The Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land, Rashidi Ladoja, said the high chiefs of Ibadan land, who were elevated to the position of kings by Governor Abiola Ajimobi, decided to seek an end to their rift with the Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, after the monarch wrote letters to the secretaries of the traditional councils in the 11 council areas of Ibadan, telling them to stop all the traditional councils’ financial transactions unless he appended to them.
The Olubadan had refused to recognise the high chiefs as kings but after almost one year of the rift, the two parties had a peace meeting at his palace. Speaking to journalists in Ibadan on Tuesday, Ladoja said the monarch had ignored all activities of the new kings until they released a statement where they claimed that they had withheld the monarch’s allowance and palace staff salaries.
Ladoja, who is the only high chief that refused the crown, said, “Each of the high chiefs is in charge of each of the traditional councils in the 11 council areas of Ibadan. We were all sent there by the Olubadan to train us and give us responsibilities. The law says that the Olubadan is the president of each of the councils. But because he cannot be in 11 places at the same time, we act at the councils as acting chairmen.
“When they said they are kings in charge of the traditional councils, the Olubadan ignored them but when they said that they had suspended the Olubadan stipend, they went overboard. They did not pay the Olubadan for one year but the king did not lack anything. He lived in his affluence and he was eating well. The king said that it was time to tell the high chiefs the limit of their powers.
“He wrote letters as president of all the traditional councils to the secretary of the council areas who are civil servants, telling them not to touch the money of the traditional councils without his consent. That is where the high chiefs realised that they had been calling themselves what they were not. The power still rests with the Olubadan.”
Asked if the new kings had agreed to drop the status, Ladoja said that anyone could call himself whatever they like, stressing that when the new kings come to the Olubadan-in-Council meeting, they come as high chiefs and not as kings.
“When they come to the meeting, they are not kings. There is only one king in Ibadan and that is the Olubadan. If you claim to be an oba in Ibadan, the question is: where is your domain? The good thing is that they are all back. We are all children of the Olubadan.”