The crisis generated by the elevation and installation of high and senior chiefs to Obaship status in Ibadan is not yet over as the spokesperson of the ‘Authentic Mogajis’, Chief Wale Oladoja, has revealed how Governor Abiola Ajimobi begged the Olubadan to make his younger brother, Wasiu Ajimobi, the Mogaji of his family.
Oladoja also disclosed that the governor begged the royal father to elevate Wasiu four steps ahead of others, which he said, the monarch obliged.
In an interview with Daily Trust, Oladoja said Ajimobi “solicited for a chieftaincy title in Ibadanland and Baba gave him. What else does he want the man to do? Now, he wants to remove the ladder he used to climb up. We want him to know that the consequences of his action might not be today. Ibadan people may not forgive anybody who disorganizes their traditional inheritance.”
He went further: “We are not against that government policy; we are only defending our tradition and the Olubadan stool. The Mogajis are against neither Ajimobi nor the Oyo State government, but as the head of the families, we have to preserve our culture and the Ibadan tradition.
“We are defending the uniqueness of Ibadan custom of ascension to the Olubadan stool. We are proud of how our king emerges in Ibadanland, which is usually rancour-free. After the demise of one Olubadan, the next one must have known he is next. It is unique and the most democratic in the whole world, and has never attracted any controversy since the 18th Century.
“So, we are fighting for the preservation of the process of becoming the Olubadan. Since I was born, I have never seen a governor interfering that much in the Ibadan chieftaincy affairs; it is a process that other people want to emulate.
“It is not acceptable for someone to just come from nowhere and believe he can change the pattern and the process because he is in government. People should ignore government’s propaganda on the issue of the Olubadan.”
He described as fraud claim by the government that the new process would hasten the actualization of Ibadan State.
“That is a fraud! If the Ibadan people want more kings, that is not the way to go about it. Let’s look at it from this perspective: High Chief Lekan Balogun, High Chief Ajibola Abimbola from Agbeni, High Chief Eddy Oyewole from Ifoko, please, Oba (king) of which town do we call them? If anybody becomes the Olubadan, we all know he’d be called the Olubadan of Ibadanland, but in the case of these mushroom Obas, where are they governing?
“Even the government had shot itself in the foot with the elevation of the high chiefs. With the new oba titles and status, if one of them eventually becomes the Olubadan, where does such person drop his first crown?
“On the issue of Ibadan State, we cannot allow anybody to play on our intelligence. We know the process involved if the federal government wants to create more states. Let him tell that to the fools, not the intelligent people of Ibadan.”
Saying that “we were caught unawares,” he described the recent attack on the palace of Olubadan as “unfortunate and absolutely unacceptable.”