The kingmakers in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State known as Olubadan-in-Council have faulted attempt to engineer controversies over the choice of new king for the sprawling city following the death of the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji on Sunday.
The kingmakers declared that tradition would be followed in the selection of the 42nd Olubadan who will be announced at the end of the traditional mourning period for Oba Adetunji.
The kingmakers made the assertion at the end of a two-hour closed-door meeting held at the residence of Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Lekan Balogun who by tradition should step in as the 42nd Olubadan of Ibadanland as the head of the hierarchy of chiefs in the ancient city.
The statement read, “Following the demise of the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1, on Sunday, members of the Olubadan-in-Council on Monday condoled with the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Oluseyi Makinde, the people of Ibadan land and family members of the late monarch.
“Rising from a two-hour closed-door meeting held at the Alarere residence of Otun Olubadan and the would-be successor to the throne, Sen. Dr. Lekan Balogun, the Olubadan-in-Council described the deceased leader of the Council as an indefatigable ruler, whose reign would be difficult to forget.
“While praying for the repose of the soul of the departed king, the council urged the bereaved family of the deceased to remain joyous and happy for the legacies of good reign left behind by their patriarch.
“The council reiterated that the historical and traditional succession plan to the throne of Olubadan remains sacrosanct, the elevation conferred on all the members of the Olubadan-in-Council as Royal Majesties notwithstanding.
“Members of the council were elevated to the Royal Majesties status by the previous administration in the state led by the late Governor Abiola Ajimobi and it became contentious and litigatious.
“Olubadan-in-Council said the elevation granted the members, who also serve as kingmakers, had not in anyway altered the age-long and enviable traditional succession plan to the Olubadan throne in Ibadan land.
“There should be no controversy as to who becomes the next Olubadan amongst us as the previous elevation that made us Royal Majesties did not in anyway affect our respective offices in the Olubadan-in-Council and would not preclude any of us to mount the Olubadan throne whenever it is the person’s turn.
“We are the kingmakers and we will do the needful at the appropriate time. For now, we are still all in the mourning mood of our departed father and revered leader in the Council and we just want to assure the generality of our people both home and in the diaspora that there’s no cause for alarm.”