The absence of Osi Olubadan, Rashidi Ladoja, and the Iyalode of Ibadan, Theresa Oyekanmi, yesterday, stalled the formal announcement of Lekan Balogun, the Otun Olubadan, as Olubadan-elect.
Ladoja, a former governor of Oyo State, is next, after Balogun, in the ‘Egbe Agba’ (civil) line, while Oyekanmi is the representative of all women in the Olubadan-in-Council.
The meeting had become important, following the departure of Oba Saliu Adetunji.
While Iyalode had, in a letter, lent her support to the nomination of Balogun as Olubadan-elect, Ladoja had advised the former senator to go and withdraw the case in court to allow him to be eligible for the exalted throne.
Traditionally, when there is a vacancy, the next in the same line, after the person to be announced, is saddled with the task.
In the present case, Ladoja will have to nominate Balogun while Owolabi Olakulehin, who is Balogun Olubadan, will second.
At yesterday’s meeting, which held behind closed-doors and lasted for two hours at the Mapo Palace, all other high chiefs were present.
Journalists were barred from covering proceedings of the meeting.
All the high chiefs, otherwise called kingmakers, also declined comment and refused to speak with newsmen on the outcome of the meeting.
This was just all entrances leading to the palace were barricaded by policemen against possible breach of law and order.
It will be recalled that the Olubadan Advisory Council, had summoned the meeting of all Ibadan kingmakers to discuss the appointment into the vacant stool of the Olubadan of Ibadanland.
Some of the kingmakers had last week converged on Mapo Hall and announced Balogun, as the next Olubadan.
With the development, nine out of the 21 days have been used by kingmakers to nominate and ratify the appointment of Oba Adetunji’s successor.
Oyo Governor, Seyi Makinde steps in…
Meanwhile, Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday, laid to rest, the controversy trailing the ascension to the throne of Olubadan, directing that the traditional institution must revert to its original concept.
Governor Makinde, who spoke during his official condolence visit to the family of the late monarch, Oba Saliu Adetunji, at his Popoyemoja palace said: “This is the last time such controversy on who will succeed any late Olubadan and who is not ripe for the throne will ever surface.
“And as a government, I am giving you the assurance to all indigenes and residents of Ibadan that what our late monarch stood for in his lifetime is what I will enforce.
“Whoever is willing can key into it, I know Baba is watching us and he will give us support to do what is right and acceptable to preserve the integrity and the sanctity of Ibadan Traditional Institution.
“The issue of traditional institution in Ibadan is not contradictory. Baba stood for truth. If now for Baba’s outspokenness, he wouldn’t have stood his ground to confront the immediate-past government on going against the known Olubadan tradition.
“Power is not easy to manage, but Baba looked at power in the face and spoke the truth on the traditional institution of Ibadanlandand. That’s what led to this crisis.”
“Eventhough, Baba is no more, but what he stood for will still be with us. The history of Ibadan is incomplete without acknowledging what Baba stood on and fought for.
“What we can do as worthy sons is to give Baba a royal and befitting burial. And as government of Oyo State, we will do just that. The burial is our burial and it’s the state’s burial.
“Let me state it clearly, Ibadan traditional institution must revert to its original concept.”