After years of infighting, the traditional gladiators in Ibadanland are working towards settling their rift with the birthday anniversary of the Olubadan providing a window.
The crisis rocking the Olubadan-in-council may end soon following the surprise visits of the High Chiefs to the palace of Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, for his birthday celebration two years after their controversial enthronement as beaded crown kings by the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, on August 27, 2017.
Otun Olubadan, High Chief Lekan Balogun, confirmed to Daily Trust on Sunday on the day of the visit that members of the Council would attend the next meeting with the Olubadan which was suspended two years ago due to the controversy.
Decked in flowing gowns, beads and various caps to match, the high chiefs arrived the palace amid drum beats, songs and trumpet sounds. They joined the Iyalode of Ibadanland, High Chief Theresa Oyekanmi, Agbaakin Olubadan, Senior Chief Lekan Alabi, Chief Adeyemi Soladoye-led members of the Central Council of Ibadan indigenes (CCII), several Mogajis and Baale from all the 11 local government councils in Ibadanland to celebrate the joy of the day with Olubadan at 91 years. However, Osi Olubadan, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, Asipa Balogun, Lateef Gbadamosi Adebimpe and Ekerin Olubadan, Biodun Kola Daisi who are not in town sent apologies.
Led by Chief Balogun, the chiefs arrived the palace of Olubadan at Popoyemoja amidst funfair. Other chiefs were later led by Chief Ademola Odunade and some of their supporters to pay homage to Olubadan and celebrate with him on his birthday.
Before their arrival, the President of CCII, Chief Soladoye had led his executive to celebrate with the monarch in a grand style and urged the nonagenarian for amicable resolution of the crisis rocking the council.
At the palace were: Balogun Owolabi Olakulehin, Osi Balogun Tajudeen Ajibola, Asipa Olubadan Eddy Oyewole, Ekarun Olubadan Amidu Ajibade and Ekarun Balogun Kola Adegbola.
After the celebration, the Ekarun Olubadan, Ajibade, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, congratulated the paramount ruler on his 91st birthday anniversary, saying Olubadan had made history for himself, his family and Ibadanland.
He seized the opportunity to inform Olubadan that Ibadan is one under the leadership of Kabiyesi and they all are his high chiefs and are proud to be associated with him, Osi Olubadan.
The Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin then led the Chiefs on Balogun line in the traditional knock on the door, requested Kabiyesi to kindly approve the promotion of the chiefs in the Balogun line. After Olubadan consented to their request, he paid on behalf of the chiefs, the mandatory sun of N200,000 to the Olubadan. They then resolved to begin to participate actively in the Olubadan-in-Councils deliberations.
The Olubadan promised to get back to the High Chiefs through the secretary of the Olubadan-in-Council.
It would be recalled that the crisis led to legal tussle leading to Justice Olajumoke Aiki of an Oyo State High Court to declare, in her judgment on January 19, 2018, the Justice Akintunde Boade-led Judicial Commission of Enquiry that reviewed the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration and other Related Chieftaincies in Ibadanland, which paved way for the state government to elevate the high chiefs as unconstitutional, illegal, null, void and of no effect.
But the administration of Ajimobi appealed the judgment, giving 11 grounds. But the appeal was still pending when the All Progressives Congress-led government was voted out of power on May 2019. Following the development, Governor Seyi Makinde approached the court of appeal to sort for out of court settlement which the Appeal Court returned to a lower court due to its readiness to give judgement on the suit.
To this end, a source within the palace told our correspondent that there are resolution mechanisms the palace and the high chiefs are working on to ensure the issue is finally put to rest.
Commenting on the development, the spokesman of the Authentic Mogajis, Chief Wale Oladoja, said it is unfortunate that the crisis was allowed to degenerate.
He said, both the Olubadan and his high chiefs are a family and they know how to manage crisis whenever it arises. “Olubadan is our father. The high chiefs are also our fathers. Ibadan is one and we know how to resolve crisis whenever one arises. This issue was not supposed to be allowed to go that far, if not that there was external influence. I congratulate our father, Olubadan of Ibadanland, for maintaining his stand in the face of intimidation, he stood his ground.
“He didn’t allow our history and culture to be rubbished. This is a precedence for the incoming generation that history and culture cannot be changed. On the other hand, I congratulate the high chiefs for their maturity to return to the palace. This also reminds them that becoming Olubadan is a destiny which cannot be bought. I finally congratulate the entire sons and daughters of Ibadanland for standing behind Olubadan in the days of distress. May God continue to uplift Ibadanland and Nigeria as a whole,” he said.