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10 of 11 Kingmakers in Ibadan Elect Lekan Balogun as the Next Olubadan

Ten of the 11 Council-in-Chiefs of Ibadanland have appointed Senator Lekan Balogun as the next Olubadan of Ibadan following the demise of Oba Saliu Adetunji. King Adetunji was the 41st Olubadan of Ibadan and died on Sunday at the age of 93 years following a brief illness.

Led by High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola, the kingmakers said they unanimously approve the nomination of Lekan Balogun as the highest chieftain in the land and the next successor to Ibadan throne. Balogun is the Otun Balogun of Ibadanland.

Ajibola said the royal succession in Ibadan is well-laid out and that tradition has been followed in choosing Balogun, the Otun Balogun of Ibadanland and a former senator. He said Balogun will be announced as the next Olubadan after the mourning period for Adetunji is completed.

The Olubadan-in-Council met at Mapo Hall on Wednesday where the Osi Olubadan, former senator and former Gov. Rasheed Adewolu Ladoja was absent. An aide to Ladoja said his principal was absent at the meeting because it was called by high chiefs who were elevated into crowned kings by former Gov. Abiola Ajimobi in 2017.

All the high chiefs and major Baales were crowned as kings and empowered to wear beaded crowns and coronets by Ajimobi, but Ladoja refused to be one of them and was not crowned king. Ladoja’s aide said he was not at the meeting because he was not among those crowned as kings.

“He could not have been at the meeting,” the aide said. “Those who met are chiefs that were crowned by Ajimobi. Ladoja refused to be crowned so he is not one of them. That was not a meeting of the Olubadan-in-Council.”

High Chief Ajibola argued that Ajimobi was clear when elevating chiefs as kings: that he was not tampering with the chieftaincy declaration of 1957 which outlined the traditional procedures for electing kings and succeeding the Olubadan. He said the rules for assuming the Ibadan throne of Olubadan remains intact and sacrosanct despite the crowning of some obas in the land.

However, former Attorney-General of Oyo State, Michael Lana, wrote a petition to Gov. Seyi Makinde on Tuesday warning him to not endorse Balogun or anyone as Olubadan-elect until the matter is settled in court. According to Lana, most of the High Chiefs constituting the Olubadan-in-Council have been crowned as kings by Ajimobi and they cannot hope to be crowned as Olubadan again the second time.

The Olubadan-elect, Lekan Balogun, claimed to be the next king of Ibadanland and that every traditional procedure has been followed. “In line with the traditional practice of Ibadanland when an occasion like this arises, the Olubadan-in-Council has been up and doing liaising with the Oyo state government to ensure that every necessary step to sustain the peace of the city is strictly followed,” he stated.

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