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Olubadan: Kingmakers To Decide On Monarch Today

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Olubadan-designate, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, will be ratified to become the Olubadan of Ibadanland today by the Olubadan-in-Council and his name forwarded to the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, for approval.

The meeting is scheduled to be held at the Olubadan Palace at Oja’ba in the Ibadan South East Local Government Area of the state.

The Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland and former governor of Oyo State, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, had, on Wednesday, announced that the meeting, earlier scheduled for Thursday, was moved to Friday (today) in view of the public holidays.

The meeting is expected to bring to a halt, the controversies surrounding the nomination of Oba Olakulehin, after the demise of Oba Lekan Balogun on 14th of March, 2024.

However, it was gathered on Thursday that some of the Ibadan crowned Obas might not honour today’s meeting for reasons best known to them.

A source, who did not want his name in print, said, “I may confirm to you that some of them will not honour the invitation, even though they were duly informed. None of them (the kingmakers) will deny or say he hasn’t received the message to that effect.”

It was also gathered from another source that Oba Olakulehin may be present at the meeting today.

All eyes are, therefore, on the kingmakers who had been duly notified of today’s meeting to ratify and pronounce Oba Olakulehin as the new Olubadan of Ibadanland.

In line with the Ibadan chieftaincy arrangement, the nomination of the new monarch must be made by the person next to him in his line at a meeting convened by the most senior chief in the other line.

The Otun Balogun, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola, who is next in line to the Olubadan-designate, had declared that Oba Olakulehin was not physically fit to rule at the moment.

But Ladoja, speaking on Wednesday, countered Oba Ajibola’s position.

Ladoja, during an interactive session with newsmen at his Bodija residence in Ibadan, on Wednesday, described Oba Ajibola’s statement as not only personal opinion but inflammatory, insisting that Oba Olakulehin, as an elderly person, was not expected to act like a youth.

“Oba Olakulehin is not a 20-year-old man. He is not a 30-year-old or a 40-year-old man. He is over 80 years old. So, we can’t expect him to act like a youth,” Ladoja told newsmen as he further declared that whoever failed to honour today’s meeting after being notified could be substituted with another high chief next to him.

The Osi Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Lateef Adebimpe, who is next in line to Oba Ajibola, was at the Alalubosa Government Reserved Area residence of Oba Olakulehin where he paid homage alongside three other kingmakers last Friday and declared the Olubadan-designate as hale, hearty and fit for the throne.

It was learnt that if Oba Ajibola did not come to the meeting today, Oba Adebimpe, who is next in rank to him on the Balogun line of the Olubadan, would nominate the new monarch.

After the meeting today, the kingmakers are expected to present their nomination to Governor Makinde for ratification and approval.

It will be recalled that Governor Makinde, during the Sallah homage to him by prominent Ummah to mark the end of Ramadan fasting on Wednesday, had said, “The Obas-in-Council are yet to make their nomination. When they make it, it will come to me and I will either say yes or no. But that has not happened. 

“So, why are people focusing on things that are capable of dividing us? Those whose stock in trade is to keep looking for what to divide us should look for something else to do. They should rather focus on things that will unite us.”

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