New Olubadan: Obaship rift resurfaces as advisory council excludes Ladoja in meeting, says he’s mere chief

New Olubadan: Obaship rift resurfaces as advisory council excludes Ladoja in meeting, says he’s mere chief




The Obaship rift in Ibadan the capital of Oyo state has resurfaced as the process to ratify the new Olubadan, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, fails to commence this week.


The Olubadan-designate, Oba Olakulehin ought to have been endorsed and his name forwarded to Governor Seyi Makinde for approval but this has been dogged by crisis among members of the Olubadan advisory council and is being put on hold by the presumed ill-health of Oba Olakulehin.


Members of the advisory council are traditionally expected to meet on the ratification of the next Oba after the eighth day firdau of the deceased Oba Lekan Balogun who passed away on March 14.


However, the conducts of the members of the advisory council had sparked the latent animosity generated by the upgrading of the members from High Chiefs to Obas status by the state government few years ago which was vehemently opposed by High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, the present Otun Olubadan and who is next in line to the Olubadan throne after the turn of Oba Olakulehin.


High Chief Ladoja had kicked against the amendment to have members of the Olubadan-in-council be upgraded to Obaship status; he refused the offer to be made Oba asserting he would only accept a crown if he is Olubadan.


Others including the immediate past Oba Lekan Balogun took the crown then and since then a frosty relationship has existed between the parties.


This has reared its ugly head again as the meeting that is supposed to hold has manifested this trend.


While other members of the advisory council held a meeting on Monday without inviting Ladoja, the latter who disclosed he was the rightful person to convene the meeting fixed the date for next day Tuesday but was shunned by others. The Olubadan-designate however attended neither over his presumed ill-health.


Speaking with journalists on the development after other members failed to show up Tuesday, Ladoja informed other members of the Olubadan-in-council, who were absent, said the Olubadan-designate had not spoken to them. They have also not been able to ascertain his health condition.


He added that they were sceptical about whether he would be able to perform the roles of the Olubadan or not.


“The meeting was called for today and I am supposed to be the convener of the meeting. That is why I am here.


“He is also supposed to be here. But they want to make sure that he is ready, and when he is ready, he will be able to talk to them. I will call the meeting again anytime they are ready,” Ladoja stated.


But on his own, a member of the Council of Obas in Ibadanland, Ekerin Olubadan, Oba Hamidu Ajibade, had on Monday disclosed that they held a meeting at the same Oja Oba on Monday but the next-in-line to Olubadan throne, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, was absent.


Oba Ajibade said the next-in-line to the Olubadan’s throne cannot be nominated in absentia for approval by Governor Seyi Makinde.


He said nine of them, who were crowned kings, were present at the meeting except for Oba Olakulehin.


He also disclosed that the meeting was for Obas and not Chiefs, saying they are the Oba Advisory Council.


“Nine of us were in attendance. All of us are Royal Majesties. We are the Obas that the late Oba Lekan Balogun gave crowns to by the power conferred on him by our governor, Seyi Makinde.


“We are the Oba Advisory Council. We are not chiefs. The only Oba who was not present at the meeting was Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, and we cannot nominate him in his absence,” he said.


Oba Ajibade also stated that they had visited the house of Oba Olakulehin upon the demise of the late Olubadan but were told by his son, Sumbo Owolabi, that he was not around.


“We met his son, who told us that Baba was not around. We told him that anytime he is around, they should let us know in order for us to pay homage to him as the new Olubadan.


“Everybody knows what is going on in Ibadan. We know the next king. That is Baba Owolabi. He is the one that will become His Imperial Majesty,” he added.


He, however, disclosed that he was unaware of the meeting Mr Ladoja convened.


“I am not aware of any scheduled meeting. We, the Obas, met on Monday, and it was concluded that we will continue to wait till we see the new Oba,” Oba Ajibade said.

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