The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, has declared as disgraceful, a statement credited to some High Chiefs in Ibadan, who were installed as kings by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State.
They had said that they were responsible for the stoppage of Olubadan salaries and would continue to withhold it until their kingship status was recognized by Olubadan.
The High Chiefs led by the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Lekan Balogun had on Monday during a meeting at Mapo Hall, declared that they were the one who withheld the salaries of the monarch and not the Oyo State government.
But the Olubadan, while reacting through a press statement on Wednesday by his Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Adeola Oloko, said that “it would be improper for any law abiding citizen to condone illegality and criminality by conferring legitimacy on kingship without domain that is not recognized by law, more so as the judgment in question has not been set aside by a superior court.”
Oloko in the statement stated further that, “the reservation of Ibadan people to the controversial installation of High Chiefs as kings by Governor Ajimobi is another matter, wondering how long the state would 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, the embattled High Chiefs do not seem to have copies of the working tools, going by their recent statement.”
He added that, “by law, custom and tradition, the Olubadan is the President of 11 Local Government Traditional Councils in Ibadan land.
“The embattled chiefs who are today claiming responsibility for the seizure of the monarch’s salaries are mere representatives of the first class monarch and they occupy their positions at the Local Government Traditional Councils at the pleasure of the Olubadan. The embattled high chiefs were also informed that as the head wags the tail and not vice versa, a subordinate does not lord it over his principal anywhere in the world.
“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, of 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”.
He added that, “Disregard or disrespect shall mean acts of contumely, refusal to pay necessary customary obeisance and flouting of superior customary authority. In other words, all these artificial kings are simultaneously guilty by utterances of an act of contumely and recklessness. None of these artificial kings can be promoted to the throne of Olubadan behind the back of Olubadan.
“The Otun Olubadan, who calls himself Oba Lekan Balogun like any of those artificial kings, must pass some acid test in the presence or absence of an Olubadan of Ibadan, it is therefore necessary that the High Chiefs who prefer to call themselves obas must be careful and eschew reckless statement on the Olubadan as an attack on Olubadan is automatically an attack on Ibadan land.
“The High Chiefs must remember that the Olubadan is the only one who will never seek promotion because he has reached the top of the ladder. All the others must refrain from shooting themselves at the foot for their own sakes.
“The imperial status of the first class monarch predated the creation of the so-called Oyo State Government Chieftaincy review as insinuated by the high chiefs. So, the high chiefs were therefore referred to go back and look at the Olubadan coronation programme of events printed by the Oyo State Government on March 4th, 2016, Any student of etymology would know that the word “Imperial” is derived from the word “Empire”, the historical foundation of Ibadan is what makes the Olubadan His Imperial Majesty. In other words, the appellation imperial is earned and not given”.