July 14, 2024

Olakulehin: Gov Makinde faces backlash over comments on Olubadan installation

Condemnations and criticisms have continued to trail a statement made by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, over the enthronement of the current Balogun of Ibadanland, Owolabi Akinloye Olakulehin.

DAILY POST recalls that Olakulehin, who hails from the Okugbaja lineage in the Ita Baale area of the Ibadan North East local government area, had earlier been nominated and appointed as the 43rd Olubadan by the Olubadan-in-Council at a meeting presided over by the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rasidi Adewolu Ladoja, on Friday, April 12, 2024.

Makinde, on Saturday, said that Olakulehin will ascend the throne as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadan when he is strong enough to complete the processes for his installation.

He made the statement at the burial ceremony organized by the state government in honor of the 42nd Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Mahood Olalekan Balogun.

The event was held at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, formerly known as Liberty Stadium, located in the Oke Ado area of Ibadan.

Makinde said, “Those who don’t want us to celebrate Baba were the ones that sent the rain, but I have told people to charm the rain. As they continue that, continue to eat and drink and let us continue to celebrate our late kabiyesi.

“One thing that I want us to go home with today is that the late Kabiyesi and I did what they think Napoleon cannot do.

“Myself and the House of Assembly on Friday, May 26, 2023, amended the Chieftaincy Laws of Oyo State so that the governor doesn’t need to go to the Council of Chiefs to amend the Declaration of Obas.

“Myself and kabiyesi, we amended the Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration. Those who have not seen it, let them go and look for it. That is the declaration in force to enthrone the Olubadan of Ibadanland.

“I have seen the recommendation of the Olubadan-in-Council and I have accepted it. I have accepted it, and as soon as our father, Oba Olakulehin, is strong enough, he will be enthroned because due process has been followed.”

Our correspondent gathered that the expectation of the majority of the indigenes of the ancient city was to receive news of the date when the Olubadan-designate would be installed.

Our correspondent learned that the majority of the people at home who were monitoring the program and those in attendance were surprised when the governor made the statement.

Our correspondent reports that the statement has attracted several reactions from the people of the ancient city.

Some prominent indigenes of Ibadan, in their reactions, expressed divergent views over the statement by the governor.

We are not comfortable with your statement – Group
A socio-cultural organisation consisting of some prominent Ibadan indigenes, Ibile G-7, has said that the group is not comfortable with what the governor said.

The group described the assertion made by the governor as unfortunate and one that can lead to dissatisfaction in the ancient city.

Ibile G-7 made this declaration via a statement made available to DAILY POST over the weekend.

The statement was signed by its President, who is also a former President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Lanre Ogundipe, and its Secretary, Mr. Jide Olaniyonu.

The group said that the governor is not a medical doctor, so he cannot determine if the Olubadan-designate is fit to ascend the throne or not.

They explained that the governor’s statement was a big surprise to numerous indigenes of Ibadanland.

“It is regrettable that the statement of the Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on when the new Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Akinloye Olakulehin, would be installed, has ignited and caused fresh controversies at a period when the indigenes of Ibadanland have gone to sleep and have forgotten that the issue was over and were expecting good news about having a new person on the throne of their fatherland.

“The statement by Mr. Governor claiming that Oba Olakulehin would be crowned the new Olubadan as soon as he is medically fit was a big surprise to numerous Ibadan indigenes. Since the governor made that statement at the final burial of the immediate late Olubadan, His Royal Majesty, Oba Lekan Balogun, at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Oke Ado, Ibadan, people are now beginning to worry as to the reason behind this statement, when it was expected that the governor would have on that day confirmed the date of the coronation of Oba Olakulehin as Olubadan.

“We in the Ibile G-7, which has prominent Ibadan indigenes as members, are not comfortable with this statement and have started wondering what could have informed Governor Makinde’s statement. We are therefore asking Governor Makinde these pertinent questions, which require and deserve urgent answers.

“In the first place, who informed the governor that Oba Olakulehin is not medically fit? Which hospital issued a report that the new Olubadan-elect is not fit, and where was the Oba hospitalized to warrant that statement? When has the issue of the installation of the Olubadan descended into a political debate or issue at the expense of the millions of Ibadan indigenes?

“Does this mean that the silence of Governor Makinde over the recommendation of Oba Olakulehin as the new Olubadan forwarded to him since and which he too said he has accepted was a deliberate attempt to delay the installation process? The people of Ibadan would be happy if Governor Makinde could tell them the motive behind this statement, which is debasing and derogatory to the age-long tradition of the ascendancy into the Olubadan stool.

“We in the Ibile G-7 group are sad that it is rather unfortunate that the much-appaulded Ibadan royal ascendancy has slipped into controversial contest, with Governor Makinde at the center.”

Do not bastardize ibadan traditional institution – Don tells Makinde
A lecturer at Lead City University, Ibadan, Bayonle Busari, has advised the governor not to bastardize the Ibadan traditional institution.

Busari, who lectures in the Department of Mass Communication and Media Technology, said that it would amount to dictatorial tendencies for the governor to make such a statement.

The don made these declarations via a statement made available to DAILY POST over the weekend.

Busari, while speaking, said that only a certified medical practitioner can make a categorical statement on whether Olakulehin is fit or not.

“The statement credited to the governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, at the final burial rite of the late Imperial Majesty, Oba Mahood Olalekan Balogun, as reported in the media, calls for concern from all true Ibadan sons and daughters and well-meaning indigenes of the state.

“The governor was reported to have said categorically that the next-in-line to the throne of Olubadan, High Chief Olakulehin, would only be coronated when he is strong enough to ascend to the throne of his forbears. This is the first time that such a statement would come from such high and determining quarters.

“The governor, by our statute, is the constituted authority to approve who becomes Oba in Nigeria. It will amount to dictatorial tendencies when such authority is now making a prescription without precedence or not grounded in law.

“The statement, which has not been contradicted by the governor, as being quoted out of context, is capable of setting a precedent that could further entangle the process for the emergence of an Olubadan, a process that has been embroiled in seeming confusion with the crowning of members of the Olubadan-in-Council with coronets.

“The condition of fitness ascribed to the governor is not only ambiguous but a new introduction to the process leading to the coronation of the Olubadan. It is even alien to the amended Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration, which the governor alluded to at the ceremony where he made the statement. If the governor is allowed to have his way by his unilateral declaration, the danger inherent therein is that a time may come when the emergence of Olubadan will become a subject of litigation, as witnessed in several towns in Yorubaland.

“What readily comes to mind with a quick perusal of the governor’s unilateral condition is: who determines the state of fitness of an individual when it becomes imperative as a condition precedent to assuming or functioning in an official capacity as may be required by law? Obviously, only a certified medical practitioner can make a categorical statement like the one credited to Engr. Makinde. Interestingly, the governor is not known to be a practicing physician, nor has there been prior information that the Olubadan-designate has been subjected to an official medical examination, to which there is no law that prescribes such.

“I think that it is time that all Ibadan sons and daughters, and indeed all stakeholders, rose to put an end to the needless controversy that has been imputed into the Ibadan chieftaincy matter with the novel coronet-wearing obas by the late Governor Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi, which unfortunately has become an ill-wind.

“Subjecting our traditional institution to governmental control, and in some cases, manipulation, is one of the colonial relics which, interestingly, is not obtainable with the British monarchical system. Let us wean our traditional institution from the apron strings of government and give the authority back to the system that was obtainable before colonial incursion into our lands.

“The age-tested traditional process for the emergence of an Olubadan should not be bastardized on the altar of modernization as being canvassed in some quarters. It is a known fact that the occupier of the throne of Olubadan has always been an aged but tested and thoroughly wise High Chief. Without mischief, frailty or age-related health issues come with old age; and unless we want to play God, we should not expect a 90-year-old man to be in the same health condition as a 50-year-old.

“I have said it at every point where I have had the opportunity to volunteer an opinion that no one changes a winning team. The Ibadan traditional system is unique to the extent of becoming a reference point within the traditional institution worldwide. We stand to gain everything by allowing the system to be in its form before the introduction of coronets, while what we will gain will pale into insignificance when we tinker with the original system as we seem to.”

Makinde has no business in selecting who is the next Olubadan – APC Publicity Secretary
The Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who is also an indigene of Ibadan, Mr. Wasiu Olawale Sadare, while reacting, said that the governor has no business in the selection of the next Olubadan.

Sadare made this declaration while speaking during a telephone conversation with DAILY POST on Sunday.

The APC chieftain, while speaking, said that the statement is an indication that the governor is making efforts to become an emperor in the state.

“He made a reckless statement. That is an indication that he is aspiring to be an emperor in the state, to put the state in his own private pocket. But the people of the state will reject it at the right time.

“So, he has no business in selecting the next Oba for the people of Ibadan. We also want to challenge him on why there is a delay in the installation of the new Oba of Eruwa and Oyo kingdom. He should allow the process to take its full course. Each of these towns has their own ways of selecting their Obas.

“Is he a medical doctor? When will he know that Baba is fit? We want the people to interrogate the intention. People should interrogate the intention. That is what I have for now.”

It’s an internal affair, will be resolved internally – CCII President-General
President-General of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Barrister Adeniyi Ajewole, when contacted, said that the issue of the coronation of the new Olubadan is an internal affair.

He added that the issue would be resolved internally among the indigenes of the ancient city.

“They have said that they will start. They said that the coronation processes would soon start. There is no controversy on it again. The coronation processes will begin immediately.

“Let us put our minds at rest; God has helped us to settle the matter. We used to settle our differences internally in Ibadan.”

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