Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Lekan Balogun, Alli-Okunmade II, has disclosed the reason he asked for the elevation of members of the Olubadan-in-Council to beaded crown-wearing monarchs from Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.
In his address at the elevation ceremony of the High Chiefs, held at Mapo Hall, on Friday, Oba Balogun revealed that the elevation was to reconstruct history of Olubadan stool to make it enduring and sustainable.
Oba Balogun’s address was delivered by a former Head of Service in Oyo State, Alhaji Tajudeen Aremu.
According to Olubadan: “We are here to reconstruct history because, what we are doing today, as historical as it is could not be said to be novel, but the history has to be reconstructed to make it enduring and sustainable and hopefully, it shall surely be.
“We have a very unique system in our traditional set up in Ibadan which continues to evolve, responding to dynamics of demand as occasions may dictate and this has been confirming the agelong aphorism that the only thing permanent in life is change.
“In our responses to the changes over the years, there had always been issues on forging consensuses as arguments for and against always ensue which makes the ongoing controversy on today’s event a welcomed one being our familiar pattern and style in Ibadan.
“In short, whatever we are today in Ibadan as far as our traditional system is concerned are products of periodic changes we have passed through and there is no shying away from making this our own contribution to the system with the conviction that posterity will record us rightly,” the monarch said.
Olubadan noted that just like the previous exercise generated controversy, Friday’s event has not been spared as well with arguments for its propriety or otherwise.
He explained that the fact that the issue refused to die despite the controversy that trailed it up to the point of his coronation in 2022, means it is an idea that has some merits in it which is worthy of embrace.
“It is sad to note that our people, especially those arguing against this exercise fail to note the differences between this current approach and the previous exercise as they cynically dismissed it as a repeat of what was done before, whereas, the singular fact that, Olubadan, as the prescribed and consenting authority of Ibadan traditional system originated today’s exercise among other changes are more than enough to change the narratives.
“This particular occasion is not for a long speech where one can go on educating the public on the imperatives of what we are doing here today, but suffice to say and happily too that there’s a consensus on the need for some of our Baales in Ibadan land to wear crowns and be addressed as Obas.
“Again, we all subscribe to the ancient fact and tradition of our High Chiefs being superior to our Baales and even, administratively, the High Chiefs representing the Olubadan as the Acting Chairmen in our various Local Government Traditional Councils superintend over the Baales. Would the Baales crowned as Obas be removing their crowns when going for meetings to be presided over by High Chiefs?
“We cannot do without reference to the indignation our High Chiefs suffer at public gatherings where they are usually denied their well deserved courtesies and treated shabbily, where an Oba of a community not as populous as my Aliiwo family compound is given all respect and reverence simply because there’s a crown on his head and addressed as ‘Oba’.
“I have heard people hammering the uniqueness of our Ibadan traditional system and painting the picture of trying to alter it with what we are doing with this elevation. Far from it. The system remains as it is as nothing changes in our succession plan and the titles with which our High Chiefs are elevated remain, both in nomenclatures and functions,” Oba Balogun said.
The monarch also allayed the fears that the stool of Olubadan is losing respect, honour and prestige because of the elevation of the High Chiefs to beaded crown wearing obas, saying: “I don’t think it can happen or I don’t see it happening because the stool of Olubadan is a sacred one that nobody dares desecrate for whatever reason or purpose.”
“What’s more, today’s High Chiefs are tomorrow’s Olubadans and the law of what you sow, you will reap or the admonition of our forefathers that when you want to go and bury your senior brother nakedly, take along your younger brother (Eni to ba fe lo sin egbon e ni ihoho, ko ranti mu aburo re lowo) should remain our guide.
“Suffice to add that today’s programme is two-phased with the elevation of some of our Baales in Ibadan land to Obas as Royal Highnesses coming up as the phase two and at a later date. So, my brother Baales’ minds should be at peace and begin their own preparation for a similar outing within the shortest possible date,” Olubadan added.
Oba Balogun emphasised that the elevated High Chiefs will retain and maintain their respective positions on the ladder to the Olubadan of Ibadan land stool.
The beneficiaries of the new titles are Balogun of Ibadanland, Otun Olubadan, Otun Balogun and Osi Olubadan, High Chiefs Owolabi Olakulehin, Rashidi Ladoja, Tajudeen Ajibola and Eddy Oyewole respectively.
Others are High Chiefs Lateef Gbadamosi Adebimpe (Osi Balogun), Abiodun Kola-Daisi (Ashipa Olubadan), Kolawole Adegbola (Ashipa Balogun), Hamidu Ajibade (Ekerin Olubadan), Dada Isioye (Ekerin Balogun), Adebayo Akande (Ekarun Olubadan) and Abiodun Dauda Azeez (Ekarun Balogun).