Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State made history yesterday in Ibadan when he enthroned 20 new kings for the city of Ibadan which had for centuries maintained sole status of Obaship as represented by the Olubadan of Ibadan.
According to CEOAFRICA reporter, the colourful event witnessed a mammoth crowd of jubilant audience with the presence of traditional rulers from neighbouring Ogun and Osun States who stormed the city to rejoice with the new kings.
In what appears to be the elevation of the Olubadan of Ibadan to the imperial majesty status therefore making Ibadan, the most populous Yoruba city with 11 local government councils rank alongside other cosmopolitan cities in Nigeria with scores of Obas, Ajimobi said: “We are not changing the history but promoting and elevating the Ibadan traditional hierarchy. The coronation of the new Obas will not undermine the authourity of the Olubadan nor alter the Olubadan succession arrangements in anyway. Our administration is rather consolidating and elevating the status of Olubadan.”
With stiff resistance from the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji and one of the High Chiefs in the Olubadan-In-Council, Senator Rashidi Ladoja who opposed the development, not a few residents and indigenes of Ibadan had also voiced their opposition to the enthronement of more obas in Ibadan, with the former Governor Ladoja heading to court to challenge Ajimobi’s effrontery.
By this move Ibadan has one Olubadan that becomes the imperial majesty, 11 senior ranking Obas and another 11 Mogajis that now wear beads.
The ascension line to the Olubadan remains unchanged. The Otun and Osi line continue in the historical path to Oba.”
The governor also said the coronation and promotion of the obas have the support of the Ibadan Elders Forum, the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Olubadan-in-Council, Mogajis, community leaders and many prominent indigenes of Ibadan noting that all the new obas as stakeholders also desire the elevation and promotion of the Olubadan chieftaincy titles to be in line with modern trend and realities.
The new royal majesties who were on hand to receive their insignia and instrument of office amidst jubilations were: Oba (Senator) Lekan Balogun, the Otun Olubadan Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olakuleyin, the Osi Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola, the Ashipa Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Eddy Oyewole and the Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi.
Others are: the Ashipa Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Latifu Gbadamosi Adebimpe, the Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Amidu Ajibade and the Ekarun Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba (Dr.) Kolawole Adegbola.
Also, the new Royal Highnesses who were installed and presented their instruments of office are: The Onijaye of Ijaye, Oba Lasisi Akano; the Oniroko of Iroko, Oba Ismaila Opeola; the Onikereku of Ikereku, Oba Moses Akinyosoye; the Ololodo of Olodo, Oba Mudasiru Adebayo and the Elegbeda of Egbeda, Oba Victor Sunday Okunola.
Others are: Onido of Ido, Oba Gbolagade Babalola, Alakufo of Akufo, Oba Olabamiji Thomas, the Oloke of Okelade-Okin, Oba Wahab Okedina; the Alawotan of Awotan, Oba Dauda Omotoso and Olofa of Offa, Oba Adeboye Salako.
The event took a new dimension upon the arrival of the Oluwo of Ibadanland, who led all the monarchs to an inner chamber where all the traditional rites were performed.
Meanwhile the event venue was filled to capacity with prominent indigenes of Ibadan and Oyo State including: the deputy governor, Otunba Moses Adeyemo, Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Olalekan Ali, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Gbade Ojo, Commissioners for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun, his counterpart at the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Bimbo Kolade and other top government functions.
Other notable individuals include: Speaker of the state assembly, Michael Adeyemo who led other lawmakers, Chief Adebayo Akande, Chief Lamidi Ajadi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Niyi Akintola, Chief Bayo Oyero, Chief Bayo Akande, Oloye K.O Olatunji, Alhaji Gbenga Arulogun, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigerian, Oyo State, Pastor Benjamin Akanmu, the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Daud Akinola, the mogaji of Ile Ajimobi, Alhaji Wasiu Ajimobi and APC state chairman, Chief Akin Oke who was represented by the state secretary.
Other dignitaries present include: a former military of Lagos and Ogun state, General Raji Rasaki, Chief Lanre Oyelade and a member of the lower house of the National Assembly, Hon. Saheed Fijabi among others.