Ajimobi threatens Olubadan-in-council over promotion

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Governor Ajimobi threatens Olubadan-in-council over promotion

In what seems like an unusual development, Oyo state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, is on a war path with the Olubadan-in-council. This development is in connection with the promotion of Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Senator Lekan Balogun and seven other high chiefs as reported by IBPulse. The governor is asking for the reversal of the promotion and is threatening sanctions if the council fails to obey his directive. Ghen ghen!!!

This simply means the governor is set for a face-off with the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade 1 who approved the installment.

The elevated high chiefs are High Chief Saliu A.O. Adetunji, who was promoted from Otun Balogun to Balogun of Ibadanland; High Chief Sen. Lekan Balogun, formerly the Osi Olubadan now installed as the Otun Olubadan; High Chief Akinloye Olakulehin who moved from the Osi Balogun to the Otun Balogun rank; High Chief Senator Rashidi Ladoja was promoted from Ashipa Olubadan to Osi Olubadan and High Chief Dr Olufemi Olaifa who was also promoted from Ashipa Balogun to Osi Balogun of Ibadanland.

Others are High Chief Sir Eddy Oyewole who was the Ekerin Olubadan now the Ashipa Olubadan of Ibadanland; High Chief Tajudeen Abimbola formerly the Ekerin Balogun now Ashipa Balogun of Ibadan; High Chief Kola Daisi who was moved from the Ekarun Olubadan to the Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadanland and High Chief Solomom A. Adabale, who was promoted from the Ekarun Balogun to the Ekerin Balogun of Ibadanland.

The position of the Oyo state government on these promotions is contained in a statement entitled: “The Illegal Elevation of Nine High Chiefs in Ibadanland: The Position of the Oyo State Government”

The state government in the statement is ordering an immediate reversal claiming the action was taken in violation of the relevant chieftaincy laws. The statement was signed by the Director of Chieftaincy Matters at the state Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Zaccheaus Jayeola. According to the statement, the installments were done without the ‘mandatory’ approval of the government.

The state government said it observed with dismay and utter disappointment the recent ‘elevation’ of nine Ibadan High Chiefs by the Olubadan-in-Council without the mandatory approval of the Government of Oyo State. Government, as required under the Law, stated its position on the procedures for the elevation in its Public Service Announcement of 31st December 2015 and its letter to the Olubadan-in-council.The goernment claims its letter was duly acknowledged by the Olubadan’s Private secretary.

Here is what the government said”

It is to be noted for the avoidance of doubt that since the inception of the present administration, Government has resisted, as a matter of policy, any attempt to be lured into religious, chieftaincy and labour union leadership and other contentious issues. This is in order to maintain its neutrality, ensure fairness, justice and respect for the rule of law.

Government will always uphold the sanctity of the rule of law and would neither encourage nor condone any tradition or peculiar culture of illegality, impunity, disregard and/or disrespect to constituted authority. Instead, it has concentrated on its avowed mission on the peace, safety of lives and property, security, welfare and empowerment of the people, infrastructural development, employment generation and urban renewal, among others, to make life more abundant for the teeming populace of the State.

Oyo state government is claiming that it suspects and believes that the elevation could not have received the blessing of the Olubadan of Ibadanland.

“He is reputed to be a forthright and foremost traditional ruler with an enviable track record of achievements and a firm believer in due process as well as a respecter of the rule of law,” it stated.

“It is for this same reason that the Olubadan of Ibadanland expectedly wrote an earlier letter requesting the Governor’s due approval for the elevation of the nine (9) High Chiefs in accordance with the provisions of Section 14(2) of the Oyo State Chiefs Law.”

“As a firm believer in the sacredness of tradition, His Royal Majesty had earlier cautioned and warned against politicising the Olubadan chieftaincy institution.

“Otherwise, what could have been the reason behind the hasty elevation without observing due process, which Government is duly complying with?”

While the Government is claiming it does not have any objection to the proposed elevation nor its beneficiaries, it said it is insisting on due process and lawful procedure which had not been followed in the past.

The state government added: “The appointment and or elevation of deserving persons into the Stool of Part II Chieftaincies can only be made on the approval of His Excellency, the Governor as prescribed by the provision of Chiefs Laws, Cap 28 Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000, whilst the Olubadan is the consenting authority.

“On the receipt of the application for the elevation of the Chiefs, His Excellency, the Governor, applying Section 14(2) of the Chiefs Law, referred their names for the mandatory security checks by the Department of Security Services and mandated the candidates to, on their own, provide their certificates of medical status from a Government secondary health institution.

“The status of the due process being carried out by Government was conveyed to the Olubadan via the Ibadan South East Local Government which was duly acknowledged by the Olubadan’s Private Secretary, in addition to the Government’s Public Service Announcement of Thursday, 31/12/15 relaying same.”

Legal side of the matter

According to the state government, Sections 21 and 26 of the Chiefs Laws stipulate relevant sanctions against whoever contravenes the provisions of the Law.

“Apparently, the actions taken on the elevation of the chiefs as widely publicized is illegal. Moreso, when the Olubadan as the consenting authority had already commenced the due process by seeking the approval of the Governor for the appointment/elevation as prescribed by Law.”

The ‘Ghen Ghen’ order

Here is how the state government issued the reversal order:

“Consequently, Government directs that the organisers and the beneficiaries to reverse the purported elevation within 48 hours of this publication, failing which appropriate sanctions will be invoked under sections 21 and 26 of the Chiefs Laws, Cap 28, Laws of Oyo State, 2000. The case of Ashekoya vs. Olawumi (1962) 1 All NLR 125 is instructive”

Response

Reacting to insinuations that the state government may come after the beneficiaries of the promotion since the government did not give its approval, the newly-installed Osi Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Dr Olufemi Olaifa told newsmen that presentation of security and health certificates was alien to the culture and tradition of the town.

He added that the council was not aware of the letter by the state government directing that the Chiefs should submit themselves to security and health check as well as its December 31 media statement publicizing the directive.

This is the moment where I will grab popcorn and watch as the events unfold.

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