Nigeria: Otun Balogun’s Assessment of Olubadan-Designate’s Health Challenged by Ladoja

Nigeria: Otun Balogun’s Assessment of Olubadan-Designate’s Health Challenged by Ladoja

By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria

The Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland and former governor of Oyo State, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, raised concerns about the competence of the Otun Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola, to comment on the medical fitness of the Olubadan-designate, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin. Ladoja stated that Oba Ajibola’s opinion on the health of Oba Olakulehin was not valid, as he is not a medical professional. Ladoja also announced that the meeting of the Olubadan-in-Council, scheduled for the next day, had been rescheduled to Friday due to a public holiday.

The controversy arose when Oba Ajibola claimed on Tuesday that Oba Olakulehin was ill and unfit to rule at the moment. However, this contradicted the assessment of Oba Lateef Adebimpe, the Osi Balogun, and three other Obas who had visited Oba Olakulehin and confirmed his good health and fitness for the throne.

Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State intervened in the matter, assuring the public that there was no crisis regarding the selection of the next Olubadan. He emphasized that the due process included the nomination of the next Olubadan by the Olubadan-in-Council, which had not yet taken place. Makinde cautioned against peddling divisive tendencies and promised to make necessary decisions in the best interest of Ibadanland and Oyo State once the nomination process is complete.

Ladoja, speaking to journalists at his residence in Ibadan, emphasized that Oba Olakulehin’s nomination process would proceed regardless of Oba Ajibola’s opinion. Ladoja stated that if Oba Ajibola did not attend the Friday meeting where he was expected to nominate Olakulehin, another high chief from the Balogun line would do so. He explained that the 1957 Declaration allows for substitution and multiple nominations in such situations.

According to the Ibadan Chieftaincy arrangement, for Olakulehin to become the Olubadan, he must be nominated by the next person in his line at a meeting organized by the most senior chief of the other line.

Ladoja also addressed the reasons behind his decision to take legal action against members of the Olubadan-in-Council, stating that it was in response to threats to his kingship ambition. He clarified that his case was not about the crown but about the threats made against him.

Governor Makinde, during a courtesy visit by Muslim government representatives, reiterated that there was no crisis in the Olubadan Chieftaincy System. He urged individuals to focus on unity rather than division and assured the people of Oyo State that necessary decisions would be made in the best interest of the state.

In conclusion, the issue surrounding the health assessment of the Olubadan-designate and the nomination process for the next Olubadan remains unresolved. The meeting of the Olubadan-in-Council has been rescheduled, and further developments are expected in the coming days.

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