From left: Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Olalekan Alli and Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Ogundipe, at a children conference to mark 6th year Anniversary of Gov Ajimobi’s administration in Ibadan on Wednesday (24/5/2017).NAN

The Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, has described as untrue and unfounded the statement credited to a group of Ibadan elders that he has consented to the controversial chieftaincy review embarked upon by the Oyo state government.

This had resulted in the controversial crowning of 21 new kings.

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Two Ibadan-based private radio stations – Lagelu and Splash Fm-between 8 and 10am had quoted the Ambassador Olu Sanu-led Ibadan Elders’ Forum who met with Olubadan as saying that the monarch has consented to the elevation of the chiefs to kingship status, having now seen the light.

‘Not in the dark’

According to a statement signed by the monarch’s spokesperson, Adeola Oloko, the Olubadan acknowledged receiving the elders at his Popoyemoja, Ibadan palace on Thursday, 7th September 2017.

He said that there was never a time he was in the dark over the Ibadan Chieftaincy issue as he did not say what the elders quoted him to have said.

Oba Adetunji stated that the elders should not mislead Ibadan people into believing what he did not say, as what he said was that Governor Abiola Ajimobi over whom they have come to plead is his son and that he would not want a third party intervention over the matter.

“For the avoidance of doubt, my opposition to the elevation of high chiefs to kingship status without domain remains the same, as I maintain my stand. I cannot see how I would bless the high chiefs who have refused to wait for their turn before stepping forward to take crowns from the government, contrary to our tradition and custom.

“The crown which I wear has its root from somewhere. I cannot bless a crown that has no root. You will recall that the same Ibadan Elders’ Forum stoutly opposed the former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala’s move to elevate six Baales in their letter dated 24th April, 2009. On page 2 (ii) of that letter titled “The composition of Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs” signed by Ambassador Olu Sanu and Onaolapo Ajibola, stated: “The (Ibadan Chieftaincy) system had worked for ages and ensured peace and stability in Ibadan land and the forum would therefore not want the government to tamper with the system in order not to create confusion and ill-feeling.

“Baales in Ibadan land were village heads who were nominated by Mogajis who were compound heads in the city, adding that the Mogajis who were traditional fathers of Baales were themselves not yet titled chiefs of Ibadan land,” Aje Ogungunniso 1 said.

Oba Adetunji has, therefore, urged the Ibadan elders to stop contradicting themselves for the peace and progress of Ibadan land.