Oyo State Governor, Chief Abiola Ajimobi, had set a new record in Western Nigeria by presenting staffs of office to 21 new Obas in Ibadan, the state capital.
The governor stated that thenceforth, the Olubadan would be addressed as His Imperial Majesty, while members of the Olubadan–in-Council, who were also elevated to kingship status, would be addressed as ‘‘your royal majesties.’’
The governor also explained that the promoted baales would be addressed as ‘‘your royal highnesses.’’
The elevated members of the Olubadan-in-Council, who were present to receive their instruments of office were the Otun Olubadan of Ibadan land, Senator Lekan Balogun; the Ashipa Olubadan of Ibadan land, Eddy Oyewole; the Balogun of Ibadan land, Owolabi Olakuleyin; the Osi Balogun of Ibadan land, Tajudeen Ajibola; the Asipa Balogun of Ibadan land, Latifu Adebimpe; the Ekarun Balogun of Ibadan land, Dr Kolawole Adegbola; the Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadan land, Abiodun Kola-Daisi; and the Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Amidu Ajibade.
The Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land, Rashidi Ladoja, was not present at the ceremony.
The elevated baales are the Onijaye of Ijaye, Oba Lasisi Akano; the Oniroko of Iroko, Oba Ismaila Opeola; the Onikereku of Ikereku, Oba Moses Akinyosoye; the Ololodo of Olodo, Oba Mudasiru Adebayo, and the Elegbeda of Egbeda, Oba Victor Sunday Okunola.
Others are the Onido of Ido, Oba Gbolagade Babalola, Alakufo of Akufo, Oba Olabamiji Thomas, the Oloke of Okelade-Okin, Oba Wahab Okedina; the Alawotan of Awotan, Oba Dauda Omotoso, Olofa of Offa, Oba Adeboye Salako, the Onilagun of Lagun, Oba Rafiu Alawusa, the Alaba of Aba-Nla, Oba Tiamiyu Ladipo, and the Alakanran of Akanran, Oba James Obisesan.
Among the dignitaries at the ceremony were the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulraseed Akanbi; Niyi Akintola (SAN), a former president-general of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Chief Bayo Oyero; the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria in Oyo State, Pastor Benjamin Akanmu; the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Daud Akinola; and the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Akin Oke.
Though Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, was not at the ceremony that held at At a ceremony held at Mapo Hall in Ibadan, the governor said he had nothing against him adding that the appointment of the new kings followed due process and for ease of administration.
The governor described the event as a day that great sons and daughters of Ibadanland came together to elevate and transform the chieftaincy institution of Ibadan land.
He said, “I am delighted to be at this occasion where history is being made in Ibadan land. Today, we are all gathered to witness the crowning ceremony, presentation of certificates and staff of office to the High Chiefs who are members of the Olubadan–in Council and 13 baales in Ibadan land who have been elevated to the position of Obas.
“I wish to state categorically that we are not changing history, we are not changing tradition, we are not changing the culture of Ibadan land; rather, we are elevating and consolidating our traditional institution, the exalted position of the Olubadan of Ibadan as the Imperial Majesty in Ibadanland, the Olubadan-in-Council and the chieftaincy institution without tinkering with the traditional succession and ascendancy system of the Olubadan chieftaincy structure.”
The governor added that successive governments in Oyo State had engaged in reviewing the 1959 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration made pursuant to the 1957 Chiefs Laws and other related chieftaincies in Ibadan land.
“Permit me to use this opportunity to advise the new kings to use their elevated royal positions to promote peace and unity of the citizenry. We also congratulate the Olubadan of Ibadanland and advise that Kaabiyesi should remain the father of all Ibadan citizens and not allow himself to be used as observed in his recent utterances which tend towards the political. It should be noted that Obas are not expected to play politics,” added the governor.
Oba Lekan Balogun who spoke on behalf of others said the action of the governor meant that the city had caught up with the rest of the Yoruba in the South-West. He said it would help the agitation for Ibadan State as it would be unpalatable to have only one king in a state.