Some Mogajis (family heads) in Ibadan, under the aegis of The Ibadan Council of Recognized Magajis, have expressed support for the review of the Olubadan chieftaincy system recently undertaken by the Oyo State Government.
The government reviewed the 1959 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration last month which included elevation of many baales and high chiefs to the position of oba while the Olubadan of Ibadan land became an imperial majesty.
Some Mogajis are challenging the review in court, angry that the review elevated baales above them.
But another group of the Mogajis under the Ibadan Council of Recognized Mogajis in a communique issued at the end of its meeting held at Mapo Hall at the weekend, said the review was done in good faith, adding that it brought elevation to the throne of the Olubadan of Ibadan land.
The communique was signed by its chairman, Mogaji Asimiyu Adepoju Ariyori and Secretary, Mogaji Isiaka Raji Elegbaowo.
It reads in part: “There is no other recognized Mogajis than the Ibadan Council of Recognised Mogajis. We found out that some faceless people are using the misunderstanding on the Ibadan chieftaincy reform as an opportunity to portray themselves as the authentic Mogajis and thereby causing distraction.
“We are not part of any rancor, not interested in any crisis in Ibadan or a divided Ibadan. We want united Ibadan and we are interested in the development of Ibadan land as well as that of our leaders.
“We resolved that the chieftaincy reform was done in good faith and it brought elevation to our father, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, the Olubadan-in-Council, Baales and the entire people of Ibadanland.
“We want to assure the people of Ibadanland that since the reform was done in a right way, we solemnly support the Governor. We are telling the government that they have our backing on the recent elevation of our father, the Olubadan of Ibadanland and our former high chiefs. We are interested in the elevation of our leaders but if the government engages in activities that belittle our leaders, we will not support the government.
“We are not interested in anything that that will destroy the peace in Ibadan. We are happy with what Governor Abiola Ajimobi has done and we want to assure our people that nothing has changed in the ascendancy structure of the Olubadanthrone.
“We want understanding of the people and we do not want the four dissidents so called Mogajis to destabilize the peace in Ibadanland as well as misinform the people. Anybody that is a traditional Mogaji in Ibadan will be among us. We do not want crisis in Ibadan and we are appealing to the four Mogajis, who are calling themselves Authentic Mogajis to desist from activities that can cause disharmony in the city.
“We are not politicians; we are traditional chiefs of the city. They (The four mogajis) are politicians and that is why they cannot be with us. We wonder why four people will be more than us?
“We, therefore, implore the government, our father, Kabiyesi, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, the newly created Obas in Council and elders in Ibadanland to come together for the progress and development of Ibadanland.”