The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji has reacted to the 21-day ultimatum given to him by the Obas-In-Council to either accept the chieftaincy review or get deposed.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Olubadan described the ultimatum was an affront to the people of Ibadan land.
Recall that the 21 newly crowned Ibadan kings on Monday threatened to oust the Olubadan if he refuses to accept the new system which made them obas in a mass coronation presided over by Governor Abiola Ajimobi in August.
But the Olubadan in a statement on Tuesday described the threat as an end of the year entertainment programme.
In the statement by his spokesman, Adeola Oloko, the Olubadan stated that the so-called Oba-in-Council was unknown to the Oyo State Chieftaincy Laws.
He contended that the council made up of the high chiefs and the Olubadan is basically an advisory council with no force of law, customs and traditions backing it.
He explained further that the baale whom the high chiefs added to themselves to become His Royal Majesties and His Royal Highnesses, are not members of Olubadan-in-Council and “therefore should not be dressed in borrowed robe, as they have no power whatsoever over their lord”. He said that as the prescribed and appointing authority, he can promote and/or peg the promotion of an high chief as long as he wishes but added that he did not contemplate any such decision as he does not see himself as an absolute monarch.
Oba Adetunji contended further that there was no time that the embattled high chiefs were barred from attending palace activities, adding that they were the ones who spurned palace invitation in their “desperate rush for multiple crowns and cheap royalties”. He expressed delight that despite their absence from official palace activities, the Olubadan had been exercising his duties without let or hindrance.
He stated that even when they were being harassed and molested in the city streets and called unprintable names, he has been trying his level best to calm down frayed nerves in order to guarantee their safety and security by going to court to diffuse tension. Oba Adetunji stated that as the Yoruba proverb says that okro can never outgrow its reaper, an high chief can’t outgrow the king by threatening to recommend him for removal.
“By custom and tradition, no Olubadan has been recommended for removal from office by any high chief or group of high chiefs at any time and my own reign will not be an exception. At least, we have received applications from families of about four of the embattled high chiefs asking for their immediate replacement. But, like a prodigal son, we hope that they would sooner than later renounce the unrecognized crowns and return to the warm embrace of their father as the palace door is perpetually open. The high chiefs are hereby advised to emulate high chiefs in other places, who are not wearing crowns but still earn respect of their people for peace and progress to reign supreme in the land”, he added.
The first class monarch also maintained that the so-called Oba-in-Council was unknown to the Oyo State Chieftaincy Laws, wondering how a group of educated individuals such as the embattled high chiefs could resort to illegality by commenting on a matter before the court.
Tomorrow, December 13, 2017, hearing in a suit diked by the Olubadan against the Oyo state government on the controversial review will continue.
Oba Adetunji who pleaded with the court to take judicious notice of the persistent contempt of court on the matter before it by the defendants in recent times, is of the opinion finally warned that “if a scape goat is not made of at least one or two culprits, there may be no end to court contempt”
He however urged the obas not to entertain fears yet, as their seats as high chiefs would not be declared vacant in the absence of court judgement.