Former governor of Oyo State and Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja, has declared that Sen. Lekan Balogun is next-in-line to the throne of Olubadan.
Ladoja stated this when Balogun paid him a courtesy visit at his Bodija, Ibadan residence, on Thursday.
He, however, said that Balogun and other high chiefs who instituted court cases against the consent judgement facilitated by Governor Seyi Makinde should withdraw the suits to make Balogun’s ascension to thrones smooth and rancour-free.
The former governor described the controversy trailing the succession to the Olubadan throne as needless.
Ladoja is next in line to Balogun on the Olubadan line. It is generally believed that the succession controversy was being ignited by those who favour him as the next Olubadan following Oba Saliu Adetunji’s demise.
According to the former governor, the controversy should not have arisen as the succession plan is clear and unambiguous.
“There is no controversy about it. Egbon Lekan Balogun is the most senior in our line and so he is the next in line to the throne.
“For those asking, my ‘body and mouth language’ is that Egbon Lekan is my senior and he is next in line to the Olubadan stool.
“I do not have the powers to make anybody Olubadan. In 2017, we instituted a case to challenge the needless reform that Abiola Ajimobi as governor wanted to do. Almost all of us as High Chiefs and members of the Olubadan-in-Council agreed to the filing of a suit to challenge him and we gave the task to Michael Lana.
“Lana later called me to say some of the High Chiefs told him to remove their names from the suit, leaving only my Egbon Balogun and myself. Two weeks after we started the case, Egbon Balogun said he was no longer interested in the case. I asked Lana if I could do it alone and he told me ‘yes’ and we continued.
“We won the case at the State High Court and Ajimobi appealed. In a judgement, the Appeal Court, a few days to the exit of Ajimobi from government, sent the case back to the High Court for retrial. The Judges of the Appellate Court said the case was brought under writ of summons instead of originating summons.
“By the time, there had been a new government headed by Seyi Makinde who said he did not want the distraction of the suit and called for out-of court settlement which we agreed to and did.
“After the terms of settlement were agreed to, the court gave a consent judgement based on the terms. But they said they were not happy and instituted two fresh cases which are still in court till today.
“So, I need people to understand that I am not causing any trouble. The cases that are in court today in respect of the Obaship tussle were instituted by Egbon Balogun and his colleagues who are still calling themselves Obas.
“It is they that the people should talk to. Let them go and withdraw the cases they instituted. I don’t like the unwarranted tension this matter is generating,” Ladoja said.