Henceforth, the Eze Ndigbo of Ibadan must submit himself to the authority of the various baales in Ibadan. They must also stop referring to themselves as ‘His Royal Highness.’
These new orders were handed down to the Igbo community in Ibadan on Wednesday by the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji.
The monarch also retrieved the beads worn by the Baale of Ido, Chief Tajudeen Akinola Agura, for parading himself as the substantive Onido after suspension.
Onido is a major Ibadan less city baale. The title has been in the news in the last 10 years for various traditional and political reasons.
After the one-hour drilling by the Olubadan-In-Council, the Council affirmed his suspension and retrieved his beads with a strong warning to stop parading himself the the Onido until a final decision is taken on his case.
The suspended baale left the palace disappointed yesterday.
Agura was installed in July, 2011 after his predecessor, Chief Benjamin Ishola, was deposed for, among others, his crave for a beaded crown.
While Ishola struggled for stronger recognition and a beaded crown during his reign, Agura was in court to challenge the former’s occupation of the stool, claiming he (Agura) was the right candidate for the stool.
He eventually won in 2011 when the late Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade 1 installed him.
A source close to the council disclosed to The Nation that aside the suspension, several petitions hang around Agura’s neck, particularly on alleged land grabbing and related issues. The source said it would be tough for the suspended baale to wriggle out of the suspension.
Oba Adetunji also handed a strong warning to leaders of the Igbo community in Ibadan to subject themselves to the authority of the baales in their domains.
He said Eze Ndigbo must operate within the framework of the Ibadan traditional authority. The traditional ruler said on no account would the palace attend to the Eze without passing through the baales under which they must subject themselves.
Briefing reporters after a two-and-a-half-hour meeting yesterday, the Asipa Balogun of Ibadan, High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola, said: “We have taken a stance on the principle of upholding Ibadan authority. We’ve done many things today on the issue of the man parading himself as Onido who has been suspended, and without salary for some time.
The Kabiyesi was of the view that since he has been suspended, he can not go about parading himself as Onido, wearing beads. So, we have seized his beads.
“The second issue was the issue of Eze Ndigbo. In any community, you cannot have two royal fathers. The only Oba in Ibadan land is our royal highness, the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji (Aje Ogunguniso 1). So, no other person can call himself his royal highness in Ibadan land. We have three levels of rulership in our traditional system. We have the Olubadan; we have the high chiefs and we have the baales. Those are the three levels. Any other person calling himself his royal highness is counterfeit. Any association of any tribe or professional calling or anything comes under the baale in their domain. So, if you say Eze Ndigbo, it comes under the baale of say, Ekotedo or any other domains of the baales in Ibadan land. When anything happens, they cannot come to Kabiyesi directly. They have to report to the baale because the baale is Kabiyesi’s representative.
“During the war days, we had them at the borders. We had the Baale of Ido at the border, the Baale of Egbeda at Egbeda point, we had the Baale at the Oluyole point and so on. They were warriors. So, any other leadership must come under that baale. So, Eze Ndigbo comes under the leadership of baale who reports to the Olunadan-in-Council.
“They can call themselves any title but we don’t recognize them. All we affirmed is that their leader comes under the authority in Ibadan as long as they live in Ibadan. If you live in Ibadan, you can trade, work and do whatever legitimate thing you like. We bless them but they must come under our baale.”
Other members of the Olubadan-In-Council in attendance yesterday include the Otun Olubadan, High Chief Lekan Balogun; Osi Olubadan, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja; Osi Balogun, High Chief Femi Olaifa; the Asipa Olubadan, High Chief Eddy Oyewole; the Iyalode of Ibadan, High Chief Aminat Abiodun and chiefs Lateef Gbadamosi.