By Ola Ajayi
IBADAN—THE Olubadan of Ibadan land, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji could not hide his joy, yesterday, as he danced to warmly receive his estranged members of Olubadan in Council who visited him in his Popoyemoja palace as part of the process that would lead to an amicable resolution of the friction between them.
The two parties have kept each other at arm’s length since the review of the 1959 Olubadan Chieftaincy declaration which led to the promotion of high chiefs to beaded wearing kings by the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
While the promoted high chiefs embraced the promotion, the Olubadan took exception to it.
Subsequently, the two parties have been having separate traditional meetings and working at cross purposes.
But, in a move to put an end to the knotty issue, Oba Lekan Balogun led the former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja and Amidu Ajibade to Olubadan palace to begin a reconciliatory process that would bring the two sides together.
The reconciliation team got to the palace at about 12.15pm without the controversial crowns in separate vehicles.
Some 20 minutes later, the Olubadan received them with open arms amid songs, drum beats and trumpet sound.
He danced and sat on the throne as the high chiefs paid homage.
They later went into closed-door meeting which lasted for about 40 minutes after which newsmen were invited into the palace.
It was believed that a plea for another all-inclusive meeting involving other absent chiefs was made before the royal father, who was believed to have consented for another meeting for Monday 19 August 2019 after the Eid-el-Kabir festival.
Although the details of the meeting remained sketchy, the Otun Olubadan who spoke at the meeting called on Kabiyesi to summon the meeting of Olubadan-in-Council where conflicts would be resolved from within rather than without.
Responding, the monarch, who thanked the returning high chiefs for coming, noted that his support for reconciliation was premised on the need for unity, progress and solidarity of Ibadan.
He told the returning high chiefs that he was all out to protect their interest all along, adding there was abundant evidence that they were being trapped where they went.