Twenty six months after, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, has finally welcomed his enstranged high chiefs and members of his Advisory Council back into his palace with a view to starting off the process of reconciliation to end the rift between him and the high chiefs.
The traditional ruler’s earlier condition that if the high chiefs would return to the palace, they must not come with their crowns, was obeyed, as the high chiefs walked into the palace without their crowns on their heads.
In a statement issued and signed by the Olubadan Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Adeola Oloko, Oba Adetunji said there was abundant evidence that the returning high chiefs were being trapped from where they went, stating further that time would tell.
The last time the Olubadan-in-Council meeting was held May 2017.
The Nation reported that the reconciliation team consisting of Otun Olubadan, Lekan Balogun, Osi Olubadan, Rasidi Ladoja and Ekarun Olubadan, Amidu Ajibade arrived the palace at about 12.15pm in separate vehicles.
Some twenty minutes later, the Olubadan who was clad in blue ofi and white crown and half shoe to match received them with open arms amid songs, drum beat and trumpet sound. He danced and sat on the throne and the high chiefs paid homage.
They later went into closed door meeting which lasted for about 40 minutes after which reporters and camera men were called in to ask questions and take pictures.
It was believed that a plea for another all-inclusive meeting involving other absent chiefs was made before the royal father, who was believed to have consented for another meeting for Monday 19 August, 2019 after the Id-el-Kabir festival.
Although, the details of the meeting remained sketchy, the Otun Olubadan who allegedly spoke at the meeting called on Kabiyesi to summon the meeting of Olubadan-in-Council wherein conflicts would be resolved from within rather than without.
Responding, the first class monarch who thanked the returning high chiefs for coming, noted that his support for reconciliation was premised on the need for unity, progress and solidarity of Ibadan. He told the returning high chiefs that he was all out to protect their interest all along, adding there was abundant evidence that they were being trapped where they went. He stated further that time would tell.
The meeting has not been able to hold till date following the interference of the Oyo State Government under former Governor Abiola Ajimobi in the internal affairs of Ibadan Traditional Chieftaincy system.
Trouble started between the Olubadan and his high chiefs when the state government under Senator Abiola Animobi upgraded and approved the high chiefs as beaded crowns and coronets wearing obas along side 38 others across the state.
This, followed government review of the 1957 state chieftaincy laws .
The government said that the approval was in line with the exercise of powers conferred on the governor by Section 28(1) of the Chiefs Law Cap 28, Vol. 1 Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria and by virtue of all other powers enabling in that behalf, stressing that the approval has been gazetted with Oyo State Notice No. 20-67 of Oyo State of Nigeria Gazette No. 3, Vol. 43 published March 29, 2018 and endorsed under the governor’s command by the Secretary to the State Government, Ishmael Olalekan Alli.
According to the government, 26 Obas will wear beaded crown based on the approval, while the remaining 22 will wear coronets.
Though , the government claimed its decision was taken after due consultation with members of the state’s Council of Obas and Chiefs, both the Olubadan and High Chief Rashidi Ladoja distanced themselves from the decision, describing it as illegal and unlawful and challenged the action in the court.