The Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, on Tuesday said the 21 Ibadan kings acted out of ignorance by threatening to recommend his (Olubadan) removal.
He stressed that despite the level of education of the high chiefs-turned-kings, they seemed to have forgotten that there were cases in court challenging their elevation by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State.
The 21 kings, who were an August 27, 2017 installed by Ajimobi, had on Monday gave 21-day ultimatum to the monarch to be of good conduct or risk being removed from the Olubadan throne.
At a press conference addressed by the 21 kings at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the leader of the group, Oba Lekan Balogun, who is also the Otun Olubadan of Ibadan land, had accused the monarch of taking unilateral decisions on behalf of the ‘Olubadan-Kings-in-Council’ and inciting the people against the state government.
But a statement signed on behalf of the Olubadan by his Director, Media and Public Affairs, Adeola Oloko, the first-class monarch said the kings’ claim exposed them as “end of the year entertainers.”
He noted that their action showed that they were feeling unsecure about their positions in the royal court after their ‘rush for multiple crowns and cheap royalties.’
While condemning the high chiefs’ attitude, the monarch called on the court to take note of their actions, noting that their utterances were equivalent of contempt of the court because they were co-defendants in the cases against their installation in court.
Hearing continues on December 13, 2017 (today) at the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan in a suit filed by the Olubadan against the Oyo State Government on the chieftaincy review.
The statement said, “The king has described the purported threat of the 21 new Ibadan kings to recommend him for removal as an affront to the people of Ibadan and end of the year entertainment programme.
“The frontline monarch, who stated that the so-called Oba-in-Council was unknown to the Oyo State Chieftaincy Laws, wondered how a group of educated individuals such as the embattled high chiefs could resort to illegality by commenting on a matter before the court.
“Oba Adetunji, who has pleaded with the court to take judicious notice of the persistent contempt of court on the matter before it by the defendants in recent times, is of the opinion that if a scapegoat is not made of at least one or two culprits, there may be no end to court contempt.”
While addressing the allegation raised by the kings against Olubadan’s unilateral decisions on key issues, the statement said that the Olubadan-in-Council was only an advisory council with no force of law, customs and traditions backing it.
“In the same vein, baales, whom the embattled high chiefs have added to themselves to become 21, are not members of the Olubadan-in-Council and therefore should not be dressed in a borrowed robe, as they have no power whatsoever over their lord.
“The prescribed and appointing authority can promote and or peg the promotion of an high chief as long as he wishes but he did not contemplate any such decision as he does not see himself as an absolute king,” said the statement.
“Oba 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 royalty. Despite their absence from official palace activities, the Olubadan has been exercising his duties without let or hindrance.
“Even when they (the 21 kings) were being harassed and molested in the city and called unprintable names, he (Olubadan) has been trying his very 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 as the Yoruba proverb says that an okro plant can never outgrow its reaper, a high chief can’t outgrow the king by threatening to recommend him for removal,” he added.
The king said that there was no history of an Olubadan that was recommended for removal by the high chiefs and he would not be the first Olubadan to be dethroned.
“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 unrecognised 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. The high chiefs should not exercise fears yet, as their seats would not be declared vacant in the absence of court verdict.” said the statement.