By Ola Ajayi, Dapo Akinrefon & Ebun Sessou
AS the contest over who becomes the new Olubadan of Ibadanland hots up, the Olubadan-in-Council and Seriki line have maintained a no-going back posture with each standing at opposite ends.
While Seriki line has insisted that the stool should shift to its side, the Olubadan in council argued that the former has no claim to the most competitive stool in Ibadanland at the moment.
At a meeting held yesterday, the high chiefs dismissed the claims of the other with a wave of hands, noting that it is the turn of High Chief Saliu Adetunji to be crowned as the next Olubadan.
Chief Adebayo Oyediji, the head of Seriki line has pointed accusing fingers at the traditional council, alleging that they had veered off the rules and regulations guiding the selection of a new monarch.
The furore started immediately Oba Samuel Odulana joined his ancestors at the ripe age of 101 on Tuesday night.
Chief Oyediji, who is 89 year old, has gone to court for the review of an earlier Supreme Court order he got in favour of Seriki line sometime in 1989, which he said, had ordered inclusion of the Seriki Line in the chieftaincy hierarchy of Ibadanland.
While faulting the claims of Chief Oyediji, the Olubadan-in-Council said that there is no Seriki now and that nobody can claim the title without the authority of the governor through the council.
Speaking on behalf of the Council, High Chief Abimbola Tajudeen Ajibola, the Ashipa Balogun of Ibadanland said, “It is undisputable that the current High Chief qualified to be Olubadan is High Chief S. A. Adetunji. That is the authentic one. No other one. Any other one is a counterfeit. You know in this our institution, we have lines and there are only two lines recognized so far, both by law and otherwise. It is Otun Olubadan Line and Balogun Line. There is no third line. He cannot appoint himself.“
On the purported judgment, the council denied knowledge of any previous judgement which recognised the Seriki line.
“We are not aware of any judgement that Chief Oyediji is claiming because at the moment there is no Seriki or whatsoever.
“Even, the 1959 declaration law which he quoted says that ‘if there are two vacancies in one Line’. No other judgement can overrule the law. That is the law, basically. So, we have no Seriki now. The only Seriki we knew then was Akinloye and he died long time ago.
According to him: “Oyediji, who is laying claim to be Olubadan, or that he is competent, is only Osi Seriki. He has not been promoted. He should apply to Olubadan to promote him first before he starts arguing. He has no locus standi. There is a system for everything. There is no Seriki to sign for him. We are not to join issues with them because we don’t recognize Seriki line.”
I’ll meet them in court — Seriki
Reacting to the stance of the Olubadan-in-Council, Chief Oyediji said, “Whatever they like, let them say. I don’t have anything to react to with respect to what they told you. They should meet me in court and tell the court whatever they want to say. That is my reaction.”
The meeting of the Olubadan in Council was attended by Balogun of Ibadanland, Chief Saliu Adetunji; the Otun Olubadan, Senator Lekan Balogun; Otun Balogun, Chief Owolabi Olakulehin; Ashipa Olubadan, Chief Eddy Oyewole; Osi Balogun, Chief Olufemi Olaifa and Ashipa Balogun, Chief Abimbola Ajibola.
Ajimobi formally announces Olubadan’s death
Meanwhile, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State yesterday formally announced the passing away of Oba Odugade.
The governor after hosting members of Olubadan-in-Council, led by the Balogun of Ibadanland, Chief Saliu Adetunji said, “It has been confirmed now to me by the chiefs that our father, Olubadan passed away on Tuesday, January 19, 2016.
“We commiserate with the family and Olubadan-in-Council. He lived a life worthy of emulation and left an unbeatable legacies among all traditional rulers in the country.”
Describing the late monarch as a disciplinarian and an unstoppable democrat who won election as an independent candidate, the governor further said the deceased king “was very godly, consistent and stoic throughout his lifetime. If he lived another 10 years, Ibadan city would have had more progress. Oba Odulana never played the ostrich.”
More respects pour in
In the meantime, more tributes trickled in for the late Olubadan,as Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly described the late monarch as an epitome of humility.
He was a father to all
Governor Oshiomhole describing the death of the Olubadan as a great loss to Ibadan people, saying he was a father to all.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Peter Okhiria, Governor Oshiomhole described the Olubadan as “a unifier and a unique royal father whose reign brought a lot of stability and development to Ibadan.” He said the void left by the king would be difficult to fill.
Lagos Speaker prays for better successor
Condoling with the people of Oyo State, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa described the death of the traditional ruler as a huge loss for the Yoruba race.
Commiserating with Ibadan people and Oyo State government over the king’s demise, Obasa prayed that his successor would build on the achievements of the late Olubadan to take Ibadan to a greater height.