By Ola Ajayi
IBADAN—THINGS appear to be falling apart within the camp of the new kings installed by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State as one of them, the Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi, made a sudden u-turn on the decision of the monarchs to suspend the local government allowances of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji.
Oba Kola-Daisi, who is the Chairman of Oluyole Local Government Traditional Council, in a letter addressed to Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Kola Adegbola, said: “To continue in the present stance savours of nothing, but conspiracy by junior Kabiyesis against the highest traditional authority in Ibadanland bequeathed to us by our most noble ancestors.”
His latest stance contradicted the earlier unanimous decision taken by the new kings who said they would withhold the local government allowances and emoluments due to Oba Adetunji until he recognised their new status.
At the meeting which held at the ancient Mapo Hall and presided over by the next-in-hierarchy to the Olubadan, Otun Olubadan, Oba Lekan Balogun, the new monarchs agreed that the salaries from 10 councils, which the Olubadan is entitled to, would be suspended until he recognised their new status as kings.
Out of the 11 council areas in Ibadan, only the council where the former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja heads its traditional council, is not withholding the council allowances of the paramount ruler.
The monarchs, then, considered it sheer selfishness for Olubadan to accept his new title of “Imperial Majesty” and maintain a rigid stance against their own promotion.
According to the kings, the Olubadan got promotion from royal majesty to imperial majesty, be didn’t complain but he is not ready to recognise us as kings, how do you think that can be possible?
The monarchs said: “It is not automatic that he should become king. In fact, anybody from the chieftaincy title of Ekerin from both lines can be picked as Olubadan of Ibadan. We recommended him to the governor before he was installed by the same governor who installed us as kings.
“We want to correct the misconception that it was the state government that stopped his salary. The governor is paying him his monthly salary from time to time. But, there is another N200,000 he usually collects from each of the 11 local government area in Ibadanland. That is the one we suspended. He will start collecting it as soon as he recognises us as duly installed kings.”
Oba Kola-Daisi retraces steps
But, surprisingly, Oba Kola-Daisi, in the letter, instructed the secretariat of his local government to release the withheld allowances due to Oba Adetunji.
In the letter, Oba Kola-Daisi stated: “Please, recall that at one of our meetings on September 17 at Mapo Hall, a resolution was passed to the effect that we should instruct our various local government councils’ secretariats to henceforth suspend the monthly allowances and emoluments that were being paid to His Imperial Majesty, the Olubadan of Ibadanland.”
Other kings maintain decision
When Vanguard spoke with some of the new kings that make up the Olubadan-in-Council, they took exception to the comments of Oba Kola-Daisi.
The Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin disowned the decision of his royal counterpart saying “I just heard it on radio. It came as a surprise. That is his comment.”
Also aligning with Oba Olakulehin, His royal majesty, Oba Amidu Ajibade Salaudeen, Ekaarun Olubadan, who said he travelled when Vanguard called him, also disclosed that he did not remember if there was a meeting where such decision was taken.
He felt that all of them should have sat down to discuss the issue.
It was further gathered that Otun Olubadan, His Royal Majesty, Oba Lekan Balogun was also surprised at the unexpected decision of Oba Kola-Daisi.
Reconciling aggrieved parties
An impeccable source said the action of the monarch was a bit hasty as a group of people had already put machinery in motion to reconcile the aggrieved parties in the feud.
Olubadan keeps mum
Oba Saliu Adetunji, speaking through his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Mr Adeola Oloko, said he would brief the monarch before he could make comments on the issue.
When Vanguard called him much later, he did not pick his calls.