By Ola Ajayi, Ibadan
LIKE leopard spots, the crisis rocking the Ibadan Traditional Council, has refused to abate. As one volcano of disunity is being extinguished another volcano is billowing.
And the indigenes of the sprawling city strive hard to rid the traditional institution of the infested maggots eating into the soul of the institution, more destructive agents are hell bent on destroying the sanctity of the once enviable traditional institution.
Origin of crisis
The promotion of 11 high chiefs and their elevation to crown-wearing kings is the causative agent. While the high chiefs applauded the gifts that were freely given by the former governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the paramount ruler, Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji and a former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, cried foul over the elevation.
Well-meaning people and the judiciary have intervened, yet the problem has not abated.
Just some days ago, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1 called on the indigenes of the ancient metropolis to respect the orderliness of the Ibadan chieftaincy system.
The monarch maintained that whoever God has ordained to become High Chief or the Olubadan would surely be without cutting corners or disrupting the age-long tradition and system of succession.
Oba Adetunji spoke through his Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Adeola Oloko at the promotion/installation of traditional chiefs in the Balogun Chieftaincy title line at the Popoyemoja Palace of the foremost Ibadan monarch.
Asking every Ibadan indigene to have respect for the rule of law and for the custom and tradition of Yoruba for which Ibadan is a subset, the monarch said: “The judgement of the court that put in abeyance the gazettes of the promotion of the High Chiefs and some Baales to Obas was not to humiliate anybody but to set the record straight.
“With the promotion exercise holding today, those coming behind will be able to move up”, the monarch added just before the traditional placing of ‘Akoko’ leaves on the heads of the promoted personalities, including Tajudeen Ajibola, Lateef Gbadamosi Adebimpe, Kolawole Adegbola, John Olubunmi Isioye Dada and Abiodun Azeez Agagagugu.
The newly promoted members of the Olubadan-in-Council moved from Osi Balogun, Ashipa Balogun, Ekarun Balogun, Abese Balogun and Maye Balogun respectively to Otun, Osi, Ashipa, Ekerin and Ekarun Balogun respectively.
Why promotion was delayed
Speaking on the promotion, coming well after two years the vacancies had been existing, the new Ekerin Balogun, Isioye Dada went biblical. He quoted from the scriptures, saying that “God makes everything beautiful at his own time”, stressing that but for the crisis that rocked the Ibadan traditional system, the exercise would have for long be held.
He was of the view that the crisis that rocked the Ibadan traditional system could not be said to be either bad or good because either of the conclusions would be subjective and “yet, it is only God that determines what is truly good or truly bad.”
The new Ekerin Balogun promised to use his new position to advance the cause of the downtrodden in Ibadanland. He said he would do this through collaboration with the other members of the Olubadan-in-Council, noting that, as an individual, he could achieve very little, but in collectivity, a lot could be achieved.
Recalling that, hitherto, in his private capacity, he had been making contributions to the uplifting of the Ibadan people, using his God-given grace and benevolence, he said the need to fashion sustainable way of helping the needy by all stakeholders has not been more imperative than now.
According to him, “it is a clarion call on every body of means to think deeply now on how to lift people out of extreme poverty. It is by so doing everyone can enjoy our peace because the inability of an hungry person to sleep and which makes him vulnerable to all forms of vices equally put the rest of us in a precarious situation.”
He faulted the anti-corruption posture of the Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State in view of lack of faithfulness of his administration to the total release of five percent of the monthly allocation of the local government councils to the respective traditional councils as statutorily provided.
The Ekerin Balogun insisted that the anti-corruption tendency of the Oyo State helmsman would receive commendation and applause from the Obas and Chiefs in the state if the government of Makinde could genuinely observe what the law says on the traditional councils’ monthly allocation from the local government councils’ fund in the state.
In attendance to support the installation by the Olubadan were Otun Olubadan (Lekan Balogun), Balogun of Ibadanland (Owolabi Olakulehin), Osi-Olubadan (Sen. Rashidi Ladoja), Ashipa Olubadan (Eddy Oyewole), Ekerin Olubadan (Biodun Kola-Daisi), and Ekarun Olubadan (Hamidu Ajbade).
Promoted monarch retains old crown
After the promotion,Oba Tajudeen Ajibola said his crown is still intact adding that he has not bowed out as king.
“My promotion doesn’t takeaway my crown, disregard fake news. According to evidence shown to us, the promotion letter was addressed to His Royal Majesty, Oba Ajibola which as well gave the hint that he still has his crown, contrary to the widely circulated story that some Ibadan Obas have dropped their crowns,’’ he said.
The letter to HRM Ajibola read in part: “It is my pleasure to inform you that as a result of the vacancy in the rungs of the ladder of Balogun of the Olubadan of Ibadan, His Excellency, the Executive Governor Engr. Seyi Makinde has graciously approved your promotion to the post of Otun Balogun of Ibadan land with effect from 20th of November, 2019.
“While congratulating you on this your well deserved elevation, I pray that God will grant you good health and long life to steer the ship of Ibadan land traditional institution. I also pray that your tenure as Otun Balogun of Ibadan land will usher in the much deserved peace, progress and development of Ibadan land in particular and Oyo State in general.”
Vanguard learned that the judgement of the state High Court is now being challenged at the appeal court.