By Ola Ajayi
IBADAN—THE cold war between the Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji and Governor Abiola Ajimobi over the review of 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration which led to the installation of 21 new kings by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Sunday, took a new dimension yesterday, as the paramount ruler, who was opposed to the move, tested his popularity by staging a road-show to most parts of the city.
The monarch reportedly visited major markets and roads across Ibadan metropolis to affirm to the people that the ascendancy plan being operated would not be tinkered with by anybody during his reign.
Oba Adetunji who welcomed the Mogajis (family heads) in their scores who came to pay solidarity visit to him in opposition to governor’s promotion of High Chiefs in the Olubadan-in-council, to beaded-crown Obas and 11 Baales, told Ibadan indigenes and residents in the areas he visited that he would never surrender his sovereignty to any other Oba in the land.
The obviously aggrieved monarch marched through Popoyemoja, Oja’ba, Beere, Oje, Agodi Gate, Agbeni, Ogunpa, Dugbe, Molete and other environs, intermittently waiving his horse tail to the people indicating he remains the only king in the populous city.
But, his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Mr Adeola Oloko, said the monarch did not stage any road show but merely went out and when the people saw him they rallied round him and he waived to them. ‘’It is normal that when people greet him like that he would wave to them in esponse,” Oloko said.
After the road show, the monarch, through Oloko said; ‘’As a monarch, I’m the father of all, irrespective of sex, ethnic and ideological persuasions.’’
Reacting to the governor’s remark advising him to be apolitical, the king dismissed the insinuation vowing never to allow anybody to use the sacred traditional stool for political gain.
Describing the statement by the Governor as unfortunate, he added that there was no press statement issued from the Olubadan media office which did not enjoy his blessing before it was made public.
“While I am aware that people react to age differently, I am not old enough to be misinterpreted by anybody, even at 89.
‘If I had been consulted, this error would have been avoided. The desecration of the crown would have been averted,” he said.
The Olubadan congratulated all Ibadan people for maintaining the peace despite the brazen abuse of Ibadan custom and tradition.
Oba Adetunji clarified his stance on the issue saying that his opposition to the mass coronation exercise was to prevent breakdown of law and order, complication and dire consequences in Ibadan Chieftaincy system.
Reacting to yesterday’s development, the governor through his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Yomi Layinka, said the governor being a democrat would allow expression of opinion on any given issue but warned that it should be done with utmost caution because law enforcement agents would be on ground to maintain law and order.