Members of the Ibadan Council of Obas have issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, asking him to accept the Olubadan Chieftaincy Review or face vote of no confidence from them.
At a press conference held at the Mapo Hall on Monday, Oba Lekan Balogun, speaking on behalf of the other obas, accused Oba Adetunji of flouting the provisions of the chieftaincy law by taking unilateral decisions and allegedly promoting civil disorder. They added that his wives have become an embarrassment to the palace by reason of their excesses and by also misleading the monarch on issues.
The monarchs who were installed as obas in a mass coronation ceremony in August, also accused the Olubadan of inciting people against the administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi who undertook the review that made him an imperial majesty.
They stressed that the August 2017 review of the Chieftaincy Declaration was a response to several petitions and agitation for reform by members of the defunct Olubadan-In-Council, pointing out that Ibadan people should rather be grateful to Ajimobi for granting their request.
The monarchs said they had written to the Olubadan sometime in July, 2016 to lodge many complaints about him, copies of which were sent to the state governor and the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters. They recalled that members of the Ibadan Elders Forum waded in and resolved the brewing crisis at the time.
Emphasizing their grouses with the Olubadan who was enthroned in February 2016, they said: “Meetings of the Olubadan-In-Council were not conducted properly as they had been done. Oloris (queens) were still attending meetings with us and contributing, dictating and attacking high chiefs in curses and abuses.
“Appointment of baales and mogajis are not in compliance with the proper set up rules and standards. Apart from monetary scandal of which Kabiyesi is yet to refrain, a new Olubadan-In-Council is inside Popoyemoja palace consisting of the Olubadan, the oloris and the Personal Assistant to the Kabiyesi (Tairu) who decide from time to time who is to be baale or mogaji and will only send hearing notice of meeting and agenda to the real members of the Olubadan-In-Council on the Saturday preceding the installation date on Monday. This leaves no time for protest and any attempt to protest on Monday is fruitless as Kabiyesi believed that he is not challengeable.”
The monarchs also accused Oba Adetunji of acting alone in traditional functions. They stated that he sends clerks and personal assistants with staff of authority or attends occasions singularly the or with his wives.
The council reiterated that many litigations are ongoing over installations of mogajis and baales because they were unilaterally and wrongly done.
Some examples cited are the Baale Ajogbobi, Mogaji Kosoko/Onilabu, Baale Badeku and Mogaji Oyelakun.
Highlighting the merits of the recent review, the monarchs explained that the Olubadan, who was until then His Royal Majesty, could only install baales and mogajis but that the review elevated him to His Imperial Majesty which gives the Olubadan the right to enthrone other obas.
They recalled that the first major review of the declaration was undertaken in 1976 when the late Oba Gbadamosi Adebimpe was elevated to His Royal Majesty, becoming the first Ibadan oba to wear beaded crown.
They contended that this year’s review will not be the last as Ibadan Indigenes seek better ways to bring development to Ibadan land.
They further accused the monarch of wanting to be the only oba in Ibadan land, a city they reiterated is the largest in West Africa.
As members of the council which nominated him for enthronement as the Olubadan, they insisted that they would be forced to wield their power by passing a vote of no confidence on him thereby preparing the ground for deposition, if the monarch remains recalcitrant.
They said: “We are by this conference giving His Imperial Majesty 21 Days ultimatum to change his stand now and work for the improvement of Ibadan rather than promoting disorderliness. Failure to do so, the entire Ibadan Council of Obas will pass a vote of no confidence in the Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji and declare him persona-non-grata, and the government will have no other choice than to move for appropriate action.
“You need to know that we the then Olubadan-In-Council nominated and appointed him and presented the said Kabiyesi Adetunji to the government of Oyo State for inauguration and approval or confirmation as the Olubadan of Ibadan land, knowing full well that under the law, anybody from the position of Ekerin is qualified for the position of the Olubadan.
“The obaship of the Olubadan did not start from Oba Saliu and it will not end in his palace…”
Other obas present at the briefing include Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola, Oba Eddy Oyewole, Oba Lateef Gbadamosi Adebimpe, Oba Amidu Ajibade and Oba Kola Adegbola.
When contacted, the Director of Media and Publicity to the Olubadan, Mr Adeola Oloko, said the palace would react at the appropriate time.