The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, has demanded apologies from the embattled obas in Ibadan for desecrating Yoruba culture, saying that they are free to return to his palace “once they remove their illegal crowns”.
The obas had accused the monarch of denigrating the Olubadan institution by embarking on illegal practices and lacking respect for them as members of the Olubadan-in-council.
But, in a statement signed by one of his media aides, Adeola Oloko, the Olubadan dismissed the statement credited to the embattled chiefs, saying he was not the one that stopped them from coming to the palace for the Olubadan-in-Council meetings.
Olubadan stated that by deserting the palace, the obas were abdicating their responsibilities to Ibadanland.
The first-class monarch added that rather than engaging in blame game, the affected obas should be bold enough to “remove their illegal crowns and apologise to the people of Ibadanland in particular and the Yoruba people in general for undermining our customs and tradition.”
Olubadan noted that the obas were becoming understandably jittery because they “are afraid of what is likely to befall them after May 29 when power would change hands in Oyo State.”
He said, “There is nowhere in Yorubaland where two kings sit inside a palace; it is always the king and his chiefs. Apart from violating our customs and tradition, there is no law that backs the wearing of illegal crowns in Ibadanland.”
The royal father recalled that he had expected the high chiefs to comply with the Oyo State High Court judgment which declared the state government reforms of the Ibadan traditional institution that produced their crowns “as illegal, null, void and of no effect.”
The monarch added that when the high chiefs said their efforts to resolve the crisis had been frustrated, what they did not tell the unwary public was that they wanted him (Olubadan) to approve through the back door the crowns that the court had rejected.
Oba Adetunji stated that if the people of Ibadan wanted the crowns, he would have long ago approved it “but all indications show that the overwhelming majority of our people do not approve it.”
The monarch stated categorically that contrary to allegation of the high chiefs, he had done no wrong, nor acted illegally at any time.
He added that despite efforts made to hinder the smooth running of the palace by the high chiefs and their promoter, they must begin to wonder why the palace had continued to grow from strength to strength.
The Olubadan stated that the high chiefs exhibited little or no knowledge of customs and tradition when they accused him of installing Mogajis and Baales without recourse to them.
According to him, Section 22 (2) of the Chiefs Law, Cap 28 Law of Oyo State 2000 makes the Olubadan the prescribing and consenting authority on all chieftaincy matters in Ibadanland.
The first-class monarch argued that the Olubadan-in-Council was merely an advisory council without any power whatsoever.
Olubadan added, “If anybody should be castigated for denigrating our institution, it is the embattled high chiefs with inordinate ambition to become monarchs without domain that should examine themselves. It is those who commit crime against Yoruba customs and tradition and do not repent that deserve to be castigated.
“It is those who run away from the palace and turn round to say they are not being carried along. It is those who flagrantly disobey court orders. It is the chiefs who are sent to represent the Olubadan at the Local Government Traditional Councils but seize Olubadan’s salaries that have violated our customs and tradition.”