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OLUBADAN: Ibadan Begs Makinde To Temper Law With Culture And Tradition | Maroof Asudemade

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At the final funeral ceremony of the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Senator Lekan Balogun, Allí-Okunmade II, Governor Seyi Makinde, who was the chief host, while making his speech, was quoted to have said that the Olubadan-designate, Oba Owolabi Akinloyè Olakulehin would be coronated when he is strong enough. Governor Makinde made the statement against the now public knowledge that Oba Owolabi Olakulehin is coping with some ailment that affects his strength. Since yesterday that Governor Makinde was said to have made the statement, mostly negative reactions have trailed the Governor’s pronouncement. Some concerned Ibadan natives have been calling on Governor Makinde to rescind his decision and allow Oba Owolabi Olakulehin to be coronated as soon as possible. Some other people reacting saw Governor Makinde’s action in delaying the coronation of the new Olubadan as an attempt to desecrate Olúbàdàn stool. Someone even wrote to say that Governor Makinde was attempting to put Ibadan on a warpath.

However, this writer seeks to put the issue in a correct perspective. Governor Seyi Makinde did not err by his statement that Oba Owolabi Olakuleyin would only be coronated when he is strong. A section of Oyo Chiefs Law states unequivocally that the reigning Governor’s approval is needed before any Olubadan can be coronated. After having sent the name of the next person to ascend Olubadan throne to the Governor for approval, certain conditions are stipulated that the person ascending the throne must meet before the approval is given. Parts of the conditions include: that the Olubadan-designate must not have criminal records or be an ex-convict; that he must be HALE and HEARTY; must not be incapacitated, to mention a few of the conditions. Without sentiments, Governor Makinde appears to have hinged his pronouncement to delay the coronation on the conditions of Hale and Hearty and a perceived partial incapacitation of the Olubadan-designate. By this pronouncement, Governor Makinde has only acted true to what the Oyo Chiefs Law says, a law he wasn’t a party to when constitued, apart from the little amendment made to the law a few months ago by the State Assembly and assented to by Governor Makinde.

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That said, this writer appeals to Governor Seyi Makinde, himself a Yoruba man, who understands the place of culture and tradition in resolving knotty issues in Yorubaland, to reconsider his stance and ensure that a befitting coronation of Oba Owolabi Olakulehin as the new Olubadan of Ibadanland is quickly done so that Ibadan can move forward from the stalemate occasioned by the death of Oba Lekan Balogun in March this year.

There were precedents in Ibadan where the coronation of new Olubadan is concerned. From the late Oba Yesufu Oloyede Aṣanike, to late Oba Emmanuel Adegboyega Adeyemo, to late Oba Yinusa Ogundipe Arapasowu, to late Oba Odulana Odugade, to late Oba Saliu Adetunji, to the recently late Oba Lekan Balogun, there were issues of health challenges that they all had before ascending Olubadan throne. But without paying lip service to the provisions of Oyo Chiefs Law, culture and tradition were considered in each instance of the times the late Olubadans were enthroned. Almost all of the late Olubadans mentioned earlier spent an average of tens years or a little less on the throne despite the glaring health challenges they had. This writer has written in the past, in the thick of the recent Ibadan chieftancy imbroglio, how the late Olubadans battled various ailments before they were coronated.

Ibadan has been without its revered king since the last three months or thereabouts. Ibadan has missed the guidance, the wisdom and the directives of its Olubadan. With vacancy in Olubadan palace, Ibadan feels culturally and traditionally naked. These reasons and more are why Governor Makinde has to revisit the issue and approve a speedy coronation of Oba Owolabi Olakuleyin Akinloyè as the new Olubadan of Ibadanland.

Maroof Asudemade writes from Isalẹ jẹbu, Ibadan.

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