Olubadan: Ladoja, kingmakers end feud, to nominate Olakulehin

by Adabanija Kamorudeen

THE Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, is set to withdraw his legal action against the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde and the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, over the elevation of 10 Ibadan High Chiefs to beaded crown-wearing Obas, our reporter reliably gathered on Monday.

He will also convene a meeting of the Olubadan-in-Council for the nomination of the Olubadan-designate, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland, on Thursday.

As earlier reported by our reporter that Ladoja, in the suit filed before the State High Court in Ibadan, in July 2023, also joined the 10 Obas as defendants.

It will also be recalled that Makinde approved their elevation from the High Chiefs to Obas, following the recommendation of the late Olubadan, Oba Balogun.

Investigations by our correspondent revealed that the decision for Ladoja to withdraw the case from court and the convening of the Olubadan-in-Council meeting formed part of the resolution of a meeting that was convened by the leadership of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, in conjunction with the elders, held at Ikolaba residence of Chief Bode Amoo, on Monday.

It was further gathered that issues surrounding the enthronement of the new monarch and the reported lingering crisis among the kingmakers had been finally resolved.

Investigations by our correspondent, on Monday, revealed that apart from the uncertainty in the health condition of the Olubadan-designate, Olakulehin, which had stalled the coronation, following 21 days after the transition of Oba Balogun, Ibadan elites had successfully mounted pressure on High Chief Ladoja to withdraw the case from court, to pave way for the next Olubadan to emerge.

Until the meeting on Monday, some members of the Olubadan Advisory Council were insisting that they would not be part of any meeting that Ladoja would convene.

Going by the Ibadan chieftaincy arrangement, Olakulehin will be nominated by the next person to him in his line of Balogun, which is the Otun Balogun, Oba Ajibola, at a meeting to be convened by the most senior high chief in the other line (Otun), within 21 days of the demise of the paramount ruler.

A source privy to the meeting told our reporter that, “The aggrieved kingmakers have resolved to put the past behind and work together as one for the common interest of Ibadanland. The meeting has in attendance all the kingmakers except the Osi Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola and the Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Hamidu Ajibade Salaudeen.

“The fifth columnists have been put to shame as we have resolved all the issues surrounding the enthronement of the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland. The CCII convened the meeting which had in attendance all the kingmakers except the two of them, notable elders of the land, and present and past leaders of the CCII.

“All issues have been resolved. There is now peace and harmony among the kingmakers. The Olubadan-in-Council is now one. God has put the fifth columnists to shame. In attendance at the meeting were the Asiwaju of Ibadan, Chief Bode Amao; Prelate Ola Makinde, past Presidents-General of CCII, Chief Y.K.Akande, Chief Bayo Oyero, Chief Wale Akinwande, Chief Soladoye and a host of others. We used an internal dispute mechanism to resolve our dispute in Ibadanland.

“Notice of Thursday’s meeting to be convened by High Chief Ladoja is out. The meeting to be convened by Ladoja is in accordance with the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration.”

Meanwhile, Ladoja has signified intention to withdraw his legal action against Governor Makinde, the late Olubadan, Oba Balogun and 10 Ibadan crowned Obas.

The Obas are the Olubadan-designate and Balogun of Ibadanland, Owolabi Olakulehin; the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, Eddy Oyewole; the Otun Balogun of Ibadanland, Tajudeen Ajibola; the Osi Balogun of Ibadanland, Lateef Adebimpe; the Ashipa Olubadan, Biodun Kola-Daisi; Ashipa Balogun of Ibadanland, Kola Adegbola; the Ekerin Olubadan, Hamidu Ajibade; the Ekerin Balogun, John Dada; the Ekarun Olubadan, Muritala Adebayo Akande and the Ekarun Balogun, Abiodun Azeez.

Ladoja, who is also an Ibadan high chief, rejected the elevation and was absent from the crowning ceremony.

An informed source further told our reporter that terms of settlement were currently being drawn for the withdrawal of the case by Ladoja in court.

A credible source said, “You know four out of nine Ibadan crowned Obas visited the Olubadan-designate, Baba Olakulehin, last Friday, after which they addressed media that the coronation would hold very soon. Another meeting was fixed for today (Monday) at Baba Bode Amao’s residence at Agodi Government Reserved Area in Ibadan North Local Government Area of the state.

“I cannot give you the details of how many Obas were in the meeting because I’ve not gotten any information to that effect. But what I know is that there is serious pressure on Ladoja to withdraw the case in court.

“Another dimension is that the mode of settlement (out-of-court) is ongoing right now. Some of these Obas are in support, while others are against it. Baba Ladoja is willing to withdraw the case and the terms of settlement are currently being drawn for the withdrawal of the case.

“Another aspect is that how all of them will be on a roundtable, including the Olubadan-designate to discuss because he is in that picture. And even the governor, Makinde, who was sued alongside the Obas. They all must sit down together and resolve this matter once and for all.”

Our source also reported that Ladoja had, during an interactive session with journalists in his Bodija residence at Ondo Street in Ibadan, during the 2023 Eid-El-Fitr celebration, said he was only interested in the Olubadan crown and not any other crown.

He said, “I’m not interested in any other crown apart from that of Olubadan of Ibadanland. And every one of us knows that it’s God that chooses Oba in Ibadan.”

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