The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, has distanced himself from the mass coronation of 21 new Obas in Ibadan recently.
In a statement by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Mr Adeola Oloko, yesterday, Adetunji said the coronation does not enjoy his blessing.
The historic coronation takes place at the Mapo Hall.
The Oyo State Government presented letters of conferment to 21 of the 32 newly elevated Ibadan high chiefs and Baales last Friday following adoption of the recommendations of the panel that reviewed the 1959 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration.
The panel was headed by retired Justice Akintunde Boade.
As the new Obas rejoice and prepare to receive crowns as traditional rulers, the Olubadan said he had no hand in the event.
His name is reportedly listed as the Father of the Day on the programme for the event.
The statement reads: “I have said it for the umpteenth time that I am opposed to the chieftaincy review and its recommendations as the process for such exercise has not been followed.
“Therefore, I cannot see how, as being advertised in some media houses, I could possibly play a fatherly role in an exercise that I have not endorsed.
“Besides, as the father of Ibadan indigenes irrespective of political and ideological persuasion, I cannot attend an occasion where local government executives of one political party have been sending text messages to the party members in Ibadan land to mobilise for the event as if it is a political rally.
“So, as the prescribed and appointing authority on Ibadan chieftaincy matters, I consider, until otherwise reversed, that any conferment of crowns on anybody is an exercise in futility.”
The Olubadan added: “More so, it is going to be contemptuous for anybody to attend that programme as there are two suits that are yet to be determined before the court.
“Also, where is the humanity of the organisers of this programme when Ibadan land is still mourning the passage of the Otun Balogun, High Chief Dr. Femi Olaifa, who was one of them until Thursday August 24?”
Also, the Governor Abiola Ajimobi- led administration has scrapped the Seriki line in the Olubadan chieftaincy step.
The development followed adoption of the recommendation of the Justice Akintunde Boade commission of Enquiry on the review of the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1959.
The Seriki line, headed by Chief Adebayo Oyediji, has been in a running legal battle with the Olubadan chieftaincy on which line was due to produce the next Olubadan currently occupied by His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogunguniso 1.
The elderly Ibadan chieftain had challenged the legality and propriety of the state government to appoint the reigning Olubadan from the Balogun line despite an existing law that pitch the Seriki line to produce the Olubadan.
The scrapping of the Seriki line is contained in the document No. 14, Vol. 42, Oyo State Notice No. 27 dated 23rd August, 2017 and titled “Government White Paper by Technical Committee on the Report of Judicial Commission of Enquiry on the Review of the Existing Olubadan of Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration and other Related Chieftaincies in Ibadanland.”
According to the gazette, only the Olubadan and Balogun lines should continue to provide candidate for filling of any vacancy in the Olubadan Chieftaincy.
While agreeing with the recommendation, the technical committed however added a proviso that Olubadan line should now be known as Otun Olubadan line.
Members of the government committee which considered the report and recommendations of the Justice Boade Commission include the Governor’s Executive Assistant on Political Matters, Dr. Morohunkola Thomas, as the chairman; the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Dr. Gbade Ojo as member and the Coordinating Director (Cabinet and Security Services) with Mr. F.N. Oladeinde as the secretary.
Other members are: the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Oluseun Abimbola; Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Toye Arulogun and Commissioner of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Abimbola Kolade.
Others include: Special Adviser on Community Relations, Abidemi Siyanbade; Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Yomi Layinka, and Special Adviser on Due Process, Mrs. Rose Oyedele.
The issue of the Seriki which forms the third recommendation of the commission could be taken as a response to the second term of reference given the Judicial commission of enquiry which borders on “reviewing the selection process of Olubadan of Ibadanland from Otun and Balogun lines.”
The gazette reads: “Commission’s Recommendation 3: it is recommended that further filling of vacancy in the Seriki line should be stopped forthwith and the line should be abolished. The commission agreed with the suggestion that only the Olubadan and Balogun lines should continue to provide candidate for filling of any vacancy in Olubadan chieftaincy.
“Government accepts this recommendation with a proviso that Olubadan line should now be known as Otun Olubadan line.”