The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, has advised members of the Olubadan-in-Council who are now Obas to drop their crowns if they are to return to the palace as chiefs.
He said this in reaction to a statement credited to the High Chiefs which accused the monarch of sidelining them and running kingdom affairs unilaterally and illegally.
In a press statement signed by his Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Public Affairs, Adeola Oloko, the Olubadan denied being responsible for the Chiefs absence from the palace.
“Rather than engage in blame game, the embattled high chiefs who are understandably afraid of what is likely to befall them after May 29 when power would have changed hands should have been bold enough to apologise to the entire people of Ibadanland in particular and the Yoruba people in general for undermining our custom and tradition,” he said.
According to him, there is nowhere in Yorubaland where two kings sit inside a palace, adding that it is always the king and his chiefs. “Apart from violating our customs and tradition, there is no law that backs the wearing of illegal crowns in Ibadanland,” he said.
He said he expected the high chiefs to comply with the Oyo state High Court judgment which declared the Chieftaincy declaration reforms carried out by the state government that produced the crowns as illegal, null, void and of no effect.
The royal father stated further that when the high chiefs say their efforts to resolve the crisis have been frustrated, what they do not tell the unwary public is that Olubadan should approve through the back door the crowns that the court has out rightly rejected. Oba Adetunji stated that if the people of Ibadan want the crowns, he would have long ago approve it but all indications show that the overwhelming majority of our do not approve it.
Oba Adetunji also dismissed allegations of illegal activities, saying he had done no wrong nor acted illegally at any time when there is no stay of execution.
According to Oba Adetunji, “the high chiefs exhibited little or no knowledge of our custom and tradition when they accused him of installing Mogajis and Baales without recourse to them.” According to him, Section 22 (2) of the Chiefs Law, Cap 28 Law of Oyo State 2000 makes the Olubadan the Prescribed and Consenting Authority on all chieftaincy matters in Ibadanland, the first class monarch argued that the Olubadan-in-Council is merely an advisory council without any power whatsoever.
He added: “If anybody should castigated for denigrating our institution, it is the embattled high chiefs with inordinate ambition to become monarch without domain that should examine themselves. It is those who commit crime against Yoruba customs and tradition and do not repent that deserve to be castigated.
“It is those who run away from the palace and turn round to say they are not carried along. It is those who flagrantly disobey court orders. It is the chiefs who are sent to represent the Olubadan at the Local Government Traditional Councils but seize Olubadan’s salaries that have violated our customs and tradition.”