Estranged High Chiefs of the Olubadan-in-Council have accused the Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, of running a “cash and carry” administration whereby “people now pay as much as N30 million too be installed\appointed as a traditional chief in Ibadanland”
The chiefs made the allegation in a letter written in response to an earlier one in which the Olubadan stated that some indigenes of Ibadan were calling for the banishment of the chiefs.
In their four-page letter made available to newsmen at the weekend, the controversially elevated obas threatened to invoke their powers to call for the abdication of the throne by Oba Adetunji, as they were no longer comfortable with his leadership style.
They maintained that the long standing crisis rocking the traditional institution was not created by the review of the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration which led to their controversial elevation to crown wearing Obas.
They stated that ‘’ever before the immediate past administration of Sen. Abiola Ajimobi initiated the process of the Review of Ibadan Traditional Chieftaincy Declaration in 2017, two main issues had drawn a wedge between the Palace and the members of the Olubadan-in-Council.”
According to them, ‘’The issues were the relegation of the members of the Olubadan-in-Council to mere onlookers and bystanders at the Olubadan-in-Council meetings, where the Oloris [as they were then] and some members of Your Imperial Majesty’s family were the decision makers.
‘’We are not aware of any of the Olubadans in the history of Ibadanland whose wives and family members were made members of Olubadan-in-Council. Our attempt to check this anomaly through protest was rebuffed and our personalities verbally attacked and recriminated by the Oloris in the presence of Your Imperial Majesty without a word of caution.
‘’The other issue which drew our ire and which was a reflection of the denial of our patriotic contributions at the Olubadan-in-Council meetings was the criminal commercialization of Ibadan Traditional Titles the moment Your Imperial Majesty ascended the throne of Olubadan, which was a sharp departure from what we all agreed to and practiced during the reign of Your Imperial Majesty’s predecessor.
‘’It sounds odd, unthinkable and unimaginable that people now pay as much as thirty million Naira [N30m] to be installed\appointed as a traditional chief in Ibadanland. This is against one’s antecedents and family contributions to the development of Ibadanland, which are the traditional yardsticks to measure qualification for appointment\installation.
‘’The implication of this ‘cash and carry’ approach is the appointment\installation of some people with questionable moral background at the expense of decent and genuine people with proven track record and whose genuine and verifiable source of income could not meet the demand of the Palace.
‘’Equally, the highest bidder approach has led to the appointment\installation of two or three Mogajis for the same family/compound, while two or more Baales are appointed for some towns and settlements, following which some aggrieved persons are already in court to challenge Your Imperial Majesty. If we may ask, what kind of future is our referred monarch building for Ibadanland’’, they queried?
They described people reportedly calling for their banishment as shortsighted and shallow thinking, saying: “If they are not shallow in thought or shortsighted, they would appreciate our role as the kingmakers who ensured Your Imperial Majesty’s installation in the first place and reserve the right to call for Your Imperial Majesty’s abdication of the throne if we are not comfortable (as we are presently) with the administrative style of the Palace.”
‘’Again, if the imaginary people are not regressive in thinking, they would appreciate the fact that no society is static and development is a continuous exercise. If what the Palace described as the ‘damage’ had not been ‘ inflicted on Ibadan traditional system’ over the years, Ibadan would still be ruled by Baale and not an Oba and our Oba would still be either His Royal Highness or Royal Majesty and not His Imperial Majesty as we presently have today’’, they added.
The High Chiefs said the description of the review carried out by Ajimobi ‘’as a damage inflicted on Ibadan traditional patrimony’’ ‘is laughable’, stressing that ‘’Kabiyesi would recollect that all of us at the initial stage were opposed to the review exercise until the meeting we held together with the governor in his office where he took time to explain the motive behind the exercise to us and which we, including Your Imperial Majesty agreed and gave our blessings.
‘’It was after our departure and following Kabiyesi’s consultation with the Oloris that Kabiyesi changed tune. We need to put it to Kabiyesi that we were not part of the post Governor’s Office meeting with the Oloris and the decision taken there could bind us.
‘’Again, does it not amount to hypocrisy to hold on to the title of His Imperial Majesty, a creation of the much vilified review? If truth must be told, Kabiyesi, as long as you’re still carrying the title of His Imperial Majesty, there is no moral justification to continue casting aspersion on the review of the Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration which gave birth to the title (HIM)’’, they stated.
Their letter stressed that ‘’we are repeating it that any promotion granted the Mogajis before Ikolaba title remains a nullity the moment such was done under the seal of Kabiyesi as His Imperial Majesty. It does not require rocket science to know that the two Gazettes said to have been set aside which prescribed Ikolaba title as the entry point to the Olubadan throne also gave birth to the title of His Imperial Majesty.
‘’Thus, the moment the two Gazettes were set aside, the title of His Imperial Majesty was also set aside. It doesn’t add up to insist savoring the fruit of supposed outlawed Gazettes and at the same time going against it. If we want to do away with the Gazettes, the totality of their contents must be thrown away with them and not selective on which content to embrace and which we should not, that will be dubious and double standard’’.