only panacea to the lingering crisis is for the kings installed by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State is for them to relinquish their “illegal crowns.”
After removing their crowns, Olubadan insisted, they would be granted access to his palace.
The monarch was reacting to alleged marginalisation of the members of Olubadan in council in installation of community leaders, mogaji and undue meddlesomeness of his wife in the traditional institutions’ affairs.
Olubadan in council led by the next in hierarchy to Olubadan, Oba Lekan Balogun had accused Oba Adetunji of running the institution as a one man show without the necessary inputs of the council, which, they said, contravened the rules and regulations guiding Ibadan traditional institution.
Olubadan, who responded through his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Mr Adeola Oloko said it was strange for two kings to remain in the same palace.
About the alleged marginalisation of the members of the council, 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.
Reacting, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin said: “Let’s wait until the newspapers publish his story. It is then we will give him the kind of reply he deserves.”
According to Olubadan, “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.
“There is nowhere in Yorubaland where two kings seat inside a palace. 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.”
Olubadan 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 said their efforts to resolve the crisis had been frustrated, “what they did 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 wanted the crowns, he would have long ago approved it, but all indications show that the overwhelming majority of our people 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.
His words: “There is no stay of execution. 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 allegedly exhibited little or no knowledge of the 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, is the Olubadan the prescribed and consenting authority on all chieftaincy matters in Ibadanland, the arguing that the Olubadan-in-Council is merely an advisory council without any power whatsoever.
He said: “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 seized Olubadan’s salaries that have violated our customs and tradition.”
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