The monarch said that he waited for 40 years before he was made a king, urging the high chiefs who were crowned king by the state government to wait for their turn to become kings.

He said, “I started as a Mogaji. I was moving step by step before I assumed the throne after 40 years. I thank God for that. We must all love one another. If you love yourself and hate others, your purpose of love is nothing. I was called by the elders of my family to come and become a Mogaji more than 40 years ago. I rejected it and for three years, they were persuading me.

trying to convince me, the representative of my family told me that it could be that one day I would become a king. I then accepted it and became the Mogaji of my family. I waited on God and he made me a king.

“Those who were crowned a few weeks ago know within themselves that they are wearing fake crowns, it is just a carton crown. I began my journey more than 40 years, why can’t they wait for their turn. If you don’t wait for your turn, you will be on the wrong side of destiny.”

The king also chided some Ibadan elders who allegedly said that he consented to the move by Governor Abiola Ajimobi to crown new kings in the city.

You said in other Yoruba towns, they run the monarchical system. How would you describe that of Ibadan?
We run Republican system here in Ibadan. In other places, people from specific families can become a monarch, but in Ibadan, it is not so. Any indigenous person can aspire to become Olubadan.

What makes one an indigene of Ibadan?
Your great grandparents must have been born here and you grew up in Ibadan. But if you are just coming to work here for 30 or 40 years, that does not make you an indigene. Your progenitors must have been here to the extent of losing contact with your original base.

You talked of moving with time, which informed Ibadan’s plan of building a palace. Don’t you see the setting up of the Panel to review Olubadan status as something to be embraced?
I do not understand your question, and I don’t want to preempt the court.

What is the CCII opinion to the panel? Is it a welcome development?
What I can say is that, if there is a proposal, we want to wait for the exact details. You don’t anticipate the outcome of a proposal. You don’t set your mind that a proposal is against you or have certain motives. If you look at everything on the surface, you might jump to the wrong conclusion. I believe by the time the Commission finishes its work; we will know the direction it is going. But what is clear from what we read in the papers is that the aim is to solidify or enhance the Olubadan position and make other arrangements that will make the position felt in all parts of Ibadan land.

The Ibadan of yesterday is not the Ibadan today. The third Ibadan started around Mapo Hall with the radius of one or two miles at most. If the Oba said anything at that time, within one hour, the news would have gone round. But now, the radius is more than 20 kilometres— Omi, Egbeda, Lagelu, they are so far away. We want a system, whereby the Oba’s presence will be felt in all the nooks and crannies of what we call Ibadan land. Therefore, if there is any provision that will make that possible, we have to look at it and not reduce the status of Olubadan. But if there is a proposal to reduce it, we can shout. So far, however, we have not seen that.

Governor Ajimobi has appealed to all stakeholders to present their position to the Commission, saying that will inform the recommendation. What will be the CCII’s proposal to the Commission?
The CCII is not against any modernisation. As I said earlier, it is modernisation that informed a central palace, instead of moving from quarter to quarter. If there is modernity in the building, what is wrong in the modernity about the people that will occupy the building, the functions that will take place, or the number of the lieutenants that will be reporting to Olubadan? In the olden days, we had what we called Ajeles, who were governing places like Ilesha, Ekiti and so on after the war that stopped the Fulanis from coming to Ibadan in 1840 at Odo Otin.

That time, Ibadan Warriors were controlling the whole of Yoruba land. Between 1840 and 1853 before the British came, Ibadan was governing many places. And Olubadan had representatives in all those towns, but now that there is no more war, at least in Ibadan land, so Olubadan must have effective representatives that you see and respect, as Olubadan representatives. So, when the governor talks of Baales being elevated, we did not see anything wrong in that. They are not competing with any of the High Chiefs; they are not competing with Olubadan in council. Rather, they will be responsible to Olubadan in council and they know they are subordinate to Olubadan. All this will be well defined.

But the law of 50 years ago could not have catered for that because maybe, those locations had not been in existence. They were bushes, but now, human beings occupy them and they must be governed. So, CCII supports the review. CCII supports whatever can improve the status of Olubadan and give him effective lieutenants so that he will be able to perform wider whatever his age might be.

I think we should give room for modernity to take place. It does not call for changing everything from the root, it is not overhauling the system, like throwing away whatever we are doing now, that is not possible. There are already people in certain positions, and you cannot destabilise them. So, what you can do is to make their position better, make them function better. Whenever Olubadan is going somewhere, let people know this is an Oba ruling over a population of over 2.5 million. That is the CCII’s position.

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Oludare J. Olusan
Oludare J. Olusan 249 posts

Publisher, Entrepreneur, Author and founder of The African portal / Presenter at The African Portal Radio / TV

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