Ibadan chieftaincy: Olunloyo, Bolanle Awe, Oyebola call for review

Ibadan chieftaincy: Olunloyo, Bolanle Awe, Oyebola call for review

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 10:41 pm


  The late Olubadan, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade

The late Olubadan, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade

GBENRO ADESINA/IBADAN

Eminent Nigerians and scholars today called for an urgent review of the Ibadan chieftaincy tradition to encourage younger, educated and influential men to ascend the exalted throne of the Olubadan of Ibadanland.

The eminent Nigerians made this call at the Trenchard Hall of the University of Ibadan (UI) at a symposium organised by the Oyo State Government in continuation of a week-long activities for the funeral of the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I.

At the beginning of this year, Governor Abiola Ajimobi strongly advocated a review of the Ibadan chieftaincy tradition to pave way for the enthronement of younger Ibadan indigenes to be Olubadan.

At the symposium, a former Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Ismael Olalekan Alli, who represented the state governor said the symposium was put together to celebrate the late Olubadan.

Prof Bolanle Awe

Prof Bolanle Awe

The event, which has “Issues in Ibadan Traditional Chieftaincy System” as central theme was chaired by Emeritus Prof. Olu Akinkugbe had Prof. Adedotun Ogundeji and a senior chief in the city speaking on the topic, life and times of the late monarch.

Those who spoke in favour of the review of the Ibadan traditional chieftaincy system include a former Governor of the old Oyo State, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo; a former Editor of the defunct Daily Times, Chief Areoye Oyebola; and a renowned academic, Prof. Bolanle Awe.

Despite its touted uniqueness, Awe said that the Olubadan traditional chieftaincy needs to be re-jigged to encourage younger men to become Olubadan adding, “But I want to say that reform should take into cognizance the Iyalode line in order to take care of women. Women should not be relegated.”

Oyebola, who said he had close relationship with four Olubadans, noted that the Olubadan chieftaincy system was fraught with complexities that have made it impossible for any Olubadan to reign for too long.

Dr. Omololu Olunloyo

Dr. Omololu Olunloyo

He said it was not in the best interest of modern Ibadan city for a prospective Olubadan to wait for more than 35 years after becoming a Mogaji before becoming an Olubadan, since they must climb the 23 promotional steps.

According to him, “A situation where you have more than 200 Mogajis waiting in line to become Olubadan and to make the matter worse majority of these Mogajis are not educated and competent enough to rule over a big city like Ibadan calls for a review. Some don’t have the means and knowledge. I want to call for a review that will make it impossible for such people to become Olubadan. What I can advise the Olubadan-in-council to do is to assess the current Mogajis and separate those who are not competent to become Olubadan. Make them advisers to the Olubadan and remove them from the chieftaincy lines. Baales should henceforth nominate young, educated and successful men of between 35 and 40 years to become Mogaji. To wait for 35 years before becoming Olubadan and reign for few years is not in our best interest.”

High Chief  Saliu A. O Adetunji: May soon be crowned Olubadan

High Chief Saliu A. O Adetunji: May soon be crowned Olubadan

On his part, Olunnloyo said that the Olubadan chieftaincy tradition, Chiefs Law and Subsidiary Laws are replete with contradictions and obstacles that needed urgent review in order to make ascension to the Olubadan throne problem-free.

Olunloyo insisted that the Olubadan chieftaincy promotion is not without rancour as widely believed, given the contention by the Seriki and Iyalode chieftaincy lines to be accorded due recognition.

He said, “No government can legislate on the issue of traditional chieftaincy because of the principle of separation of powers. There are six obstacles in the way of an Olubadan until the laws are reviewed. Some of these obstacles are in the Chiefs Laws and some are in the Subsidiary Law. The system is semi-promotional. There was this Akinyo crisis when the late Oba Akinyele wanted to become Olubadan. In fact what the law even says is that the Olubadan-in-council can choose from the four most senior chiefs in any line, not necessarily the most senior. Something must be done to reduce the lines and the rung of the ladder. We also need to remove all obstacles in the chiefs law. The current Olubadan-designate is qualified to ascend the throne. The Supreme Court judgment the Seriki line is relying upon to stop him is an unenforceable law, as Chief Afe Babalola will say.”

Despite its touted uniqueness, Awe said that the Olubadan traditional chieftaincy needs to be re-jigged to encourage younger men to become Olubadan adding, “But I want to say that reform should take into cognizance the Iyalode line in order to take care of women. Women should not be relegated.”

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