The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, has said he has no objection to the return of his embattled obas to his palace “once they remove their illegal crowns” and apologise for desecrating the highly revered Yoruba culture.
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. He also dismissed a 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. He also stated that rather than engaging in the 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. 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”.