By Adebayo Waheed, Ibadan
The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji has described the 21-ultimatum given to him by the Ibadan Traditional Council as an affront to the people of Ibadan land, saying they lacked the powers to dethrone him.
The monarchs in a statement recalled that the 21 newly crowned Ibadan kings had threatened to oust the Olubadan if he refuses to accept the new system which made them obas in a mass coronation presided over by Governor Abiola Ajimobi in August.
But the Olubadan described the threat as an end of the year entertainment programme.
Olubadan spokesman, Adeola Oloko, stated that the so-called Oba-in-Council was unknown to the Oyo State Chieftaincy Laws.
He contended that the council made up of the high chiefs and the Olubadan is basically an advisory council with no force of law, customs and traditions backing it.
He explained further that the baale whom the high chiefs added to themselves to become His Royal Majesties and His Royal Highnesses, are not members of Olubadan-in-Council and “therefore should not be dressed in borrowed robe, as they have no power whatsoever over their lord”.
He said that as the prescribed and appointing authority, he can promote or peg the promotion of an high chief as long as he wishes but added that he did not contemplate any such decision as he does not see himself as an absolute monarch .
Adetunji contended further that there was no time that the embattled high chiefs were barred from attending palace activities, adding that they were the ones who spurned palace invitation in their “desperate rush for multiple crowns and cheap royalties”.
He expressed delight that despite their absence from official palace activities, the Olubadan had been exercising his duties without any hindrance.
According to him, even when they were being harassed and molested in the streets and called unprintable names, he had been trying his best to calm down frayed nerves in order to guarantee their safety and security by going to court to diffuse tension.
Oba Adetunji stated that an high chief can’t outgrow the king by threatening to recommend him for removal.
“By custom and tradition, no Olubadan has been recommended for removal from office by any high chief or group of high chiefs at any time and my own reign will not be an exception.
“At least, we have received applications from families of about four of the embattled high chiefs asking for their immediate replacement. But, like a prodigal son, we hope that they would sooner than later renounce the unrecognized crowns and return to the warm embrace of their father as the palace door is perpetually open.
“The high chiefs are hereby advised to emulate high chiefs in other places, who are not wearing crowns but still earn respect of their people for peace and progress to reign supreme in the land”, he added.
The first class monarch also maintained that the so-called Oba-in-Council was unknown to the Oyo State Chieftaincy Laws, wondering how a group of educated individuals such as the embattled high chiefs could resort to illegality by commenting on a matter before the court.
He however urged the obas not to entertain fears yet, as their seats as high chiefs would not be declared vacant in the absence of court judgment