You can’t be Olubadan, chiefs tell Oyediji, endorse Adetunji

Afin Olubadan ti ile Ibadan
Afin Olubadan ti ile Ibadan
Afin Olubadan ti ile Ibadan

You can’t be Olubadan, chiefs tell Oyediji, endorse Adetunji

Olufemi Atoyebi

The Olubadan-in-Council on Thursday dismissed the call by the Head of Seriki family line in Ibadan, Chief Adebayo Oyediji, that the kingmakers should install him as the new Olubadan of Ibadanland.

The last occupier of the throne, Oba Samuel Odugade, died on Tuesday at the age of 101, having reigned over the ancient city for eight years.

By Ibadan succession system, the Balogun Olubadan, High Chief Saliu Adetunji, holds pole position to succeed the late Oba Odugade.

But Oyediji, 89, had said on Wednesday that the Olubadan-in-Council would be flouting a 1989 ruling of the Supreme Court, which granted him the right to become the next king of Ibadan after Oba Odugade’s reign if it crowned 87-year-old Adetunji as the new Ibadan king.

He had said, “I am the next to be installed (the) Olubadan and not Adetunji.”

He claimed that the last Otun Seriki, Chief Adisa Akinloye, was denied the opportunity to become the Olubadan before he died in 2007, stressing that the Seriki family was the third line in the Olubadan succession system.

Oyediji said he was already in court to ensure that the Supreme Court judgment, which was in his family’s favour, was obeyed.

Speaking on behalf of the Olubadan-in-Council on Thursday, however, the Ashipa Balogun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Abimbola Ajibola, said the Seriki line was not recognised in the city’s succession plan to the kingship and therefore had no right to become the Olubadan.

Ajibola, who spoke after a meeting of the high chiefs at the Monatan home of the late Olubadan, debunked Oyediji’s claim that there was a Supreme Court ruling that qualified him as the next king of the ancient city.

He said, “It is undisputed that the next Olubadan is High Chief Saliu Adetunji; that is the only authentic Olubadan-in-waiting, any other one is a counterfeit.”

Ajibola pointed out that no court ruling would set aside or supersede the Olubadan succession system and that the law, as spelt out, must always be respected.

He added that apart from the Olubadan-in-Council, no one could declare himself as the Olubadan.

“In this (our) institution, we have two lines that are recognised by law (to occupy the throne of the Olubadan). We have the Otun Olubadan line and the Balogun line; that is all. There is no third line.

“Nobody is competent to say that he wants to be the Olubadan. No one can appoint himself; so, the man (Oyediji) cannot put himself there. We are not aware of any judgment that he is claiming because at the moment, there is nothing like a Seriki line,” the Ashipa said.

Ajibola explained that the situation outlined in the 1959 Ekerin Balogun of Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration and the vacancies created by the death of the Balogun Olubadan, High Chief Sulaimon Omiyale, and the Otun Olubadan, High Chief Omowale Kuye, last year, was not the same.

He said, “Even the 1959 Declaration law says that if there are two vacant positions in one line (not two lines as it happened in the case of Omiyale, who was from the Balogun line, and Kuye, who was from the Otun Olubadan line), the Seriki will produce someone to come in.

“No other judgment can overrule that law. Even though two deaths occurred in succession last year in the two lines, the vacancies were filled by the Olubadan before his death. There is no more vacancy. So, where will the Seriki line come in?

“There is no Seriki now because the only Seriki we knew was Adisa Akinloye and he is dead. How can someone now say that he is the head of Seriki line and entitled to become the Olubadan? Who will sign his declaration?”

Ajibola added that Governor Abiola Ajimobi was aware of the existing law, which favours Adetunji as the next Olubadan, stressing that only the kingmakers (Olubadan-in-Council) had the right to recommend a candidate to the governor.

The council’s spokesperson stated, “All the Olubadan-in-Council members will sign a document for anyone who is picked to become the Olubadan. The governor will not listen to the Seriki’s claim because as the kingmakers in Ibadan, anyone that the Olubadan-in-Council presents will be accepted.

“Those who claim to be in Seriki line have never had any meeting with us and they have never been promoted by the Olubadan. They should have asked the late Olubadan to promote them before he died. They did not do what is right at the appropriate time.

“The news about someone else saying he is entitled to the throne is fake, it is not true.

“The only competent person from that line (Seriki) is dead.

“The man called Adebayo Oyediji, who wants to be the Olubadan now, is only the Osi Seriki in that line. He should have applied to the late Olubadan to be promoted before he began arguing.

“He is not competent and nobody will present him to the governor because he will not listen. He (governor) knows the right thing because he is aware of the existing structure and chieftaincy system. We (Olubadan-in-Council) do not recognise him (Oyediji).”

The President-General of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Chief Wole Akinwande, said the history of succession in the city should be respected.

“In the history of Ibadanland, no Seriki has ever become Olubadan and if you go by the history, there is nothing to fight about. The law court is there and Seriki has gone to court. As far as the history goes, which is my own personal opinion, Seriki is not in line to become the Olubadan,” he said.

Oyediji was, however, unfazed by the position of the kingmakers, as he insisted on Thursday that he would pursue his case in the court.

Oyediji said he would not join the council in an argument over who would become the next Olubadan, adding that he preferred to wait for the court to decide the matter.

“I invite them to join me in court when judgment will be delivered over the matter. I don’t want to talk about their decision,” he said.