Ibadan Obas have faulted the insistence of the Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji that this year’s masquerade festival must be according to his directive instead of following the tradition of the ancient city.
According to the Ibadan Obas, comprising the members of Olubadan-in-Council, who were promoted from high chiefs and the promoted Baales, “there’s no tradition restricting the masqueraders to specific places as stated by the Olubadan”.
In a statement signed by the Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Publicity to the Olubadan, Mr. Adeola Oloko, Oba Adetunji had on Sunday directed that “only the Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and the Olubadan of Ibadanland would be entertained by the masqueraders”.
But, the Otun Olubadan, who is next in rank to the first class monarch, Oba Lekan Balogun, said the directive by Oba Adetunji was against the tradition.
He stressed that the senior members of the Olubadan-in-Council must be entertained by the masqueraders in line with the tradition of the annual festival.
Oba Balogun, in a statement he issued on behalf of other Obas yesterday, maintained that the Ibadan Obas had the assurances of the custodians of the masquerade festival that they would not defy the tradition to please the Olubadan, who ordinarily should be prime custodian of the festival.
Subsequently, the Otun Olubadan said he would receive the masqueraders in his Aliiwo family house tomorrow by virtue of his position as the next in rank to the Olubadan, who was supposed to be entertained by the masqueraders in his Popoyemoja Palace yesterday to kick-start the annual festival.
Equally, the Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, would play host to the masqueraders on Saturday, according to Oba Balogun, who said at each of the visit by the masqueraders, all other Obas as well as the recognised Mogajis of Ibadanland would be on seat.
The Ibadan Obas, however, aligned themselves with the charge on the masqueraders and their supporters by Oba Adetunji to eschew violence.
They noted: “The peace and tranquility of the ancient city is non-negotiable and we stand by our referred father on that as we call on all the stakeholders to ensure that the month-long festival is devoid of any form of acrimony.”