Ibadan chiefs yesterday gave their support to Chief Saliu Adetunji’s bid to succeed the late Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade 1 as Olubadan.
The leader of the Seriki line, Chief Adebayo Oyediji, has been holding on to the throne. But the Olubadan-in-Council yesterday held a meeting at the palace of Oba Odulana, where they insisted that Adetunji will be the Olubadan-designate.
In the meeting attended by Adetunji; the Otun Olubadan, Senator Lekan Balogun; the Otun Balogun, Chief Owolabi Olakulehin; Ashipa Olubadan, Chief Eddy Oyewole; Osi Balogun, Chief Olufemi Olaifa and Ashipa Balogun, Chief Abimbola Ajibola, the chiefs believe that Saliu Adetunji will be a better leader.
Ajibola, who spoke shortly after the meeting, said it was undisputed that Adetunji is the authentic Olubadan-in-waiting.
“Any other one is a counterfeit,” he said, adding that: “In this institution, we have lines. There are only two lines recognised so far, both by law and otherwise. They are the Otun Olubadan Line and the Balogun Line. There is no third line.
“Nobody is competent to say he can be Olubadan. He cannot appoint himself. He cannot put himself there. We are not aware of any judgment that he is claiming because there is no Seriki or whatever. The 1959 Declaration Law says: Seriki, if there are two vacancies in one line, should come there. No other judgment can overrule the law; that is the law they have no Seriki now.”
He pointed out that the only recognised Seriki then was the late Chief Adisa Akinloye, adding that since he died, there had been no execution and no awareness.
According to Ajibola, “How can they say they want to be Olubadan? Who is going to sign for them? All the members of the council will not sign for whoever they (Seriki Line) propose. Who is going to sign for them?
“The governor will not even listen to them. Whoever we present to be Olubadan as kingmakers, the governor is going to follow. Are they going to sign for themselves? They are not part of our meeting. We have never had any meeting with them. They have not been promoted.
“What they should do, they should do it right away in time. They did not ask Olubadan before he was late to promote them. So, there is nobody competent so far to lay claim (from the Seriki Line).”
He maintained that the seat is already occupied and that there is no vacancy in the succession ladder.
“Well, we have filled the vacancies. There is no existing vacancy. Where are they going to come in? At the moment, the only person competent to come in would have been Seriki and there is none. This Chief Oyediji, claiming he wants to be Olubadan is only the Osi Seriki. He has not been promoted,” Ajibola said.
“He should apply to Olubadan to promote him first, before he starts arguing. He has no locus. The governor knows the right thing. He won’t listen.”
Meanwhile, the Head of the acclaimed line, Chief Adebayo Oyediji and five others yesterday filed a motion seeking an order compelling the government and the Olubadan-In-Council to install Oyediji as the Olubadan.
The 89-year old Oyediji and others based their prayer on a 1989 Supreme Court judgment, which ordered the recognition of the Seriki as the third line to produce the Olubadan.
According to a motion filed by their lawyer, A.G. Adeniran, before the Oyo state Chief Judge, Justice Mukthar Abimbola, the Olubadan-in-Council had since 1989 when the Seriki line obtained a Supreme Court judgment in their favour, denied them the opportunity of being admitted into the Olubadan line.