Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, has described the 21 new kings in Ibadan as disgrace to royalty.
Oba Adetunji said the new kings have shot themselves in the foot by saying they were responsible for the stoppage of his salaries from the 11 local government areas in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Adetunji said this in a statement issued by his Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Adeola Oloko, in Ibadan, yesterday.
The Ibadan 21 kings had, after their meeting with scores of community leaders (Mogajis) at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, on Monday, claimed responsibility for the stoppage of Olubadan’s salaries from the 11 local government areas.
The Otun Olubadan, Oba Lekan Balogun, who spoke on behalf of the 21 kings, said: “We want to correct the misconception that it was the state government that stopped his salary. The governor is paying him his monthly salary from time to time.
“But, there is another N200,000 he usually collects from each of the 11 local governments in Ibadanland. That is the one we suspended. He will start collecting it as soon as he recognises us as duly installed kings.
“It was sheer selfishness for the Olubadan to accept his new title of imperial majesty’ and maintain a rigid stance against our own installation. Olubadan got promotion from royal majesty to imperial majesty, he didn’t complain. But, he is not ready to recognise us as kings. How do you think that would be possible? He should remember he would not have become king if we, the kingmakers, did not recommend him to the governor.
“It is not automatic that he should become king. In fact, anybody from the chieftaincy title of Ekerin, from both lines, can be picked as Olubadan of Ibadan. We recommended him to the governor before he was installed by the same governor, who installed us as kings.”
In his response, yesterday, Olubadan declared as disgraceful, “the statement by the embattled high-chiefs installed as kings by Governor Abiola Ajimobi, that they were responsible for the stoppage of Olubadan’s salaries and would continue to withhold it until their kingship status is recognised by me.”
The monarch referred to the judgment of the Oyo State High Court of Friday January 19, 2018, presided over by Justice Olajumoke Aiki, which declared the state government chieftaincy review exercise as illegal, null and void and of no effect.
Adetunji said it would be “improper for any law-abiding citizen to condone illegality and criminality by conferring legitimacy on kingship without domain that is not recognised by law, more so, as the judgment in question has not been set aside by a superior court.
“The reservation of Ibadan people to the controversial installation of high chiefs as kings by Ajimobi is another matter. I wonder how long the state will continue to protect the individuals against the tradition and customs of their people.
“The working tools of any Olubadan and his council remain the Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration, Oyo State Chiefs’ Law and Oyo State Obas and Chiefs Laws. But, the embattled high chiefs do not seem to have copies of the working tools, going by their recent statement.”
Olubadan, through his media office, has also reminded the new kings, that by law, custom and tradition, he is the president of 11 Local Government Traditional Councils in Ibadanland, adding that the Ibadan kingmakers, claiming responsibility for the seizure of his salaries, are his representatives and they occupy the positions at the local government traditional councils at his pleasure.
Olubadan also informed them that a subordinate does not lord himself over his principal anywhere in the world, referring the new kings to the position of the law.
Adetunji said on Page 13 of the Western State Chieftaincy Declarations Ibadan City Area, titled Declaration Made under section 4 (3) of the Chiefs Law 1957 of the customary law regulating the selection of Ekerin Balogun of Ibadan Chieftaincy, it is stated categorically that any junior chief found guilty by a meeting of the chiefs, who are traditional members of the council, of disregard, disrespect to the position or authority of the Olubadan or of a senior chief under native law and custom may not be eligible for promotion to the (Olubadan) stool.