Ladoja: I want to be Olubadan, not lesser oba

Oyo State

Oyo State’s former governor and the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Senator Rashidi Ladoja on Wednesday said that he is interested in becoming the Olubadan but not an elevated oba.

Speaking for the first time since Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde elevated him and ten other high chiefs to obas following the recent review of Ibadan Chieftaincy law by the State Government, Ladoja said that this was his ambition when he joined the Olubadan line many years ago.

Makinde recently signed the Chieftaincy Amendment Bill that granted him autonomy to present beaded crowns and coronets to chiefs in the State into law.

The Governor reportedly gave his consent to the promotion of the high chiefs who are expected to be officially installed as traditional rulers on Friday, July 7, 2023.

But Ladoja, while speaking at his Bodija residence after observing Eid prayers at the University of Ibadan (UI) Muslim praying ground, said there is no need to fix what is not broken.

He said: “Nothing has changed, you don’t mend what is not broken, it is not fair to elevate high chiefs to Obas, my focus is to become Olubadan, not lesser Oba.”

Makinde recently signed the Chieftaincy Amendment Bill into law seeking to grant him autonomy to present beaded crowns and coronets to chiefs in the state, following its passage by the state House of Assembly.

The High Chiefs are Balogun of Ibadanland, Owolabi Olakulehin; Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Rashidi Ladoja; Otun Balogun, Tajudeen Ajibola; Osi Olubadan, Eddy Oyewole; Osi Balogun, Lateef Adebimpe; Ashipa Olubadan, Biodun Kola-Daisi; Ashipa Balogun, Kola Adegbola; Ekerin Olubadan, Hamidu Ajibade; Ekerin Balogun, Olubunmi Isioye; Ekarun Olubadan; Bayo Akande and Ekarun Balogun, Abiodun Azeez.

The governor reportedly approved the elevation following the recommendation of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II, who is the prescribed and consenting authority.

Oba Balogun’s letter reportedly sought the crowning of the high chiefs as obas six years after they were crowned kings, and one year after they were demoted again.

The high chiefs, including Oba Balogun, were crowned in August 2017 by late former Governor Abiola Ajimobi, despite opposition by then Olubadan, the late Oba Saliu Adetunji, and Senator Rashidi Ladoja.

The duo argued that only the Olubadan has the power to review the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration. They also said the governor only has the right to approve. But Ajimobi ignored the duo and crowned the chiefs.

But after Adetunji’s death, Ladoja sought the implementation of a judgment by a high court that nullified Ajimobi’s action. Balogun and others challenged the judgment, but the case was not concluded when Oba Adetunji died.

Following Adetunji’s death, Balogun was to succeed him based on the rotational tradition of ascending the Olubadan throne, but Ladoja insisted that the judgment he obtained against their elevation prevented Balogun, or any of those crowned in 2017, from mounting the throne.

To resolve the stalemate, Makinde relied on the judgment to intervene. He advised them to withdraw the suit filed against the judgment for an amicable resolution. The high chiefs obliged him and Balogun succeeded Adetunji. Their decision, however, meant that they dropped their crowns and reverted to the titles of high chiefs.

But a comprehensive review of the Oyo State chieftaincy system by the Makinde administration, in May, gave more powers to the governor. The government and other stakeholders no longer need to wait fully for the decision of chieftaincy committees to elevate kings or chiefs.

Olubadan’s last week letter was based on the review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *