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Ibadan high chiefs drop ‘obaship’ title, agree with Makinde

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MEMBERS of the Olubadan-in-Council met on Thursday and agreed to be referred to as high chiefs rather than oba or His Royal Majesty. 

The meeting held behind closed doors at the Oja’ba palace of the Olubadan of Ibadanland was called following the declaration by Governor Seyi Makinde that he will see to the Ibadan traditional institution returning to its original concept. 

The meeting had in attendance six members of the Olubadan-in-Council: Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin; Otun Balogun, High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola; Osi Balogun, High Chief Lateef Adebimpe; Asipa Balogun, High Chief Kola Adegbola; Ashipa Olubadan, High Chief Eddy Oyewole and the Ekarun Olubadan, High Chief Hamidu Ajibade; 20 royal highnesses and 15 Mogaji. 

High Chief Ajibola, who briefed journalists on the outcome of the meeting, said they supported the governor on his decision to revert to the original concept which, he said, remains constant. 

He recalled that the process of nominating the next Olubadan which the kingmakers concluded on Tuesday and passed to appropriate quarters of government was done according to the original concept under reference, as all the kingmakers signed the nomination forms as ‘high chiefs’. 

According to him, “We agreed with the governor. All the processes leading to the nomination of successor to the late Olubadan were in line with the original concept of line of hierarchy in accordance with the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration.” 

Ajibola, who is a lawyer by profession, said commenting on the case in court is sub judicial, noting that “it has nothing to do with the original concept of hierarchical status in the succession plan to the Olubadan throne.” 

He maintained that what was taken to court was an infringement on the fundamental human rights of the respective plaintiffs, asking the court to determine the lawfulness of judging a case in the absence of the direct beneficiaries of the issue in contest. 

High Chief Ajibola said the governor could do his job in line with the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration while the case in court, which was adjourned for further hearing, is allowed to run its course. 

Speaking with Nigerian Tribune after the meeting, High Chief Ajibola said members of the council signed the nomination papers for High Chief Lekan Balogun as next Olubadan as “High Chiefs” and not “Obas”. 

Ajibola said: “On the issue of reverting to the original traditional institution in Ibadanland, the nomination we have done so far to pick Senator Lekan Balogun was in line with the traditional institution. 

“We did not sign as Oba; we signed as High Chief, Otun Olubadan and others. The nomination papers speak for itself; we did not sign it as Oba or Royal Majesty. We followed the normal processes and it is left to the governor to stamp it and give the go-ahead. 

“We, too, are law-abiding people and what we have done so far does not disturb the elevation and nomination of the next person in line.” 

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