DESPITE the absence of an official information on the alleged plan to elevate members of the Olubadan-in-Council to Obas by Governor Seyi Makinde, chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, Professor Gbade Ojo and Barr. Mutalubi Adebayo Ojo, SAN have thrown their weights behind the planned elevation.
The duo appeared on Fresh 105.9 FM’s programme, Political Circuit, on Saturday.
Speaking during the programme, Barr. Adebayo Ojo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, said the move by Governor Makinde “is a bold and courageous one.”
Earlier, Mr. Dele Ogunsola, spokesman of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Dr. Lekan Balogun, had clarified that the impending reform was proposed by the Olubadan-in-Council in a letter it sent to the governor.
Ogunsola, who spoke through a voice recording on Impact Business Radio’s Bottomline with Anu Omorinde, stated that the palace was yet to get the response of the government.
Barr. Ojo, in his speech, said: “Sincerely, I must commend him for that courage and boldness. I pray he is able to see it through. Believe me, it is a right step in the right direction,” he said.
Ojo, a die-hard loyalist of former Governor Abiola Ajimobi, added that what Governor Makinde is trying to do is different from what former Governor Ajimobi did in 2017, when he elevated the High Chiefs and Baales to crown and coronet wearing Obas.
He maintained that the ongoing process started from the Olubadan-in-Council, noting that the bottom-up approach employed this time round made the whole process different.
“What the governor has done is quite different from what happened in the past. The difference is that the consenting authority, which is the Olubadan, had already held a meeting with the Olubadan-in-Council and it has been agreed upon by them, and they just informed the Governor to seek his approval.
“It is home-goal and like a bottom-top approach unlike then, which came from the top to the bottom.”
The learned silk equally allayed the fears that the elevation of Baales would affect the chieftaincy system in the wrong way, saying:
“Ibadan is very unique in the sense that the Mogajis in Ibadan are superior to the Baales in the village. Meanwhile, the Baales have their palaces and traditional councils.
“It is only people who understand the unique nature of the Ibadan Traditional System that will understand what the late Ajimobi and other government did then, which is now what Governor Makinde is validating.
“I believe this move is in the best interest of the city.”
Similarly, a former Chief of Staff to Governor Ajimobi, Professor Gbade Ojo hailed the touted reform by Governor Makinde as being in the best interest of the people of Ibadan.
He said: “Yes, I can tell you that it is in the best interest of the people of Ibadan. In fact, the late Chief Theophilus Akinyele was one of the people in the Vanguard of the reform when he was alive.
“Equally, Professor Bolanle Awe and the CCII saw reasons why Ibadan should not remain static and it has been done now, which is good.
“Over time, the innovation will become tradition and culture of Ibadan that High Chiefs will be wearing coronets and Olubadan wearing crown as Imperial Majesty to the extent that they feel fulfilled that they die as Obas. In a case of misdemeanour, the Olubadan can discipline any of them.”