The elevated high chiefs held their first meeting on Wednesday and dissociated themselves from the decision of the Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land, Chief Rashidi Ladoja, to challenge the installation of 21 new kings in Ibadan in court.
They declared that Ladoja was acting alone.
At the end of the meeting held at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, Balogun of Ibadan land, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, called on Ladoja to stop playing politics with the issue by embracing the new idea to install the new kings.
He said “It is a wrong impression by Ladoja that the newly inaugurated obas do not have domain, the Olubadan and members of Obas-in-Council jointly rule Ibadanland as Oba Saliu Adetunji cannot rule without us.
“Ladoja himself who said he cannot be an oba without a domain is the Chairman of Ibadan South-West Traditional Council, and apart from collecting stipends from government all of us report back to the Olubadan. It is nothing but politics borne out of selfish motives.”
Meanwhile, The Mogaji (family head) of Akinsola compound in Oopo Labiran area of Ibadan, Chief Olawale Oladoja, said more than 300 Mogajis in Ibadan have decided to challenge the installation of 21 kings in Ibadan by the state government.
Oladoja, who spoke on the telephone shortly after 315 Mogajis visited the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, in his palace on Wednesday, also challenged the authority of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes as the representative of sons and daughters of Ibadan.
He said the claim by the call that more than 90 per cent of Ibadan indigenes supported the move was false because the council only represented a small group of people in the city.
“Can we say that the new kings are not educated or are ignorant? Have they really read the letters that were issued to them when they were appointed by Governor Abiola Ajimobi? How can a king still be a chief in a palace at the same time? There is tradition and culture and that of Ibadan is different from that of the Ijebu or other places in Yoruba land.
“In Ibadan land, a king must spend some days in Iledi with Labosinde. We must follow the process. Only the people of Ibadan can decide who is a king. A baale cannot be a king, only Mogajis can be promoted to the king status. Mogaji chooses the baale, so how can a baale now be superior to the Mogaji that chose him? Which ruling house produced the kings?
“The 315 baales that visited the Olubadan today (Wednesday) are against the move. There can only be one king in a town. England has more than 40 million people with only one monarch. What of Ilorin, Kano, and other places? Ibadan has about five million people and will now have 33 kings. We will fight this to the last. Those chiefs must not be seen in the palace again and they should stop parading themselves as kings.
“When did CCII become the mouth-piece of Ibadan people? We know them as a social group. They cannot speak for Ibadan people, only the Mogajis can represent the people in matters that concern the city.”
Oladoja also called to question the human feelings of the high chiefs, saying that when they should be mourning the death of High Chief Femi Olaifa, they chose to go and collect letters of kingship from the state government.
“The day Olaifa died, the high chiefs did not mourn one of them, instead, they went to collect their letters. They should meet us in court,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State Government has said that despite the dust created by the appointment of 21 kings in Ibadan, the relationship between the Olubadan and Governor Abiola Ajimobi remains cordial.
The state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Bimbo Kolade, and the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism counterpart, Mr. Toye Arulogun, who jointly spoke to journalists in Ibadan on Wednesday, said the governor had deep respect for the monarch
Kolade said, “From the speech of the governor at Sunday’s coronation, he maintained that the Olubadan remained his father. There is that cordiality of father to son between the Olubadan and the governor. There is no problem between them officially.”
Kolade also said that the Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land, Rashidi Ladoja, had yet to formally reject his appointment as a king.