IBADAN’S rancorous royal dispute which blew up in 2017 when Governor Abiola Ajimobi crowned 21 new monarchs appears to have been resolved as the new kings dropped their claims and acknowledged the supremacy of the Olubadan of Ibadanland today.
Oba Saliu Adetunji, the Olubadan of Ibadan celebrated his 91st birthday today and all the 21 monarchs appointed by Governor Ajimobi paid homage to him by visiting his palace and prostrating before him. They had all been baales or district heads but Governor Ajimobi crowned them, making them equals with the Olubadan.
Describing the move as illegal, Oba Adetunji took the matter to court and the legal battle dragged on up until the end of Governor Ajimobi’s tenure. On May 29 this year, Governor Seyi Makinde assumed office and he has favoured a return to the status quo whereby Ibadan only has one paramount monarch.
Today, it appeared that the whole matter was resolved as the Otun Olubadan, High Chief Lekan Balogun, led all other high chiefs including the baales to pay homage to Oba Adetunji. Until recently when Chief Balogun embraced reconciliation along with four other high chiefs, some of the others stuck to their guns and distanced themselves from palace activities.
However, around 1.15pm today, all the baales who had stayed away from the palace for over two years, prostrated before the Olubadan, acknowledging him as their supreme monarch. Oba Adetunji had also found an ally in one of the high chiefs, Rashidi Ladoja, a former Oyo State governor, who dissociated himself from the elevation and instituted court action.
Governor Ladoja won the case presided over by Justice Aiki who described all the processes that led to the installation of new kings as illegal, null, void and of no effect. Governor Ajimobi, however, appealed the judgment until his successor Seyi Makinde, began an out-of-court settlement for reconciliation.