Obaship: Ibadan should not be turned into battleground, CCII warns
The Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) has pledged unalloyed support for the recent coronation of 21 new kings of Ibadan by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State.
This is just as the umbrella body urged indigenes of Ibadan land, the Olubadan of Ibadan land, the state governor, the Olubadan in council, mogajis, chiefs and other stakeholders to remain calm for the resolution of some grey areas identified and not turn Ibadan into a battleground.
The organisation said 90 per cent of Ibadan indigenes supported the review.
The President General, Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Chief Yemi Soladoye who made these calls while addressing journalists at Ibadan house, Oke Aremo, Ibadan, on Tuesday, said the review had become expedient to address the long journey of ascension to the throne of Olubadan, with many dying on the waiting line without becoming Olubadan.
Furthermore, the CCII said it was convinced that the state government’s action was in the interest of Ibadan because it did not create any new ruling houses, while every bonafide Ibadan indigene still had the right to aspire to become Olubadan.
Speaking further, Soladoye argued that the development empowered the former high chiefs to carry the authority of the Olubadan, while the new kings remained on the queue to become Olubadan and the imperial power over Ibadanland still remained with the Olubadan of Ibadanland.
He also hinged the support of the CCII on the fact that the crowns were also granted to protect the state’s border towns and satellite towns like Ijaiye Orile, Erunmu, Lalupon from some other ethnic groups in Yorubaland.
“For avoidance of any doubt, the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) confirms the change that has just taken place in Ibadan as desired, initiated, supported, applauded and appreciated by the generality of Ibadan indigenes worldwide. The CCII approved it and I can tell you that 90 per cent of Ibadan indigenes asked for the reform and support the reform based on the issues we have been having.”
“We are in situation where before anyone becomes Olubadan, he is already more than 90 years; we are in a situation where 40 persons will start a race, by 35 years about 25 of them have dropped dead. So, it is not the typical situation where you look at what happens elsewhere. We are looking at our own peculiar situation.”
“In the past 20 months we have lost 5 of the members of the Olubadan-In-Council including eminent personalities like Chief Omowale Kuye, Chief Femi Olaifa just to mention a few. Since the demise of Oba Yesufu Kobiowu in 1965, not many Ibadan residents can confirm seeing most of our Olubadans at public functions except if they visited the palace.”
The CCII identified some grey areas to be addressed to include whether the elevation of some Baales to an Oba amounted to the Baale being superior over the Mogajis (family warlords), and whether the gazette could be interpreted as meaning that those on the Olubadan line must be a crown wearing Oba for them to gain further promotion.
He said the court could also help in the interpretation of gazette, which he said, was not an end in itself.
Describing the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji as a dynamic and progressive Oba, Soladoye noted that the CCII would provide further clarity and enlightenment on the matter.
“The CCII is quite aware of the fact that some grey areas still exist in the reform especially as it affects the Mogajis and the Warlords Families. The CCII is deeply looking into this with deep concern and interest. The CCII hereby salute the innovation in the Olubadan institution, though caution that saner counsels should prevail and be exercised to enable the matters in court to be rested to conclusion whilst Ibadanland should not be turned into a battle ground.”
“CCII was involved right from when the judicial review panel was created. CCII was part of it to create reform. The court will give interpretation to that gazette. The areas that we do think is part, we will create discussion and dialogue. Gazette is not an end in itself, issues arise and they perfect them.”
“We wish to confirm that our Kabiyesi is a dynamic and progressive Oba who would naturally due to his age and experience of life play safe in his response to any change agenda with insufficient clarity and enlightenment. The CCII takes responsibility for this gap.”
“The promotion of any of the new Obas to the stool of Olubadan of Ibadanland automatically ends that obaship in his compound until they have another Mogaji who may be lucky to ascend the position of Olubadan-In-Council in distant future,” Soladoye said.
On the remuneration for the new kings, CCII posited that the new kings were only dignified with their status and prestige while their salary equivalent of being a second class Oba remained.
He however pointed to some politicization of the matter owing to some persona involved and the peculiarities of the state.
Consequently, the CCII urged all stakeholders to shun vested interests and sentiments for Ibadan to achieve some of its desires like being a state and remaining peaceful.
“The CCII cannot pretend to be unaware of some political colouration that crept into this progressive change at the eve of implementation but suffice to say that for a city where Politics and Public Service are the two largest industries, the tension that accompanied the change is not unexpected. Our current Otun Olubadan was a member of the upper chambers (Senate), current Balogun of Ibadan was a member of the Lower chambers (Federal House of Representatives), the current Osi Olubadan was in the Senate and a former Governor while the current Aare of Ibadan was in the Senate and now the sitting Governor of Oyo State. In a city of politicians therefore, there will always be the tendency to politicize every issue.”