As the dust over the recent coronation of 21 obas of Ibadan is yet to settle, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, of Oyo State, on Saturday, gave reasons for pushing on with the coronation amid dissenting voices.
Ajimobi, who pointed to various commissions that reviewed the Olubadan chieftaincy declaration by the administrations of Kolapo Ishola, Lam Adesina and Rashidi Ladoja, said the implementation this time could be attributed to his administration being the only one to have lasted more than four years.
According to him, persistent attempt at reviewing was evidence of a change of the Olubadan chieftaincy desired by Ibadan indigenes.
Ajimobi further argued that he only okayed requests by majority of Ibadan indigenes and elders, who demanded the review, noting that dissenting voices were simply political.
Beyond the Justice Akintunde Boade panel of enquiry as a platform for people to render their views on the review, Ajimobi said he consulted several times with the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, to key into the review.
“When I came in as governor in 2011, there was the preponderance of requests from eminent Ibadan indigenes, leaders of thought like Chief Omowale Kuye. In fact, our father, Theophilius Akinyele wrote a book on the review, which was submitted to government and to me. The Ibadan Elders Council met me and said they wanted change.
“The reasons for this are that for state creation, having many obas is important. Even if we were to have Ibadan State, would we have one oba?
“For socioeconomic development, it is important as the oba can draw in respectability of people and investments.
“The son of a former olubadan told me that when the former olubadan was to receive CON, he wondered why other obas had a retinue of obas accompanying them to receive the award, but when it was his turn, it was just him and about four others, none wore crown, and he said he felt bad.
“From my experience, every time I attended a ceremony, the people of Oke-Ogun introduce many obas. Ibadan is the most populated city in Oyo State and has one oba while many small towns have obas.
“That was what informed having many obas in Ogun state. Why can’t we have the Olubadan and still have many Obas? Why do you have a general, without colonels or majors? The majority of Ibadan people wholeheartedly supported what we have done as they initiated it.”
“The panel of enquiry was set up for many to say their own bit. When we set up the panel, we kept consulting.
“All we have done is give the chiefs title, elevation, recognition, prestige, crown, and let them wear the attire.
“ Much before Oba Saliu Adetunji became Olubadan, we have been discussing this. We were discussing this issue with him and several other stakeholders.”
“The voices of dissent are orchestrated voices, political voices. We have only one dissenting voice out of 11 that make up the Olubadan in council, so the voices of the majority are counted. Check the gazette or white paper, nothing really has changed, the order on the chieftaincy lines remains,” Ajimobi said.