The Oyo State capital, Ibadan, may soon have a total of 32 traditional rulers (Obas), if a report submitted to the state government on Friday becomes law.
The report was put together as recommendations by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry for the review of the existing 1957 Declaration of Olubadan and other related chieftaincies in Ibadanland. The commission was set up by Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi.
The report was presented to the governor by the chairman of the commission, Akintunde Boade, at the Governor’s Office, Ibadan, on Friday.
The report also recommended that the Olubadan, Saliu Adetunji, will maintain his status as the paramount ruler of the ancient city.
In a bid to reduce the long years it takes a potential Olubadan to get to the pinnacle of the two chieftaincy lines producing the Olubadan on rotational basis, the panel also reduced the rungs from the existing 22 to 11 on the Otun line, while the Balogun line was reduced to 12 from 23.
This, the report stated, means that the “Ikolaba chieftaincy will now become the entry point for a potential high chief, instead of Jagun chieftaincy as it currently stands,” if the recommendations were adopted.
The presentation of the report by the 11-member commission was witnessed by members of the Olubadan-in-Council, led by the Otun Olubadan, Lekan Balogun, and Balogun of Ibadanland, Owolabi Olakulehin, among others.
Receiving the report, Mr. Ajimobi said no effort would be spared to ensure that the recommendations were implemented “as early as next month.”
The governor said that his administration’s resolve to carry out a comprehensive review of the Olubadan chieftaincy was in response to the requests by the Olubadan-in-Council, Ibadan elders and others.
Insisting that the exercise was not new, the governor recalled that previous administrations had reviewed the chieftaincy declaration, but could not muster the political will to implement their respective reports.
He said that review was necessary in order to enhance the status of the Olubadan, to be in line with what obtains in other states in Yorubaland as well as to conform to the modern trend in culture and tradition.
The governor said that he was not unmindful of the pockets of opposition to the move, noting that ‘he was not bothered as long as those in support were overwhelmingly in the majority.’
“It is not everybody that will agree with us but once we have the majority who are in support, we are not bothered,” he said.
“As is customary, some people will disagree with any policy the government wants to implement, only for them to commend such policy in future.
“By the grace of God, we can implement the recommendations as early as next month. The review will only enhance the status of Olubadan as the imperial majesty. It will not diminish his influence in any way.”
Earlier, Mr. Boade had explained that in arriving at ’32 beaded crowns,’ the commission gave preference to the current 11 high chiefs that made up the Olubadan-in-Council; nine eligible ancient baales and five baales who are members of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs.
He added that two baales at the state’s borders with Ogun and Osun States were also considered for beaded crowns judging by their untiring efforts in ensuring that their areas were secured for Ibadanland.
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