Three hundred and fifteen Mogajis (family heads) in Ibadanland are heading to court, to make Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, reverse the promotion of the Baales (village heads) to their new status of Royal Highnesses or await the court’s verdict on the government’s reform of the chieftaincy system in Ibadan.
The Mogajis are contending that the reforms will bring the chieftaincy system in Ibadanland into disrepute.
One of the spokesmen of the group, Chief Wale Oladoja, a family head of the Akinsola from Labiran compound, in Ibadan on Wednesday evening confirmed this development
Oladoja also confirmed that he endorsed an earlier press release, which was also signed by another Mogaji from Adanla compound, Chief Abdul Jelili Karimu.
He said 315 of them held a meeting with the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, earlier in the day in solidarity with the monarch’s opposition to the Oyo State Government’s elevation of high chiefs and Baales.
Oladoja, a former Director, Odu’a Investment Company Limited, said the Forum of Mogajis are solidly behind the Olubadan and would seek redress in the court.
He wondered how Baales, who, by Ibadan customs and tradition, were under them in hierarchy, could be promoted as kings at their (Mogajis) expense.
In the release jointly endorsed by him and Karimu, they criticised the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) for claiming that 90 per cent of Ibadan indigenes supported the mass coronation and review of Olubadan declaration.
They asked how, when and where the CCII leadership conducted the survey.
They said: “As family heads in Ibadan land, we wish to make it abundantly clear that we are solidly behind the Olubadan, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji.”
Oyo State government has suspended promotion from Mojaji (family head) to Jagun in both Otun Olubadan and Balogun lines.
The state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Bimbo Kolade disclosed this, while clarifying issues on the reviewed Olubadan declaration.
He said: “Besides, what the panel recommended was that there would no longer be promotion from Mogaji to Jagun, both in the Otun and Balogun lines in the Olubadan chieftaincy structure until the present Jaguns in the Otun Olubadan and Balogun lines rise to become Ikolaba Balogun and Ikolaba Olubadan.”
The senior chiefs in the Olubadan chieftaincy line have been promoted to part two Obas or chiefs in the state. The Ekerin Olubadan and Ekerin Balogun would now be addressed as obas.
“All the eleven high chiefs who had local government that they were presiding over could continue to do that. With this, we would be able to increase the status of the Olubadan,” he said.