Olubadan of Ibadanland Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji has, after 26 months, welcomed his estranged high chiefs and members of the Olubadan-in-Council back into his palace following a reconciliation move to end their rift.
The traditional ruler’s condition that if the high chiefs would return to the palace, they must not come with their crowns, was obeyed.
In a statement issued and signed by the Olubadan Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Adeola Oloko, Oba Adetunji said there was abundant evidence that the returning high chiefs were being trapped from where they went.
The last time the Olubadan-in-Council meeting was held was in May 2017.
Members of the reconciliation team – Otun Olubadan Lekan Balogun, Osi Olubadan Rasidi Ladoja and Ekarun Olubadan Amidu Ajibade – arrived at the palace at about 12.15p.m. in separate vehicles.
About 20 minutes later, the Olubadan, who was dressed in blue ofi and white crown and half shoe to match, received them with open arms amid songs, drum beat and trumpet sound. He danced and sat on the throne and the high chiefs paid homage.
They later went into a closed door meeting, which lasted for about 40 minutes after which reporters and camera men were called in.
It was believed that a plea for another all-inclusive meeting involving other chiefs, who were absent was made before the royal father.
Olubadan was said to have agreed to convene the meeting on Monday, August 19, 2019, after the Eid-el-Kabir festival.
Although, the details of the meeting remained sketchy, the Otun Olubadan, who allegedly spoke at the meeting, called on the paramount ruler to summon the meeting of Olubadan-in-Council to resolve the crisis within.
The first class monarch, who thanked the returning high chiefs for coming, noted that his support for reconciliation was premised on the need for unity, progress and solidarity in Ibadan.
He told the returning high chiefs that he was all out to protect their interest all along, adding there was abundant evidence that they were being trapped where they went. He, however, added that time would tell.
Trouble started between the Olubadan and his high chiefs when the state government under Governor Abiola Ajimobi upgraded and approved the high chiefs as beaded crowns and coronets wearing obas alongside 38 others across the state.
It followed government’s review of the 1957 state chieftaincy laws.
The government said the approval was in line with the exercise of powers conferred on the governor by Section 28(1) of the Chiefs Law Cap 28, Vol. 1 Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria.
According to the government, 26 Obas would wear beaded crowns based on the approval and the remaining 22 would wear coronets.
Though , the government claimed its decision was taken after due consultation with members of the state’s Council of Obas and Chiefs, both the Olubadan and High Chief Ladoja distanced themselves from the decision.
They described it as illegal and unlawful and challenged the action in the court.