The simmering royal battle among first class traditional rulers in Oyo State over a permanent chairmanship position of the State Council of Obas persists as the kingpins trade tackle.
LEADERSHIP gathered that almost a year after the amendment of the former Act that conferred the status of permanent chairman of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs on the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, a new Act approving the rotation of the office has set the monarchs on collision course that may threaten the existing peace and unity among the monarchs.
Our correspondent exclusively gathered that the battle for supremacy is more pronounced among the Alaafin of Oyo, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana and the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi.
Investigation revealed that the Olugbon of Orile Igbon, Oba Samuel Adegboyega Osunbade, who was also a permanent vice-chairman of the state Council of Obas has pitched tent with the Alaafin.
The new development that rotates the position was sequel to the amendment to the Chieftaincy Act by the administration of former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, who was believed to have influenced the new Act to hit back at the Alaafin over political disagreement.
The Alaafin has for long enjoyed the position as permanent chairman but the tide changed when he fell out with Alao-Akala and allegedly catalysed his defeat at the poll making the governor and many lawmakers to lose out during the last elections.
In order to take his pound of flesh on Alaafin, the Act making him a permanent chairman was amended and assented to by Alao-Akala, which saw the Olubadan of Ibadan Iland emerging the next chairman and will serve in that capacity for four years with the Soun of Ogbomoso stepping in for another four years in office.
Findings also revealed that the Alaafin of Oyo recently boycotted the inaugural meeting of the council, the first to be held when Chief Abiola Ajimobi became the state governor and which was presided over by the new chairman, the Olubadan of Ibadan.
The Onipetu of Ijeru, Oba Sunday Oyediran who has a soft spot for Alaafin of Oyo caused a stir during the inaugural meeting presided over by the Olubadan when he challenged the Olubadan for allowing the newsmen to be present at the deliberation of the Council. After a prolonged verbal war, the Olubadan who accused Oba Oyediran of being an agent of Alaafin, was persuaded by high ranking Ibadan Chiefs including High Chief Omowale Kuye and Senator Lekan Balogun to let reporters leave the meeting.
Oba Adeyemi has since gone to the court to reclaim his old position, though Olubadan has declared that there has been no court ruling or order preventing him from being the chairman for the next four years.
The Olubadan added, “While it is true that the Alaafin of Oyo is in court to challenge this law, it is also true that this law is still in force despite the recent unlawful suspension of the council’s sitting by the incumbent administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi as there is no court ruling or order suspending the sitting”.
The state government through its commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters declined comment on the conflict. All the chiefs and monarchs in the zone declined to comment on the matter adding that it would soon be resolved by the court of law.