The Oyo State Government has disclosed that the move to review the 1959 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration predates the emergence of His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, saying that the elevation of the High Chiefs to Obas with higher responsibilities will complement development at the grassroots level especially within the respective local government areas over which they superintend.
The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Bimbo Kolade stated this in Ibadan on Thursday during the ongoing Ministerial briefing by Oyo state Government held at the Film Theatre of the State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
Kolade, who was accompanied by his counterpart from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun, while presenting the report of the activities of his Ministry, noted that the authority of the Olubadan of Ibadan, his roles and accruable privileges as well as his office as the supreme head of Olubadan-in-Council are not in contention or doubt, explaining that the gazetted White Paper clearly protected the stool of the Olubadan of Ibadanland.
The Commissioner said that the new Obas will bring developments to their local councils, noting that their roles in communal development cannot be underestimated.
He said that the new 21 Obas cannot have the appellation of “OLU” and “LAND” to their titles, saying that these appellations have been reserved for the Olubadan of Ibadan, which is the highest and most revered Monarch in Ibadanland.
Kolade said traditional rites were done before the installation of the 21 Obas which was held last Sunday, saying that nobody could wear crown without necessary rites.
According to him, “this media briefing is to brief the press about the activities of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters. We are not here to discuss the Chieftaincy review. We respect the stools of our traditional rulers in the state and we accord them due respect and regard. Olubadan of Ibadanland is our father and we hold him in high esteem.
However, we want to advice the media aide (who is a former Chief Press Secretary to ex Governor Ladoja) to His Imperial Majesty, the Olubadan of Ibadanland not to desecrate the stool with his pedestrian, mundane and confrontational utterances disguised as the voice of His Imperial Majesty. We revere Kabiyesi and appeal that he should caution his media aide. The idea that Olubadan’s rights and privileges would be trampled upon does not arise. He will always be the head, the supreme Oba in Ibadanland and will be respected as such.
“We want to put it on record that the Oluwo of Ibadan performed the traditional rites for the recently-installed 21 Obas. People should get the facts right before propagating falsehood. Nobody can wear the crown without performing the necessary rites. The popular Labosinde House that does the crowning rites can only do that of Olubadan. So all the 21 Obas will have to wait till they become Olubadan at their respective times before they undergo the rites of Labosinde,” Kolade added.
In his contribution, Mr. Toye Arulogun said that the government will not relent in explaining its stand to the people for proper understanding, reiterating that the move has no political undertone as being insinuated in some quarters and the government is not trying to reduce the powers and authority of the Olubadan but rather elevate it to be at par with all other first class Obas with lieutenants.
Arulogun restated that the need to review the 1959 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declarations predated the reign of Oba Adetunji, noting that the review was requested for by Ibadan indigenes as well as High Chiefs and there was adequate consultations with various stakeholders including the Olubadan of Ibadanland, sons and daughters of Ibadan land, socio – cultural groups and the authors of the 118 memoranda received by the Justice Boade’s panel within the 3 months of its public sitting.
He stated further that there was no legal impediment against the installation of the 21 Obas by the State Government, noting that the governor has acted within the ambit of the law.
Arulogun said “The Oyo State government led by Senator Abiola Ajimobi had been engaging in discussions and consultations which predate the tenure of the present Olubadan as the agitation for a review of the law was well before his ascension to the throne. The Olubadan – in – Council and well meaning sons and daughters of Ibadanland requested for the review.
“It is pertinent to also state that the Olubadan’s absence at the installation did not detract from its legitimacy. In addition, we wish to put on record that the existing constitutional provision of 5% from the local governments’ allocation will still be used for the welfare of the Obas as there is no additional cost to the state government,” Arulogun stressed.