The face-off between the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, and his high chiefs deepened on Tuesday with the first class monarch ordering them to remove their “ illegal crowns.’’
The Olubadan said that he had no objection to the return of his high chiefs to the palace “ once they remove their illegal crowns.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the high chiefs had on Monday accused the Olubadan of running a “ one-man-show’’ and disregarding the Olubadan-in-Council.
The chiefs also accused the monarch of appointing Mogajis (family heads) and Baales (village heads) without consulting the council.
One of the members of the Olubadan-in-Council and Otun Olubadan, Lekan Balogun, while speaking at a meeting of the council at Mapo Hall in Ibadan said the actions of the Olubadan called for urgent attention to forestall crisis.
But Adetunji said in a statement issued on Tuesday in Ibadan by his media aide, Adeola Oloko, that he was not responsible in the first instance for the desertion of the palace by the high chiefs.
The Olubadan urged the high chiefs to apologise to the people of Ibadanland in particular and the Yoruba people in general for “ undermining our custom and tradition.’’
According to him, there is nowhere in Yorubaland where two kings sit inside a palace.
“Apart from violating our customs and tradition, there is no law that backs the wearing of illegal crowns in Ibadanland,’’ Adetunji said.
He recalled that he had expected the high chiefs to comply with the Oyo State High Court judgment which declared the state government reform that produced the crowned chiefs as illegal, null, void and of no effect.
Adetunji stated that contrary to the allegation of the high chiefs, he had done no wrong nor acted illegally at any time.
According to him, Section 22 (2) of the Chiefs Law, Cap 28 Law of Oyo State 2000 makes the Olubadan the prescribed and consenting authority on all chieftaincy matters in Ibadanland.
The monarch argued that the Olubadan-in-Council was merely an advisory body without any power.