You can’t remove me, Olubadan tells obas

The Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, yesterday said the purported threat of 21 Ibadan kings to recommend him for removal is an affront to indigenes.

The monarch described the 21 kings as entertainers of the year, even as he said they  lacked the powers to unseat him.

A statement yesterday in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, by the Director of Media and Public Affairs to the Olubadan, Mr Adeola Oloko, said the Oba-in-Council was unknown to Oyo State Chieftaincy Laws.

It wondered how a group of educated individuals, as the embattled obas, could resort to what it called an illegality by commenting on a matter already in court.

Hearing continues tomorrow at the Oyo State High Court in Ibadan in a suit filed by the Olubadan against the government on the controversial chieftaincy review.

Oba Adetunji, who has pleaded with the court to take judicious notice of the defendants’ persistent contempt of court in the matter, averred that if a scapegoat is not made of at least one or two culprits, there will be no end to the offence.

On the issue by the Oba-in-Council, the Olubadan said the council, comprising high chiefs and Olubadan only, is only an advisory body with no force of law, customs and traditions backing it.

The statement said: “In the same vein, the baales, who the embattled high chiefs have added to themselves to become 21, are not members of Olubadan-in-Council and, therefore, should not be dressed in borrowed robe as they have no power whatsoever over their lord.”

According to Oba Adetunji, as the prescribed and appointing authority, he can promote and/or peg the promotion of a high chief.

But the Olubadan said he did not contemplate any such decision as he did not see himself as an absolute monarch.

He said there was no time the embattled high chiefs were barred from attending palace activities, adding that they shunned palace invitations in their alleged desperate rush for multiple crowns and cheap royalty.

Oba Adetunji expressed delight that despite their absence from palace activities, he had been exercising his duties without let or hindrance.

The Olubadan said even when the obas were being harassed and molested in the streets and called unprintable names, he tried to calm frayed nerves to guarantee their safety and security by going to court to quell tension.

He added that as the Yoruba proverb says the okra can never outgrow its reaper, a high chief cannot outgrow the king by threatening to recommend his removal.

Oba Adetunji said: “By custom and tradition, no Olubadan has been recommended for removal from office by any high chief or group of high chiefs at any time. My own reign will not be an exception. At least, we have received applications from families of about four of the embattled high chiefs, asking for their immediate replacement.

“But, like a prodigal son, we hope that they would sooner than later renounce the unrecognised crowns and return to the warm embrace of their father as the palace door is perpetually open.

“The high chiefs are hereby advised to emulate high chiefs in other places, who are not wearing crowns but still earn respect of their people for peace and progress to reign supreme in the land.”