By Ola Ajayi
DESPITE a court intervention in the face-off between the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji and his Obas-in-Council over the elevation of the latter to the status of beaded crown kings, it appears there is no end in sight to the ripples generated by the imbroglio.
With the dimension the issue is assuming, it may not be out of place to conclude that the peace, which had hitherto characterised the ascendancy to the throne of the Olubadan of Ibadan, may have bidden farewell to the city.
All the parties in the crisis have maintained a no-going-back posture.
No longer at ease
A former Oyo State Governor, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, the monarch and some mogajis have resolved to pull the string to the limit with Governor Abiola Ajimobi and the new kings led by Oba Lekan Balogun, the Otun Olubadan, His royal majesty, Oba Olakulehin Owolabi, and Oba Tajudeen Ajibola, Osi Balogun of Ibadanland.
As some elders, led by the Central Council of Elders, CCE, took steps to settle the logjam in the traditional way, the state High Court presided over by Justice Olajumoke Aiki delivered a judgment nullifying the constitution of a judicial panel of inquiry by the state government.
This appeared to have rekindled the fire. While the camp of the monarch, Ladoja and few mogajis are still relishing in the perceived legal victory, the state government bared its fangs by ensuring it stopped the judge from delivering the second judgment.
It withdrew the case before the judge saying her decision on the second case could be pre-empted.
Equally, the new kings, though appealed the judgment, are not willing to accept it.
In a recent meeting held at the former palace of the Olubadan, Oja Oba, the kings, numbering 16, insisted that the judgment did not affect their crowns in any way.
While faulting Justice Aiki’s judgment, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola said: “There is no order that set aside our enthronement. The judgment was tainted with bias. As far as we are concerned, there is no judgment. There is nothing to enforce. All we have done just for record purpose, is that we have appealed against the judgment. It is wrong for Ladoja to be saying we should not wear crowns again because there is no judgment barring me from using my crown.”
Olubadan should recognise our status —-Ajibola
On reconciliation of both parties, he said: “We have told the elders who made the move that the matter is beyond them. We told them that if they want the crisis to end, it lies with the Olubadan. If he decides to end the imbroglio today, he has the power to do so. What do we want? All we want from him is to recognise our status as kings. At the council of obas, we all recognised him and did obeisance to him. Since then, the Olubadan has not thought it wise to invite us for reconciliation as an elder. If he calls us tomorrow and recognises us as kings, we will answer him. But, if he describes us as chiefs, we won’t answer him. We have been made kings and nothing on earth can upturn this.”
Chairman, Obas’ council gives solution to crisis
Chairman of the Obas-in-council, Oba Lekan Balogun said the only antidote to the logjam is for the Olubadan to recognise their new status as kings and accord them their deserved respect.
Balogun said: “I don’t know what he is quarrelling about quite honestly. The new structure is such that recognises him as the imperial majesty. There is no contest, no quarrel. There is only one imperial majesty in the whole of Ibadanland, others are royal majesties and highnesses. The issue of beaded crown is all about fashion. It is the imperial majesty that I have a piece of advice for. He should let bygone be bygone. He should accept us and let us come together as one family of the people. It doesn’t cost him anything. I see no justification for quarrelling.”
Nobody can stop us from wearing beaded crowns
In his remarks, the Osi Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Amidu Ajibade maintained that no one can prevent them from wearing their crowns.
Oba Ajibade said: “Throughout Yorubaland, all towns and cities have numerous kings. Look at Iwo, it can boast of many kings. What has Ibadan done that the same thing could not happen? In Ibadanland, we have 11 kings. The crown on the lion, nobody can remove it. Even if thousands of people go to the Olubadan, they cannot remove our crowns. When Ladoja was there, why did he not implement it? You have seen it in a national daily that he published it. What our brother, the Osi Olubadan is saying is immaterial. God has done well. The governor has crowned us; it is the governor that crowns kings. He is the one who crowned Oba Saliu Adetunji. Ladoja should join hands with us to make Ibadan a progressive city.”
Their comments, contempt of court —Ladoja
When Vanguard contacted Senator Ladoja for his comments on the issues raised by the other monarchs, he described their comments as contempt of court.
Senator Rashidi Ladoja, who is the Osi Olubadan, said he would contact his lawyer to sue the new kings for contempt of court.
Reacting through his media aide, Alhaji Lanre Latinwo, Ladoja said he would inform his lawyer that the new kings did not comply with the declarative judgment.
“It now behoves the court whether to continue to allow them to flout court orders just like that,” he said.
They’re still chiefs —-Olubadan
Reacting to the claims of recognition by the monarchs, the Olubadan, through his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Deola Oloko who noted that the monarch is a law-abiding king said: “What we have done by referring to them as chiefs is to follow the law. As far as we are concerned, the law recognises them as high chiefs and that is the stance we maintain as for now.”