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Excitement as Ibadan gets 10 new kings: Ladoja shuns ceremony, says, I want only Olubadan’s crown



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Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, was agog on Friday as the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II, crowned 10 out of 11 members of the Olubadan Advisory Council, who have been elevated from the position of ‘High Chiefs’ to beaded-crown wearing kings.

Governor Seyi Makinde of the state also presented staffs of office to the 10 new kings, during the coronation ceremony, which was held at the popular Mapo Hall Arcade, Ibadan. The ceremony was attended by thousands of people from all walks of life, which led to traffic logjam in some parts of Ibadan, including Oja’ba, Orita-Merin, and Beere.

The new kings include the Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin; Otun Balogun, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola; Osi Olubadan, Oba Eddy Oyewole; Osi Balogun, Oba Lateef Gbadamosi Adebimpe; Ashipa Olubadan, Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi; and Ashipa Balogun, Oba Kolawole Adegbola.

The list also comprised Ekerin Olubadan, Oba Hamidu Ajibade; Ekerin Balogun, Oba Dada Isioye; Ekarun Olubadan, Oba Adebayo Akande; and Ekarun Balogun, Oba Abiodun Dauda Azeez.

But the Otun Olubadan, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, a former governor of the state, and a member of the council, did not show up at the coronation. Ladoja had said he would not accept the crown during a recent interview.

The administration of former Governor Abiola Ajimobi, had on August 27, 2017, crowned all members of Olubadan Advisory Council, except Ladoja, then Osi Olubadan, who rejected the crown. The then coronation was preceded by review of the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration between May and August 2017. Ladoja then dragged Ajimobi and the state government to court some days after the review panel was set up.

The judgment in the case was delivered by Justice Olajumoke Aiki on January 19, 2018. She declared that the Justice Akintunde Boade-led Judicial Commission of Inquiry that reviewed the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration and other Related Chieftaincies in Ibadanland unconstitutional, illegal, null, void and of no effect.

The administration of Ajimobi appealed the judgment, giving 11 grounds why the judgment of the lower court should be upturned.

But the appeal was still pending until the All Progressives Congress-led government left power on May 28, 2019. Eventually, the Court of Appeal sent the case file back to the Oyo State High Court for retrial before another judge. The two parties, however, settled out of court. But the beneficiaries of the crowns instituted another litigation, which they withdrew in the build-up to the coronation of the incumbent Olubadan and surrendered their crowns so that they would not prevent Oba Lekan Balogun from ascending the throne.

In his address, Makinde said: “We are here for one thing, the Olubadan of Ibadan is crowning his High Chiefs as Obas. It is not the government that is giving the High Chiefs crowns. I am not aware of the crown. I am not in the line. What is happening today is internal.

“If the royal father said there is a need for reform, me, as the governor, I will support them. Out of the 11 High Chiefs we have in Ibadan, 10 of them have been crowned today. Even in a democracy, the majority will have its way and the minority will have their say and we have had them. Anyone that is not satisfied can go to court.

“The consenting authority today is the Olubadan and not the governor. Those who go to court will waste their time. What the people want, we have done for them. I want to charge the new Obas to do good to their people. I thank all my people in Ibadan. Thank you.”

In his remarks, the Olubadan expressed gratitude to the governor for approving the ceremony.

He regretted that in the past, Ibadan high chiefs suffered indignation at public gatherings because they were not crown-wearing Obas. He also allayed fears that the new development would alter the unique traditional system in Ibadan.

He informed that Baales in Ibadan would also be made Obas soon.

“My brother Baales’ minds should be at peace and begin their own preparation for a similar outing within the shortest possible date,” the Olubadan said

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