Last Sunday, Ibadanland saw the historic mass coronation of 21 new obas following the review of the 1959 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1959. The review led to the creation of 32 new thrones in Ibadanland with the throne of the Olubadan remaining intact and elevated to be the head of all the other thrones.
The development did not come without controversies especially as one of the Olubadan Oba Saliu Adetunju and one of the new Obas, Oba Rashidi Ladoja, did not attend the event because they were against it
While we watch for reactionary events to unfold in the next few weeks, we look at 10 new developments about the new Chieftaincy system in the ancient city.
1. The Olubadan becomes “His Imperial Majesty”
The Olubadan is now going to be addressed as His Imperial Majesty because he has lower obas under him. The Olubadan is the supreme ruler of Ibadanland.
2. The High Chiefs become “His Royal Majesties”
All 11 high chiefs, who are members of the Olubadan-in-Council, are now obas with the title ‘His Royal Majesty.’ They will however retain their titles in the Council e.g “Otun Olubadan”, “Ashipa Balogun” etc. Since they retain their ranks within the Olubadan-in-Council, they will ascend the ladder until the next-in-line mounts the throne after the demise of any current Olubadan.
3. The Baales become “His Royal Highnesses”
The Baales, traditional rulers in their communities, are now obas with the title “His Royal Highness”. They are now obas in their domains.
4. Domain of each Royal Majesties
Each of the Royal Majesties has a local government in the city as his domain. There are 11 local governments in Ibadan.
5. The 32 new thrones – the new obas
Only 21 obas were installed on Sunday because the remaining positions were currently vacant either due to death as in the case of High Chief Femi Olaifa who died on Friday, or due to yet to be completed processes of becoming Baales. One of the new obas, Ladoja, did not attend because he is against the process.
6. Who can become Olubadan?
Now, only a beaded crown oba can become Olubadan because members of the Olubadan-in-Council who, as in the past, used to ascend through the two lines to the two lines to the throne, are now Obas.
7. The two lines to the throne
The two lines to the throne of the Olubadan (Olubadan and Balogun) are retained but with the Olubadan line now known as the Otun Olubadan line.
8. Now a younger person can become Olubadan
While the 22 steps in Otun Olubadan line have been reduced to 11, the rungs in the Balogun line have also been reduced from 23 to 12. The reduction was aimed at allowing younger people to emerge as the Olubadan. Entry points to the ladder on both sides shall become Ikolaba instead of Jagun, that is the elimination of the steps between the Jagun and Ikolaba levels.
9. Olubadan-in-Council becomes Council of Obas in Ibadan land
The Olubadan-in-Council has been changed to Council of Obas in Ibadan land and according to the gazzette, their meeting place for the Council would be Mapo.
10. The Olubadan’s authority
Accordimg to the white paper: “Any oba in Ibadan land who shows disregard or disrespect to the position or authority of the Olubadan through refusal to pay necessary customary obeisance and flouting of superior customary authority shall be investigated by a committee of traditional chiefs and appropriate sanction will be recommended against any guilty offender. A very serious infraction of the tradition can be reported to the State Governor through the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters.”