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OLUBADAN STOOL: Ex Nigerian governor, high chiefs begin frenzied talks to avert chieftain war



High chiefs in one of Africa’s largest and historical city, Ibadan, appear to be racing against time to avert what may be an intractable conflict over who emerges as the next Olubadan, traditional monarch of the city capital of Oyo, Nigeria.

It’s a non hereditary throne, based on rotation but ranked as paramount in the state and Nigeria.

But in the midst of the unfolding events surrounding the vacant position of Olubadan of Ibadan, a critical juncture has been reached as eminent indigenes of Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state, have engaged in discussions with former governor Senator Rasidi Adewolu Ladoja (pictured) to address the crisis brewing between him and certain High Chiefs who have ascended to the status of Obas in the ancient city.

The current impasse revolves around the contention for the revered Olubadan stool, left vacant following the passing of the 42nd Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Mahood Olalekan Balogun, at the age of 81.

Traditionally, the next in line for the Olubadan title is the Balogun of Ibadanland, Owolabi Akinloye Olakulehin.

However, the process of succession entails a meticulous procedure where Olakulehin must be nominated by the subsequent individual in his lineage at a gathering overseen by the most senior chief in the opposing lineage, the Otun Balogun Tajudeen Ajibola, during a meeting convened by the Otun Olubadan, ex Governor Ladoja.

According to the customary chieftaincy arrangement in Ibadan, the nomination and ratification of the next Olubadan are to be finalized within 21 days of the passing of the previous incumbent, with preliminary meetings leading up to the official confirmation.

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Efforts to initiate the coronation process for Olakulehin were met with resistance when other High Chiefs, now Obas, boycotted a crucial meeting at the Olubadan palace in Oja Oba Ibadan on Tuesday, 26th March, 2024.

This notable absence has since heightened tensions within the city.

In a bid to diffuse the escalating crisis, reports have surfaced of a gathering on Wednesday where prominent Ibadan indigenes implored Ladoja to help avert a potential clash.

The meeting, convened at the residence of former President of Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) Chief Bode Amao, saw the attendance of Primate Emeritus of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Primate Sunday Ola Makinde, registered Mogajis, and other influential figures from Ibadan.

The deliberations at the meeting, initiated by Primate Ola Makinde, underscore the urgency and gravity of the situation, emphasizing the need for collective action and dialogue to navigate the complexities surrounding the Olubadan succession.

As tensions simmer and uncertainties loom, the engagement of key stakeholders and community leaders remains pivotal in charting a path towards resolution and stability in Ibadan.

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