Nigeria: Olubadan Warns Oyo Govt Against Court Contempt Over Chieftancy Crisis
***Says Elevation of High Chiefs to Obas Reversible
The Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1 with State Governor, Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi
By RAZAQ BAMIDELE
Ibadan, July 4, 2018 (AltAfrica)-The crisis that engulfed Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State in the South-West axis of Nigeria is far from being over as the paramount rule of the biggest town in the country’s zone has warned the State Governor, Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi against court contempt.
The Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1, who sounded the note of warning, also advised the public to perish the thought that the controversial approval of beaded crowns by the Oyo State Government to Ibadan High Chiefs and Baales was irreversible, as our case against the Oyo State Government is very much alive.
Apparently reacting to a statement credited to the State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi while distributing cars to 36 traditional rulers, Oba Adetunji recalled that a judgment delivered by Justice Aiki of the Oyo State High Court had declared the whole chieftaincy reform illegal, null and void.
The monarch’s reaction was contained in a statement signed by Adeola Oloko (Mr.), who is the Personal Assistant / Director of Media and Public Affairs to His Imperial Majesty, the Olubadan of Ibadan land.
The Oba’s words: “Afterwards, the Oyo State Government decided to file an appeal at the Federal. My position is that if a case is in court, it is no longer open for discussion as this statement is automatically subjudice. If it is not reversible, why did the two parties have to go to court?”
Oba Adetunji also faulted the statement that the hue and cry, which greeted the controversial crowning of the traditional rulers was political, pointing out that the issue raised is customary and traditional in nature.
“My humble opinion is that the procedure for approval of beaded crowns for any chief or Baale in Ibadan was not discussed at the Olubadan-in-Council level. If it was discussed, how would any of the High Chiefs bear two titles at the same time? Oba and High Chief? Abomination,” Olubadan queried.
The Olubadan who stated that while he was not opposed to provision of cars for traditional rulers by the State Government, he however appealed to Governor Abiola Ajimobi to prevail upon the controversial kings to release the eleven months salaries of palace staff which they have been withholding along with Olubadan’s salary cheques, even when the allocations for traditional councils have been released.
According to the first class monarch, it is to avoid breakdown of law and order in Ibadan land and beyond that the Olubadan has maintained dignified silence, pointing out that if the motive behind the reform was to modernize, then the reform had bred indiscipline and gangsterism.
The Olubadan recalled that one of the cases in mind was the failed attempt by “the so-called new kings, backed by the Oyo State Government to under-mine the authority of the Olubadan who decreed no masquerade dance.”
“Even, when all masqueraders under the leadership of the Olori Alagbaa; Baale Labala and Aare Isese of Ibadan land complied with the order, the State Government along with one of its commissioners went on propaganda spree, saying that Olubadan order had been disobeyed, as masquerades danced in one of the embattled high chief’s compound. We told them to produce the pictures on newspaper pages or television screen. Was Atipako there? Was Alapansanpa there? Was Olunlade there? Was Oloolu there? The monarch mentioned the most prominent masquerades in the land.
On the purported statement credited to Alaaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, decrying long term reservation of Ibadan people to have more obas, Oba Adetunji advised Alaaafin to recommend his high chiefs to become crown-wearing obas, if it was so desirable.