Prominent politicians and Ibadan high chiefs, Senator Lekan Balogun and Rashidi Ladoja have moved closer to the Olubadan throne following their installation as Otun Olubadan and Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland respectively. But the installation wasn’t without drama.
The state government led by Governor Abiola Ajimobi reportedly asked both high chiefs to produce medical certificate as well as undergo security screening before they were elevated to their current respective status – something the chiefs described as a prerogative power of the Olubadan of Ibadan.
Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, Senator Ladoja, while speaking with newsmen at his Ondo residence, Bodija, Ibadan, said he was not aware of the said letter but appealed for calm over the matter.
Suing for peace, the former governor of Oyo State said: “I don’t act on rumour. Nevertheless, such directive was never part of the Ibadan system. I think we should just allow the sleeping dog to lie.
“It is the Olubadan that decides whom he wants to install as chief. It is the prerogative of the Olubadan, so I am not aware of any directive stopping the elevation. What I know is that I was invited by the Olubadan-in-Council for an elevation,” Ladoja said.
In his reaction, Senator Lekan Balogun said: “I have been a chief since 1989. For anybody to now say that my medical certificate is needed is strange. As far as I know, they said they want to reform Ibadan chieftaincy title. It is already self-reforming.
“The system you meet is a function of the town’s history. It has not become part of the requirement and so it is not meant to be obeyed now. The governor is proposing reformation, but it has not become law. If he says we should submit medical certificate, for what purpose would that be for a chief who has been in line for over 30 years?”
Those promoted also included High Chief Saliu A.O. Adetunji, formerly the Otun Balogun, now the Balogun of Ibadan land; High Chief Senator Lekan Balogun, the former Osi Olubadan, promoted to the rank of the Otun Olubadan; High Chief Akinloye Owolabi Olakulehin (Osi Balogun), now the Otun Balogun; High Chief Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, promoted from Ashipa Olubadan to the rank of the Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land and High Chief (Dr) Olufemi Olaifa, who was promoted from Ashipa Balogun to Osi Balogun of Ibadanland.