*He has 21 days to defend himself
By Debo Adeoye, Ibadan
Ibadan Council of Obas has issued a notice of dethronement to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, accusing him of acts unbecoming of his office as the paramount ruler of the ancient town.
The traditional rulers, led by Oba Lekan Balogun, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, addressed a press conference at the Mapo Hall, Ibadan on Monday where they detailed all the ‘sins’ of Olubadan and gave him 21 days to retrace his steps or be removed from office.
Among the many allegations levelled against the monarch was taking actions on behalf of the council without inputs from members.
They also accused him of inciting people against the state government, which, according to them, was not representative of the relationship between the council and the government.
The Obas were particularly angry that all the issues pending between them and the Olubadan which almost led to taking legal action against the monarch in the past are still not addressed by him.
“Olubadan-in-Council meetings are not conducted the way they are supposed to be. Oloris were still attending meetings with us and contributing, dictating, attacking that resulted to abuses and curses on the High Chiefs.
“The appointment of Baales and Mogajis are not in compliance with proper set up rules and standards.
“Apart from the monetary scandals of which kabiyesi is yet to refrain, a new Olubadan-in-Council is inside Popoyemoja palace consisting of Olubadan, the Oloris and PA to Olubadan (Tairu) who decide from time to time who is to be Baale or Mogaji and will only send Hearing Notice of meeting and agenda to the real members of Olubadan-in-Council on Saturday preceding the installation date on Monday,” the address read by Oba Balogun said.
It took the intervention of the Ibadan Elders Council for the then Olubadan-in-Council members to stet legal action proposed against the Olubadan.
Relationship between the Olubadan and most of the council members has rapidly degenerated since Governor Abiola Ajimobi approved the recommendations of an 11-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry raised to review the laws guiding the chieftaincy system in Ibadan.
The panel, headed by Justice Akintunde Boade (rtd), recommended beaded crown for all former High Chiefs, which are members of the Olubadan-in-Council as it was then constituted.
It also recommended that the name of the council be changed to Ibadan Council of Obas to reflect the new status of the members, and that council meetings should be held at the Mapo hall.
After approving some of the recommendations of the panel, Governor Ajimobi, on Sunday, August 28, 2017 crowned all the willing members of the council, alongside former Baales from across the lesser cities of the state capital and issued them staffs of office.
The action has since further widened the gulf between the crowned Obas and the governor on one side and the Olubadan and his loyalists, including the former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, who is also the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, on the other.
The Olubadan camp has publicly condemned the governor for his action, insisting that the review was unnecessary.
At the press conference held on Monday, Ibadan Traditional Council members accused the Olubadan of allowing interests within and outside the palace to manipulate him to their own advantage.
They said this was the reason why the palace has barely witnessed peace since his ascension.
Though the Obas said they were not keen on deposing the Olubadan, they said if he fails to mend his ways within the next 21 days, the council will recommend his removal from office to the governor.
Apart from the initial ‘sins’ which they said were yet to be addressed, the Olubadan, they alleged, has added some others, necessitating the new ultimatum.
“The Olubadan Oba Adetunji has since after the inauguration of the Beaded Crown Obas in Ibadan cultivated himself to misbehave by engaging in acts to cause civil disorder by parading himself about with some unscrupulous Mogajis in Ibadan land, inciting people to rise up against the legitimate government of our amiable governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
“This is a serious offence which we the Ibadan Council of Obas can pass a vote of No Confidence on him, after which we as king makers that nominated and appointed him for confirmation and approval by the Executive Governor will also call for his removal.
“We are by this Conference giving His Imperial Majesty 21 days ultimatum to change his stand now and work for the improvement of Ibadan rather than disorderliness,” the Obas further said.
Other members of the council, who attended the conference are Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, Balogun of Ibadaland; Oba Abimbola Tajudeen Ajibola, Osi Balogun of Ibadanland; Oba Eddy Oyewole, Ashipa Olubadan of Ibadanland; Oba Lateef Gbadamosi Adebimpe, Ashipa Balogun of Ibadanland; Oba Amidu Ajibade, Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadanland; and Oba Kola Adegbola, Ekarun Balogun of Ibadanland.
Many Mogajis were also in attendance.