Members of the Olubadan-in-Council have said the elevation of some of them to obaship position cannot preclude Senator Lekan Balogun, who is the Otun Olubadan, from ascending the throne of Olubadan of Ibadaland.
Ten of the members of the Olubadan-in-Council said this on Wednesday at a press briefing held at the Mapo Hall, Ibadan.
They said Balogun was asked to come out to address journalists so that the world could know that nothing was wrong with him contrary to claims that he was blind and deaf.
The Osi Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola, urged Ibadan indigenes to desist from what he described as rumour mongering, which could truncate the peace of the land.
He said, “Whether we have been given beaded drowns or not, that cannot preclude us from ascending the throne of Olubadan when our times come. Those who are trying to bring politics into the matter should stop it.
“Twelve chiefs make up the Olubadan-in-Council, including the Iyalode of Ibadanland; 10 of us have endorsed Lekan Balogun. There is no judgment stopping him from becoming the next Olubadan. The case in court is not about whether he should ascend the throne of Olubadan or not.”
Another high chief elevated to an Oba by the administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the Ekarun Olubadan, Hamidu Ajibade, said the late governor elevated them but did not alter the Chieftaincy Law of Ibadan.
He said based on this, they all had the right to ascend the throne of Olubadan.
He explained that the late Olubadan still promoted some of the high chiefs when there were vacancies despite that they had been promoted obas.
Balogun, who is expected to be crowned the new Olubadan, was also present at the briefing.
He urged the people of Ibadan to shun what he described as rumours that could disrupt the peace of the town.
Balogun commiserated with the family of the 93-year-old Oba Saliu Adetunji, the 41st Olubadan, who died on Sunday at the University College Hospital, Ibadan. He also commiserated with Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, and all the people of the town on the demise of the king.
He said, “I wish to commiserate with the peace-loving people of Ibadanland on the sudden transition to eternity of the great monarch and I enjoin you all to remain peaceful in your conduct in order to sustain our unequalled historical peaceful co-existence for which Ibadanland is globally known.
“I, therefore, enjoin you all to discard all unfounded rumours and insinuations capable of disturbing the peace of Ibadanland, irrespective of the quarter from which such fake news is emanating from.
“In line with the traditional practice of Ibadanland when occasion like this arises, the Olubadan-in-Council has been up and doing, liaising with the Oyo State Government to ensure that every necessary step to sustain the peace of the city is strictly followed.”
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, on Wednesday said his office had received the petition written by a former Attorney-General of the state, Michael Lana.
He said this while responding to an inquiry sent to him on the matter by our correspondent.
Oyewo said, “The letter was just delivered in my office on January 4 and will be processed officially. The state is still mourning the demise of the Olubadan.
“At the appropriate time, the governor will perform his duty as dictated by law and the tradition of the people of Ibadan. Let us therefore respect the mourning of the passage of the Olubadan for now.”
Lana had sent a petition to Governor Seyi Makinde and copied the current Attorney -General.
He had said installing Balogun as the new Olubadan would amount to an aberration because he had already been elevated to the position of an oba by the administration of former Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
However, the Olubadan-in-Council had said elevation of the high chiefs to obaship position did not preclude Balogun from ascending the Olubadan throne.
Former Governor Rashidi Ladoja, who is a member of the council, was however absent at a press briefing organised by the council members.
Efforts to speak with the former governor on his position concerning who should ascend the Olubadan stool after the demise of Oba Saliu Adetunji were abortive.
He did not take calls made to his telephone line and had yet to reply text messages sent to him on the matter.