Home News Olubadan Throne: What Message Is Makinde Trying To Convey? Ademola ‘Bablow’ Babalola

Olubadan Throne: What Message Is Makinde Trying To Convey? Ademola ‘Bablow’ Babalola

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When this columnist sometime wrote that Gov. Makinde was subtly playing politics with Olubadan royal seat, some believed that my critique was only targeted at Mr governor to pillory him for the sake of criticism. Now I’m glad the governor’s utterance at the burial of the immediate past Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Mahood Lekan Balogun, has confirmed my worry and has also woken people’s consciousness.

At the burial, the governor egotistically and conceitedly mentioned that the Olubadan-designate, High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin, would only be crowned while he’s strong, hale and hearty. And this prompted me to ask how the governor knew that High Chief Olakulehin was not as fit as a fiddle? What medical report was presented to the governor that showed the condition of health of the Olubadan-designate? Isn’t it stated in the Chieftaincy law that only a certified and qualified medical doctor – after thorough medical check-up carried out on any potential Olubadan – has an exclusive privilege, based on his profession and training, to pronounce and declare a would-be Olubadan unhealthy, infirm and doddering? What really propelled the governor’s pronouncement is what many are yet to untangle and unravel.
Some of us who have been studying Mr governor’s gesture towards the controversy that trails Olubadan throne were not at all surprised when the governor made the statement. We, who had already known what the amendment to the state’s Chief Law would eventually lead to, weren’t whatsoever astounded when the governor boastfully articulated the assertion. Only those who believed that Mr governor had the prerogative to initiate a plan to amend section 28 (1) of the Chiefs Law of the state but did not know what the amendment would bring were dumbfounded when Gov. Makinde made the boasting comment.
Why were they surprised? Was that not what the new law was initiated to do? How could a governor be allowed to appropriate unconquerable power for himself to install and depose kings in the state as he wishes without any consultation or check?
During the time that the governor was proposing to make amendment to the state’s Chief Law – the amendment that was designed to give the governor an unchallengeable authority to do whatever he likes when it comes to Olubadan installation – some of us cried out and totally condemned the dangerous move  But what did we receive in return? We were labelled unrepentant critics of Mr governor.
I believe people are aware now of what the new law was designed to do. The law has utterly arrogated to the governor the discretionary right and sole authority to specify those to wear beaded crowns without consultation with the council of Obas and Chiefs of the state. The governor has now the most high and invincible power to accept or reject any Olubadan-designate nominated by Olubadan-in-Council without question.
Before the bill was signed into law, some of us had already spotted the negative impact the law could make on the smooth ascendancy to Olubadan throne. We lamented and specify the hindrance and controversy the new law was capable of creating .We clamoured that the law could give any governor of the state the opportunity of being in possession of ultimate power to deprive any nominated chief, whom the governor perceives to be a political opponent, of mounting Olubadan throne.
The Olubadan in Council was, of course, expected to outrightly reject the move by the governor, Makinde, but it was unfortunate Sen Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, Otun Olubadan, was the only High Chief who stood against the amendment. It was even a surprise to realize, through the Oyo state House of Assembly, that there was a public hearing on the proposed amendment where the opinions of all stakeholders, including traditional rulers, were aggregated. It was confirmed that the late king, Oba Lekan Balogun, who was represented by Balogun Olubadan, Chief Owolabi Olakulehin, led Olubadan-in-Council and other traditional rulers to celebrate the new law.
In the entire history of Ibadanland, Ibadan has never had a situation where the legality or otherwise of the installation of the Olubadan would be an issue. Prior to this moment, Ibadan Chieftaincy elevation, to the envy of other towns, had always been smooth and without rancour. But it’s a pity the town, Ibadan, seems heading towards a situation where the court will be the last resort to resolve or determine who to mount the throne of Olubadan of Ibadanland like it happens in many towns in Yorubaland today.
What really influenced Gov Makinde to think that tampering with the already rancour-free ascendancy to Olubadan throne was what Ibadan people deserve? It’s now about three months that Ibadan is being without a king. And from Mr governor’s statement, it was clear that there wasn’t any specific time the next Olubadan would be enthroned. What a disaster!
‘Power corrupt, absolute power corrupt
absolutely”, they say. Does this mean that Ibadan will be without a king until Gov Makinde is ready and willing to endorse whoever he thinks is fit for the throne even if it takes years to make up his mind? They say nobody is above the law, but what law will compel and force the governor to rescind his decision now that he’s the alpha and omega to determine when and where the pendulum swings in respect of Olubadan enthronement?
I believe if the Olubadan-in-Council and the entire indigenes of Ibadan had known the damage and depredation the amendment to the Chief Law would caused, they would have vehemently supported Sen Ladoja who strongly stood against the proposed bill before it was signed into law.
Ademola ‘Bablow’ Babalola
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