OYO, Nigeria – The crisis rocking the Ibadan traditional stool took another dimension on Thursday when the twenty-one (21) High Chiefs and Baales promoted to the status of Kings by former Governor of Oyo State, Mr Abiola Ajimobi rejected the court judgement that stripped them of their crowns.
OgeneAfrican recalls crisis between the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji and his High Chiefs was said to have been put to rest on Tuesday when Oyo State government withdrew the crowns of the High Chiefs as part of the condition to settle out of court. Read it here.
Our correspondent gathered that the Olubadan and some of his High Chiefs, among whom are the Otun Olubadan, Senator Lekan Balogun, Balogun of Ibadan land, High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin and others who are also members of the Olubadan-In-Council had in the last two years been running a mouse and cat relationship.
The crises reached its peak in August 2017 when the immediate past Governor, Mr. Abiola Ajimobi presented staff of offices to some High Chiefs and Baales numbering twenty one (21) who have been promoted to the status of Kings.
Eminent personalities, indigenes of Ibadan, clubs and societies in the ancient city including former President Olusegun Obasanjo had since then been appealing to the two camps to sheather their swords. The crisis said to have however been put to rest on Tuesday when Ajimobi’s successor, Mr. Seyi Makinde withdrew the crowns of the new promoted Kings as part of the condition to settle out of court.
It was gathered that the Court of Appeal in Ibadan had on August 23 this year referred parties in the controversial coronation of 21 kings by Ajimobi to a lower court. Makinde, who inherited the matter, had opted for an out-of-court settlement to restore peace between the Olubadan and his estranged chiefs. The appellate court ordered that the case be returned for trial before another judge of the state High Court.
The parties reached agreement on Tuesday when the state High Court in a suit number M/317/2017 filed by High Chief Rashidi Ladoja pronounced that the parties in the suit have met and agreed.
The crisis, however, took another turn on Thursday when the Chiefs who had been presented staff of offices and crowned described the court process as shaving the head of a person in his absence.
The Chiefs being the direct beneficiaries of the law that promoted them from High Chiefs and Baales to Obas on 27th August, 2017, they said the out of court settlement option which the judgement was premised was without their inputs and there’s no way they could accept such.
At the meeting held at Mapo Hall headed by the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Lekan Balogun, the new Obas stated that the government had no business setting aside the gazettes as such action did not show commitment to governance.
“Those behind the judgement did not consult the interest of Ibadanland. We, as Obas and representatives of the people reject the judgement and we are going to fight it all the through legal and legitimate means. They want to destabilize Ibadanland and we will not allow them”.
They further disclosed that the issue at hand was beyond Ibadanland and the conspiracy against the promoted Ibadan Obas.
They said they had briefed their lawyers, who would give the next directive according to law.
The Obas reiterated that their rejection of the verdict would not in anyway affect their relationship with the paramount ruler of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1 described as father of all who commands their respect and unalloyed loyalty and support.
They also said they would be waiting for the Olubadan to convey the Olubadan-in-Council meeting, saying, “We are not quarrelling with our father, Oba Adetunji, he should let our meetings go on regularly”.