The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji has revealed how the Oyo State Government, the high chiefs turned monarchs and a commissioner whose name was not mentioned attempted to undermine his power.
OYO INSIGHT reported how Mr Toye Arulogun, who is commissioner for information, orientation and culture, represented the government at the Alli-Iwo family compound of Oba Lekan Balogun, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, when masquerades paid him homage.
According to the monarch, his dignified silence since the purported Chieftaincy reform started was to avoid a breakdown of law and order in Ibadan and beyond.
The monarch, in a statement by his personal assistant and director of media and public affairs, Mr Adeola Oloko, said if the motive behind the reform was to modernise tradition, the move had bred indiscipline and what he called “gangsterism”.
Recalling what he called a failed attempt by “the so-called new kings, backed by the Oyo State government, to undermine the authority of the Olubadan, who decreed ‘no masquerade dance,” he added “Even when all masqueraders under the leadership of the Olori Alagbaa, Baale Labala and Aare Isese of Ibadan complied with the order, the state government with one of its commissioners went on propaganda spree, saying the Olubadan’s order had been disobeyed as masquerades danced in one of the embattled high chief’s compound.”
Oba Adetunji, OYO INSIGHT recalled, had directed all masquerades against visiting or dancing in the compound of any of the controversial elevated monarchs.
“We told them to produce the pictures on newspaper pages or television screen. Was Atipako there? Was Alapansanpa there? Was Olunlade there? Was Oloolu there?”
This is just as the monarch urged the public to perish the thought that the controversial approval of beaded crowns by the Oyo State government to Ibadan high chiefs and baales is irreversible.
The frontline monarch stressed that “our case against the state government is alive”.
He also advised Governor Abiola Ajimobi to be mindful of the court on the controversial chieftaincy review and respect the rule of law.
Apparently reacting to a statement credited to Ajimobi while distributing cars to 36 traditional rulers, Oba Adetunji recalled that a judgment delivered by Justice Aiki of the Oyo State High Court had declared the chieftaincy reform illegal, null and void.
He said: “Afterwards, the Oyo State government decided to file an appeal at the Court of Appeal. My position is that if a case is in court, it is no longer open for discussion, as this statement is automatically subjudice. If it is not reversible, why did the two parties have to go to court?”
Oba Adetunji also faulted the statement that the controversy which followed the crowning of Ibadan traditional rulers was political, saying the issue raised is customary and traditional.
He said: “My humble opinion is that the procedure for approval of beaded crowns for any chief or baale in Ibadan was not discussed at the Olubadan-in-Council level. If it was discussed, how would any of the high chiefs bear two titles at the same time? Oba and high chief! An abomination!”
The Olubadan, who said though he did not oppose the government’s presentation of cars to traditional rulers, urged Ajimobi to prevail on the kings to release the 11-month salaries of palace workers they have allegedly been withholding with Olubadan’s salary cheques, when the allocations to traditional councils had been released.