Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan
The Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, on Tuesday described the report of the commission set up by the Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi to review the existing chieftaincy matters in Ibadan land as a ‘joke carried too far.’
This was contained in a statement signed on behalf of the monarch by his Director, Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Adeola Oloko, in reaction to an interview granted by the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Bimbo Kolade, in Ibadan to a radio station that the recommendations of the chieftaincy commission report would be implemented.
The report had recommended the enthronement of 32 beaded kings for some lesser cities in Ibadan land.
But in the statement Olubadan opposed the recommendation.
The statement said, “For the avoidance of doubt, there was never a time that Olubadan supported the review embarked upon by the Oyo State Government. This was why the first-class monarch did not submit any memorandum nor made any representation to the panel. When last week the panel submitted its report to the state governor, the public would vividly remember that Olubadan was not in the picture at all, because he was not invited.
“Both the young and old in Ibadan know that the Ibadan chieftaincy system is not a creation of the government. It is a creation of Ibadan people. No king, no governor, no elite, no high chief has the right to tamper with the system without recourse to our people.
“How many town hall meetings has the state government convened before arriving at the conclusion that Ibadan deserves 32 crowns? To show ignorance to our tradition, the panel (commission) lumped our highly respected high chiefs with baales who are always nominated by the family Mogajis.”
The statement maintained that the power to review chieftaincy resided in the Olubadan, while explaining that in other states where more kings were created, the government did not initiate it.
The monarch argued that the review was carried out despite the fact that there were two cases in court against it.
The statement added, “If the traditional institution wants a review, it is not the duty of government to spearhead the review. It is the duty of the Olubadan sitting in council to look at what they want to review and present same to the state government for approval. This is the tradition in Ile-Ife, which the commissioner mentioned in the interview. The Osun State Government did not spearhead the review. In Lagos and Ogun states, the case is similar. Besides, there are two cases in court in respect of this same issue, which the Oyo State Government is not unaware of.”