The Oyo State Government on Monday issued a 48-hour ultimatum to nine elevated chiefs in Ibadan to revert to their former status, describing their promotions by the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana, as illegal.
A statement signed by the Director, Chieftaincy Matters, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Zaccheaus Jayeola, said it was disappointed with the promotions after it requested that concerned high chiefs should first submit themselves to security and medical examinations before the Olubadan of Ibadan could elevate them as required by Chieftaincy Laws.
Their elevation was necessitated by the death of the Chief Sulaimon Omiyale, the Balogun of Ibadanland and Chief Omowale Kuye, the Otun Olubadan, in November, last year.
The deceased were next in throne to the Olubadan stool from both lines that produce the Olubadan of Ibadan land.
The nine traditional chieftaincy title holders promoted by the Olubadan of Ibadan last Friday are: High Chief Saliu A.O. Adetunji, who was promoted from Otun Balogun to Balogun of Ibadanland; High Chief Sen. Lekan Balogun, formerly the Osi Olubadan now installed as the Otun Olubadan; High Chief Akinloye Olakulehin who moved from the Osi Balogun to the Otun Balogun rank; High Chief Senator Rashidi Ladoja was promoted from Ashipa Olubadan to Osi Olubadan and High Chief Dr Olufemi Olaifa, who was also promoted from Ashipa Balogun to Osi Balogun of Ibadanland.
Others are High Chief Sir Eddy Oyewole who was the Ekerin Olubadan now the Ashipa Olubadan of Ibadanland; High Chief Tajudeen Abimbola formerly the Ekerin Balogun now Ashipa Balogun of Ibadan; High Chief Kola Daisi, who was moved from the Ekarun Olubadan to the Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadanland and High Chief Solomom A. Adabale, who was promoted from the Ekarun Balogun to the Ekerin Balogun of Ibadanland.
The government, in a statement entitled: “The Illegal Elevation of Nine High Chiefs in Ibadanland: The Position of the Oyo State Government” yesterday expressed disappointment with the January 1 elevation of the high chiefs and ordered a reversal on the grounds of violation the relevant chieftaincy laws guiding such promotions.
The statement partly read, “Government’s suspicion and ardent belief are that the recent purported elevation could not have received the blessing of our highly revered father and traditional ruler, the Olubadan of Ibadan. He is reputed to be a forthright and foremost traditional ruler with an enviable track record of achievements and a firm belief in due process as well as a respecter of the rule of law.
“Consequently, government directs that the organisers and the beneficiaries to reverse the purported elevation within 48 hours, failing which appropriate sanctions will be invoked under sections 21 and 26 of the Chiefs Laws, Cap 28, Laws of Oyo State, 2000”.
In an attempt to clarify its position on the matter, the state government said since the inception of the present administration, it had resisted, as a matter of policy, any attempt to be lured into matters that pertain to religion, chieftaincy and labour union.
“This is in order to maintain its neutrality, ensure fairness, justice and respect for the rule of law. Government will always uphold the sanctity of the rule of law and would neither encourage nor condone any tradition or peculiar culture of illegality, impunity, disregard and/or disrespect to constituted authority”, the statement said.