Olubadan’s palace to shift to the city’s interior

Olubadan’s palace to shift to the city’s interior

Thursday, January 21, 2016 1:37 pm


Balogun Saliu Adetunji's house (three-storey building, right)

Balogun Saliu Adetunji’s house (three-storey building, right)

GBENRO ADESINA/IBADAN

As Ibadan and the entire Nigeria mourn the demise of the 40th Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade 1, the irony is that life goes on for the family of the Olubadan designate, Balogun Saliu Adetunji, 88, who hails from Alusekere Compound in Popoyemoja.

It may seem cruel that one section of Ibadan city is mourning, while another is rejoicing as a result of the elevation of Adetunji who will soon be officially installed as the 41th Olubadan. However, the customs and traditions of Ibadanland are such that the new monarch is already known due to the age succession pattern of the land. With this, the individual starts from being installed as Mogaji of a family and climbs about 22 ladders to the apex, which is the Olubadan.

Balogun Saliu Adetunji,

Balogun Saliu Adetunji,

One interesting phenomenon in the ancient city is that despite the fact that the Olubadan’s palace is sited at Oja’ba Area near the ancient Mapo Hall, it is the usual practice that the Olubadans rule from their personal residences.

The recently demised Olubadan, Oba Odugade, ruled from his Monatan palace, located in a relatively well laid out area. The presence of the palace within the vicinity brought pomp and pageantry of royalty to the area as people from all walks of life came to pay homage or consult with the monarch. In contrast, however, the incoming Olubadan happens to have his residence in one of the interiors of the city, Popoyemoja, very close to Oja’ba. It is like a case of two cities in one!

Balogun Saliu Adetunji's neigbourhood

Balogun Saliu Adetunji’s neigbourhood

When the magazine visited the area, the vicinity was scary as it is littered with miscreants and hoodlums openly smoking Indian hemp and drinking alcoholic beverages. In fact, some of them, unable to hide their joy that someone from within the area is about to become the Olubadan, broke bottles on the floor making innocent bystanders to scramble for safety as they were not sure if things would not turn violent and bloody. It was bedlam waiting to happen!

Apart from the presence of miscreants, the area is also not much to write about as filth, dirty open gutters and open sewages characterise it. The houses there are ancient with some of them dilapidated, spotting rusty corrugated roofs which perhaps influenced J .P Clark’s poem, entitled “Ibadan”.

When the magazine visited the area, the vicinity was scary as it is littered with miscreants and hoodlums openly smoking Indian hemp and drinking alcoholic beverages. In fact, some of them, unable to hide their joy that someone from within the area is about to become the Olubadan, broke bottles on the floor making innocent bystanders to scramble for safety as they were not sure if things would not turn violent and bloody. It was bedlam waiting to happen!

One of the visitors who came on a mission to rejoice with the incoming Olubadan could not hide his disgust as he muttered to himself to the hearing of everybody around about how dirty the environment is and its non conduciveness for hosting the crown.

Crowd in Balogun Saliu Adetunji's house

Crowd in Balogun Saliu Adetunji’s house

Nonetheless, activities within and outside the two-storey residence of Balogun Adetunji show the transfer of authority from the Monatan palace to the soon to become palace (Adetunji’s Popoyemoja residence). Friends, relatives and well wishers were seen flocking to the residence and a big cow was seen being slaughtered to cater for the visitors, while canopies were provided to offer shaded for the guests. A music band was also on ground to provide entertainment. Traditional drummers, entertainers and Ewi maestros were also around to entertain the guests. Security details were equally visible both within and outside the residence.

Band entertaining guests

Band entertaining guests

As at the time the magazine visited the incoming Olubadan, he was met sitting in his sitting room with his wives and crowd numbering about one hundred, choking up a place that ordinarily should not take more than twenty people. His aides were shielding him from people as those that came to felicitate with him were calling him ‘Kabiyesi’ and he responded, though without the traditional horsetail called ‘Irukere’ in his hand.

Balogun Saliu Adetunji's car parked on his street to create more  space in his compound for his guests

Balogun Saliu Adetunji’s car parked on his street to create more space in his compound for his guests

In a brief chat with the magazine, he promised to continue with the agitation for Ibadan State, stressing that its creation is a serious project that must be achieved. According to him, “Oba Odugade did everything possible within his power for the Federal Government to create Ibadan State but it is a tall dream that never came to pass. He didn’t succeed with it. I pray to Almighty God to grant us our heart’s desire which is the creation of Ibadan State. I pray Ibadan State will be created during my tenure.”

The incoming Olubadan is a successful businessman. He also has a music promoting and marketing company (Babalaje Records) which has promoted many musicians including Wasiu Ayinde (KWAM 1), Dauda Epo Akara, Tatalo Alamu, Sule Alao Malaika and several others

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