Twenty-one newly elevated High Chiefs in Oyo State received beaded crowns and staff of office at the historic Mapo Hall in Ibadan on Sunday, with Governor Abiola Ajimobi explaining the rationale of installing many kings in the ancient city.
The aim was not to change the history, culture and tradition of Ibadan land but to consolidate and elevate the Olubadan and members of his council, he said.
“We are elevating the Olubadan and promoting the Olubadan-in-Council members without altering the Olubadan succession arrangement.
“We will never disparage or relegate the status of the Olubadan of Ibadanland.
“What we have done is an elevation of the Olubadan to Imperial Majesty and members of the Olubadan-in-Council to His Royal Majesties,’’ he said.
The newly elevated Obas passed through spiritual rites before receiving their staff of office from Ajimobi.
The elevated members of the Olubadan-in-Council who were present to receive their instruments of office were the Otun Olubadan of Ibadan land, Senator Lekan Balogun; the Ashipa Olubadan of Ibadan land, Eddy Oyewole; the Balogun of Ibadan land, Owolabi Olakuleyin; the Osi Balogun of Ibadan land, Tajudeen Ajibola; Asipa Balogun of Ibadan land, Latifu Adebimpe; Ekarun Balogun of Ibadan land, Dr. Kolawole Adegbola; Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadan land, Abiodun Kola-Daisi; and the Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Amidu Ajibade.
The Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land, Rashidi Ladoja had contested the governor’s action in court and wasn’t present at the ceremony.
The elevated baales are the Onijaye of Ijaye, Oba Lasisi Akano; the Oniroko of Iroko, Oba Ismaila Opeola; the Onikereku of Ikereku, Oba Moses Akinyosoye; the Ololodo of Olodo, Oba Mudasiru Adebayo; and the Elegbeda of Egbeda, Oba Victor Sunday Okunola.
Others are the Onido of Ido, Oba Gbolagade Babalola; Alakufo of Akufo, Oba Olabamiji Thomas; the Oloke of Okelade-Okin, Oba Wahab Okedina; the Alawotan of Awotan, Oba Dauda Omotoso; Olofa of Offa, Oba Adeboye Salako; the Onilagun of Lagun, Oba Rafiu Alawusa; the Alaba of Aba-Nla, Oba Tiamiyu Ladipo; and Alakanran of Akanran, Oba James Obisesan.
The governor said the review of the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration was effected as a result of the several requests for its review to allow the traditional rulers compete favourably with others.
He said that government had received requests for the review from the Ibadan Council of Elders, Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes and prominent individuals like Theophilus Akinyele and the late High Chief Omowaye Kuye.
Many states have done it. There are 52 in Lagos, and Ibadan, which was known as the headquarters of the South-West, has only a king. We will not fight the Olubadan as it is being touted.
Olubadan remains the paramount ruler of Ibadan. He remains the consenting and prescribed authority for Ibadan land. Let me inform you that this administration adhered strictly to due process and the provisions of the law in arriving at the elevation.
I also want to state that we have achieved this without any legal impediment,’’ Ajimobi said.
Ajimobi said that every successive government in the state had reviewed the chieftaincy declaration, stressing that some implemented the recommendations while others failed to do so.
He urged the new Obas to use their elevated position to promote peace and unity while refraining from acts capable of tarnishing their esteemed position.
The governor, who also advised them to stay away from politics, congratulated the Olubadan and urged him to remain the father of all Ibadan citizens.
Ajimobi gave an assurance that his administration would not relent in its efforts at transforming and repositioning the state.
The State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Bimbo Kolade, commended the governor for resolving the 34-year-old chieftaincy tussle in Ado-Awaye area of the state.
The governor described the event as a day that great sons and daughters of Ibadanland had come together with a strong sense of patriotism to elevate and transform the chieftaincy institution of Ibadan land.