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Olubadan review: Ajimobi's Obas are wearing mere 'carton crowns' - Olubadan

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Funmi Olaitan, Ibadan

An end may not be in sight to the controversy on the Olubadan Chieftaincy review as the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, on Tuesday described the crowns bestowed on 21 new Obas in Ibadanland by the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi as “mere cartons”.

The monarch while imploring the new Obas to wait for their time, said it took him over 40 years to ascend the throne of the paramount ruler of Ibadanland, noting that he started his journey to the throne as a mogaji in 1976.

He said this in his Popoyemoja palace while playing host to a group of protesters who paid him a solidarity visit over the controversy trailing the coronation of the new obas by the administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi.

The groups which were made up of youths and mogaji's under the aegis of Council of Mogajis of Ibadanland and Integrity Youths of Ibadanland had earlier addressed a press conference at the Nigerian Union of Journalists Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan before being led in a procession to the palace of the Olubadan.

The event which held amidst heavy security presence made up of men of the Nigerian Police force and plain cloth security operatives, was said to be in fulfilment of an earlier threat by a faction of the magajis who had issued a seven day ultimatum against the governor to register their displeasure on what they described as ‘verbal assault’ against the stool of the Olubadan, by the governor.

Prominent Mogajis (family head) present at the press briefing include: a former deputy governor of the state, Mr Hazeem Gbolarunmi, Moshood Akere, Molade Adeyemi, Olawale Oladoja and Jelili Adanla.

Others are: Mr Abass Oloko, Mr Olasegun Ademola, Mr Badmos Adewale, Mr Ifelere Osho and Mr Lamidi Olalekan.

The monarch who received the guests amidst music and fanfare, also preached love for fellow human beings as what should be of paramount interest to everybody against the selfish interest shown by some individuals.

He said,, “I started as a Mogaji. I was moving step by step before I assumed the throne after 40 years. I thank God for that. We must all love one another. If you love yourself and hate others, your purpose of love is nothing. I was called by the elders of my family to come and become a Mogaji more than 40 years ago. I rejected it and for three years, they were approaching me for the role.

“In trying to convince me, the representative of my family told me that it could be that one day I would become a king. I then accepted it and became the Mogaji of my family. I waited on God and he made me king.

“Those who were crowned a few weeks ago know within themselves that they are wearing fake crowns, it is just a carton crown. I began my journey more than 40 years, why can’t they wait for their turn. If you don’t wait for your turn, you will be on the wrong side of destiny."

Gbolarumi while speaking on the visit, said it is a solidarity visit to assure the king that he has the support of his people noting that even if the government has good intention on the review, the manner with which the governor executed it could be easily misinterpreted by the people.

He maintained that the group had no issue whatsoever with the governor as a person but his policy and decision on the matter of the chieftaincy review.

According to him, even if there would be any review, it should be a decision of the members of the council of chiefs who would send same to the governor for ratification and approval.

He added that never was it heard in the history of Ibadanland that kings were coronated on a Sunday, stressing that the group insists that the review by the government must be reversed.

While earlier addressing journalists at the Press Centre on behalf of the Mogajis, Gbolarumi described the coronation and elevation of High Chiefs and Baales to the status of Obas as a "creation of political expediency".

He maintained that the White paper issued on the review is nothing but a manifestation of distorting history, culture and monolithic tradition unique to Ibadanland, stating that it is unacceptable to the majority of the people of the city.

In the address titled, "Political onslaught on Olubadan of Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration Threat to Unity and Monolithic Structures in Ibadanland", he declared that the. Mogajis are not happy with the elevation of the High Chiefs without domains.

He said, "The High Chiefs that were mostly promoted as "Oba" have no territorial governance and cannot exercise of Obaship. No socio-economic development can be associated with a warrant Oba.

"It is a creation of political expediency. There is no authority to be exercised over particular territory, in order words no legitimacy can be conferred on them ny the citizen thus negating the reciprocatory principle of ruler and subject.

"High Chiefs were upgraded to Oba's without domains, Obas without palace. This gave a resemblance of the colonial structures of creating warrant chiefs in Iboland. The system is characterized by imposition, oligarchy and fascism".

"Are we going to be having royal families in Ibadan? Impossible. Now the Otun Olubadan has been surreptitiously promoted as Oba, can he succeed Olubadan with his new Obaship without creating fractures into the traditional institution of succession and ascendacy to the Olubadan of Ibadan Chietfaincy.".

Gbolarumi then called on the Governor Ajimobi to rescind its decision and revert to the status quo ante.

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