The crisis rocking the Ibadan traditional institution yesterday deepened as the Olubadan, Saliu Adetunji, declared that he would not recognise the 21 newly-installed monarchs.
He spoke when over 300 Mogajis (family heads) and youths protested against the mass coronation in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The monarch described the beaded crowns given to the new monarchs by the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi as “mere carton,” and implored them to wait for their turns before wearing the crown.
The Olubadan said: “Those who were crowned some days ago knew within themselves that they are wearing fake crowns. It is just a carton crown. 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 state government had, on August 27 installed members of Olubadan-in-council and 21 Baales as monarchs in Ibadan, in deference to the position of Olubadan who opposed it.
Adetunji described the review of Olubadan declaration as a “huge joke” to entertain those who were not familiar with the tradition and culture of the land.
According to him, it took him 40 years to climb the rungs of the ladder that saw him wearing the crown and wondered why his chiefs, who knew the tradition should join in the mockery of the age-long practice that was devoid of crisis.
The Olubadan told the protesters at his Popoyemoja palace that he became Mogaji in 1976 and waited till 2015 to be crowned as Olubadan.
The protesters, under the aegis of Council of Mogajis of Ibadanland and Integrity Youths of Ibadanland, had earlier addressed a press conference at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre, Iyaganku.
Among the Mogajis who attended the briefing was a former deputy governor, Hazeem Gbolarunmi. Others are Moshood Akere, Molade Adeyemi, Olawale Oladoja and Jelili Adanla, Abass Oloko, Olasegun Ademola, Badmos Adewale, Ifelere Osho and Lamidi Olalekan.
The Mogajis displayed banners at the venue and at the Olubadan palace, which reads: “Poised to approach the court for a declaration that the new Olubadan chieftaincy law is unjust, unlawful, null and void.”
Gbolarunmi, who spoke on behalf of the Mogajis said the visit to the Olubadan was to show that he has the support of his people.
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