By Kayode Omoyele.
The Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes on Tuesday said 90 per cent of Ibadan indigenes were in support of the enthronement of 21 new kings by Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
Speaking in Ibadan during a press conference called by the council, the CCII President-General, Chief Yemi Soladoye, said there was a history of chieftaincy reforms dating back to the 19th century in the city, noting that the flawless succession system in Ibadan was the result of several reviews.
Soladoye said high chiefs, who were elevated to the position of kings in Ibadan, had always been accorded the status of second-class kings by the state government. He stated that the new kings had no domain, meaning that Ibadan land remains under the Olubadan authority.
He said, “The CCII wishes to confirm that the change that has just taken place was desired, initiated, supported, applauded and appreciated by the generality of Ibadan indigenes worldwide.
“Constant changes and reviews are in fact the ingredients that have sustained our well-organised and rancour-free ascension to the throne of Olubadan of Ibadan land in almost 200 years of our existence. During the time of Lagelu, our progenitor, up to the dissolution of the second Ibadan, we were using various titles including Olubadan and since the emergence of this third Ibadan around 1820, titles like Basorun, Balogun, and Aare have been used to describe our leaders.
Soladoye explained that the baales that were elevated to king status were from satellite towns that were subdued by the Ibadan warriors many years ago, adding that it was not an attempt to divide Ibadan into several parts.
“The fact of the case is that satellite towns like Ijaiye-Orile, Erunmu, Lalupon had in fact existed before the present Ibadan but having defeated them in wars, we demoted their kings and annexed them to Ibadan. The new arrangement is a manifestation of the usual magnanimity and hospitality of Ibadan people but they wear the coronet from the Olubadan and not their ancestral crowns in the new dispensation. Some of the crowns are also granted to protect our border towns,” noted the CCII boss.
Asked if the council had made efforts to reach out to the Olubadan, who is opposed to the move, Soladoye said that various meetings had been held with Ajimobi and the Olubadan.
“The CCII during the entire saga held various meetings with the governor, the Olubadan, members of the Olubadan-in-Council and Ibadan elders and wish to confirm that our Kabiyesi is a dynamic and progressive king who would naturally due to his age and experience of life play safe in his response to any change agenda with insufficient clarity and enlightenment. The CCII takes responsibility for this gap,” Oladoye noted.