Following the deposition notice given to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji, by 21 Ibadan new kings, SaturdayVanguard went round the city to find out how the residents of the sprawling city received the news.
While some expressed surprise at the turn of events, some justified the move by the new kings while others preferred that the matter be settled amicably.
As a result of the sensitive nature of the issue, several people who reacted pleaded anonymity while others only gave their first names.
At Popoyemoja where the Olubadan of Ibadan lives, many of them tongue-lashed the new kings saying nobody will remove the king.
Rasheed, a trader said, “the action of the new kings is a big surprise. For them to have gone to that level, it means they have the backing of the state government. That will be too bad. What is it that they cannot sit down and discuss. I think it has got to a point that both sides should shift grounds for peace to reign”.
In her own views, Jumoke, a 37 year old grocer, argued that the kings went too far in what they did. “I don’t think threat of deposition is the next thing. Have they explored all the necessary solutions? If they want the matter to be settled, it is possible. I will appeal to the Olubadan to embrace the new kings so that peace can reign in the city. But, let all of us realise that we are all writing our parts of history”, she said.
At Abebi, Oniyanrin areas of the city, their reactions to the notice were in form of pleas to all the warring parties especially the Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
Mrs Sakirat, a teacher appealed to the governor to use his wisdom to settle the issue saying the consequence may be more serious than what can be imagined.
“The governor should use whatever means to ensure the peace of the city is not breached. It is better to curb it now before it claims casualties.
I heard it on radio that some traditional rulers have come to plead with Olubadan. I think as our father, he should accept the issue as it is since it has not diminished his own status as a paramount ruler. It is near impossibility to reverse the issue.” Elder Toluwalase, a cleric, said caution should be adopted to avoid unnecessary bloodshed and breakdown of law and order.
A community leader, (Baale) in Ido Local Government alleged that the monarch should have heeded the warning by the kings that his wives should stay away from traditional council meeting since it is not the norm.
According to him, “in most places in Yoruba land, it is unheard of that the queens would be interfering with the decision of the council of Obas. It is an insult to the king and other chiefs. He should have listened to the high chiefs when they called his attention to it. With the way things are now, it is difficult for both parties to relate again. Even legal step already taken will not have much impact. Whichever way it goes, the relationship can’t be that cordial again”.
“During my own installation, I nearly backed out because of the financial implications. It was too much for me. I just knew that bubble would burst one day. I think, things are no longer what they used to be. Before, there was no way you could know what was happening within the Olubadan-in-council. They were so united. But, now things have fallen apart”, he said.
The Ibadan Council of Obas on Monday issued a 21-day deposition notice to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, accusing him of acts unbecoming of his office as the paramount ruler of the ancient town. The monarch, in his reaction however described the threat to recommend him for removal as an affront to the people of Ibadan.
A statement issued on Tuesday in Ibadan by the monarch’s spokesman, Mr Adeola Oloko, quoted him as saying that the Oba-in-Council was unknown to the Oyo State Chieftaincy Laws.
Adetunji expressed surprise that a group of educated individuals such as the high chiefs could resort to illegality by commenting on a matter before the court.
The Olubadan argued that the Oba-in-Council, which comprises high chiefs and the Olubadan, remains an advisory council with no force of law, customs and traditions backing it.
He said that the baales whom the high chiefs have added to themselves to become 21 were also not members of the Olubadan-in-Council.
The traditional ruler said as the prescribed and appointing authority, he could promote or peg the promotion of an high chief as long as he wishes.
He, however, added that he did not contemplate any such decision as he does not see himself as an absolute monarch