Following the death of Oba Saliu Adetunji, the Ibadan high chiefs on Wednesday have announced Lekan Balogun as the Olubadan designate.
The decision to anounce Lekan Balogun was made at a meeting held in Mapo hall, Ibadan, Oyo state capital, the 10 high chiefs said there is no court case stopping them from appointing the new Olubadan.
According to them, the administration of the late Abiola Ajimobi did not tamper with the Ibadan chieftaincy declaration of 1957 by elevating them from high chiefs to kings.
Speaking at the meeting, Balogun said: “I enjoin you all to discard with all unfounded rumours and insinuations capable of disturbing the peace of Ibadanland, irrespective of the quarter from which such fake news emanate.
“In line with the traditional practice of Ibadanland when an occasion like this arises, the Olubadan-in-Council has been up and doing liaising with the Oyo state government to ensure that every necessary step to sustain the peace of the city is strictly followed.”
Although Balogun is next in line as the most senior high chief, Michael Lana, the former attorney-general of Oyo, had written Seyi Makinde, the state governor, asking him not to recognise Balogun.
He had argued that since Balogun and other high chiefs in the council, except Rashidi Ladoja, had been crowned kings by the late Ajimobi, it is illegal to elevate any of them to the throne of Olubadan.
Ladoja, the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland and former governor of Oyo state, was absent at the meeting of the high chiefs.
One of Ladoja’s aides, who spoke to TheCable on the condition of anonymity, said his principal did not attend the meeting because it was called by high chiefs elevated by Ajimobi.
“He could not have been at the meeting. Those who met are chiefs that were crowned by Ajimobi. Ladoja refused to be crowned so he is not one of them. That was not a meeting of the Olubadan-in-Council,” he said.