Oyo State Government yesterday said Osi Olubadan and former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, has not rejected the obaship title conferred on him on August 25, 2017.
Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Bimbo Kolade, disclosed this during an inter-ministerial press briefing at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Agodi Secretariat in Ibadan, the state capital.
Kolade, in company with his counterpart from the Ministry of Information, Toye Arulogun, told newsmen that Ladoja said he would not be available to receive the crown and added that the beaded-crown has been kept for him, until such a time he would be available.
Ladoja had, in a statement issued by his media aide, Alhaji Lanre Latinwo, on Tuesday, said he would not accept the crown because he would not be a king without a domain, and alleged that the recent review of Olubadan chieftaincy was particularly targeted at him.
But, Kolade said each of the 11 members of the Olubadan-in-Council, including Ladoja presides over the traditional councils in each of the 11 local government areas of Ibadanland.
He said installation of 21 kings last weekend would not increase government expenditure because each member of the Olubadan-in-Council would continue to draw salary from the local government each of them presides over as they were doing when they were ‘high chiefs’.
“I wonder where anybody saw that the Osi Olubadan has said he has rejected the crown. I have not seen him rejecting the crown. To us in the ministry, there is not a single letter with us in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, where the current Osi Olubadan has written to say he has rejected the crown.
“He has only said he was not available. We are still expecting and waiting for his availability to pick up his crown. Whenever he’s available, he will pick up his crown.”
Kolade also dismissed speculations that the review of 1957 Olubadan of Ibadanland Chieftaincy Declaration by the government has placed the Baales (village heads) above the Mogajis (family head)
“Mogajis still remain Mogajis. They still remain the heads of their families in the city. They still retain and perform all their rites. But all the Baales that have become obas don’t have mogajis in the city. If anyone is in doubt, the person should show me the mogaji that covers Ijaiye or the mogaji that covers Awotan. Once you are entitled to Mogaji in the city, you don’t need to wear crown in the village.”
On his part, Arulogun said the Governor Abiola Ajimobi-led administration consulted widely before the review and the reform.
Meanwhile, some Mogajis, under the aegis of Authentic Mogajis, have accused the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) of compromise, describing the council as an umbrella organisation of socio-cultural clubs and societies where people drink beer and take pepper soup.
Mogaji Adanla, Chief Abdul-Jelili Karimu and Mogaji Akinsola from Labiran compound, Chief Olawale Oladoja, who spoke on behalf of the group, wondered how, when and where the CCII leadership conducted its survey before arriving at such a ridiculous figure of 90 percent, when town hall meetings were not conducted.
President General of CCII, Chief Yemi Soladoye, had at a press conference on Tuesday in Ibadan, said 90 percent of Ibadan natives asked and supported the reform of Ibadan chieftaincy system that has culminated into coronation of 21 new kings in Ibadanland.
But, the Mogajis, in their reaction yesterday, said: “As family heads in Ibadanland, we know where the shoes pinch, we know the feelings of our people at the grassroots more than a group of over-fed and vomiting elite. We wish to make it abundantly clear that we are solidly behind the Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1…”