Former Governor Rashidi Ladoja of Oyo State has criticised the 21 newly coronated Obas in Ibadan, adding that the coronation was a theatre.
Ladoja, who is also the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, warned members of the State House of Assembly against being compromised when the issue is finally presented to the house.
Speaking to newsmen at his Ondo street residence in Bodija after observing the Eid-Kabir prayers on Friday, Ladoja said the Obas are being appointed by the government and not the Ibadan traditional institution.
Stay out of traditional institution
The former governor maintained that Governor Abiola Ajimobi does not have the power to dabble into the traditional institution.
Ladoja said, ”It is not the duty of the government to tamper with the 1959 declaration.
”The 1957 law was Chiefs laws. And we told them that it was Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1959.
”So we told them that it is not their responsibility. We are not having Olubadan of Oyo State but Olubadan of Ibadanland.
”As you can see, the government is not interested in anything apart from the Ibadan traditional institution now.
”What happened at Mapo is a theater. It is a stage play, I saw it as a theater as far as I am concerned. It is not important to me, I don’t attach any importance to it. He (Ajimobi) said that he will bribe the House of Assembly to have his way when it gets to them.”
“Have you ever seen a situation where an Oba will be coronated on Sunday? They said they have gone to Ipebi, within five minutes they issue letters and coronated them on Sunday. Ibadan Obas are coronated on Friday,” said Ladoja.
“I only want to warn the legislature that they should go to back to their constituencies to know what the people that elected them want.
“This is not only Ibadan matter now, it is Oyo State matter. After Ibadan, he will go to Ogbomoso, Ibarapa and Oyo. It is an issue that is not limited to Ibadan alone because he said Ago-Are is having 3 Obas, why not in Saki?
Ladoja explained that it is for these reasons that he has decided to head to court.
”Why are they bringing people from Ibarapa, Oyo and Ogbomoso to review Ibadan declaration?” he queried.
”That is why we are in court, that it is not the responsibility of the government to review the Ibadan Chieftaincy declaration.
He continues, “Let us wait, if they influence the local court, they cannot influence the upper court. Even an Oba that has spent 15 years can be removed, so they (21 news obas) can be removed.
Loss of focus
Ladoja laments that rather than focus on development on Oyo state, the Ajomobi-led govt is focusing instead on Ibadan traditional institution.
“Nobody is talking about how LAUTECH will get its shape, how many people are choosing LAUTECH in JAMB? They are going to UNILORIN that is about 30 kilometres from Ogbomoso,” he said.
On why he is the only one among members of the Olubadan-In-Council against the review set up by the Gov Abiola Ajimobi-led administration, Ladoja explained that most of the people supporting the review including the new Obas are people who could not differentiate between the governor and the holder of the office and those in solidarity with their Ibadan brother.
“I don’t know because I am not one of those who opted out,” says Ladoja.
“What faces somebody is backing another person. Some people could not differentiate between the governor and the holder of the office. Maybe they are doing solidarity for Ibadan boy. When Akala said he want to make some Baales as Obas, the whole Ibadan rose against it”.
Ladoja, however, made no secret of his ambition to succeed the current Olubadan, with an insinuation that his ambition to become the next Olubadan may be the genesis of his current face-off with Gov Ajimobi.
“Let me tell you that I don’t have any issue with Ajimobi as a person. I have issue with the government. Ajimobi is my younger brother, but I have issue with the government. When I started, I said I want to become Olubadan and not Oba Otun Olubadan or Oba Osi Olubadan,” stated Ladoja.
In a related briefing, however, Gov Ajimobi on Friday revealed that he has no problems with Ladoja becoming the next Olubadan. Ajomobi said that it is politicians that are hiding under the current rift to cause problems between him and Ladoja who he respects as a father figure.