Olubadan-designate unfit to rule – Otun Balogun, Oba Abimbola Ajibola insists

Olubadan-designate unfit to rule – Otun Balogun, Oba Abimbola Ajibola insists

The Otun Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Abimbola Ajibola has declared that the Olubadan-designate, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, is ill and not physically f

COVID-19: FAAN cuts workers’ salaries
PFN charges Christian leaders to mobilize 15m voters ahead of 2023 general elections – Paul Adefarasin reveals
Fake marriages taking place in Nigeria – Immigration boss

The Otun Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Abimbola Ajibola has declared that the Olubadan-designate, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, is ill and not physically fit to rule at the moment.

The revered Olubadan stool became vacant on March 14 after the demise of Oba Lekan Balogun, who reigned for two years and died at the age of 81.

Oba Ajibola claimed that Olakulehin was not healthy and should not be installed as the Olubadan yet.

However, a member of the Olakulehin family, who preferred anonymity because he was not authorised by the family to officially react, countered Oba Ajibola.

He said, “There is no law that states that Baba cannot become Olubadan. Baba is old, there is no doubt about that, just as many of the kingmakers are also old.

“You were clamouring that he should present himself physically and he did. Some of the kingmakers saw him, they took photographs. Is Olubadan stool for the Olympics fitness? We know the ages of those who had become Olubadan.

“What the Otun Balogun is saying has no basis. He knows he will be the direct beneficiary if Baba is disqualified. There is no reason to want someone ahead of you disqualified because you want to attain the position. We should all learn to wait for our time. God’s time is the best.”

But Oba Ajibola, while addressing journalists, said, “Why the hurry? Someone (Olakulehin) we have not seen. He has not spoken with us. He has not spoken with the Ibadan people.

“I am his second-in-command, I’m his lieutenant. He has not called me to say, ‘My Otun, I’m back. So, tell your people. And when are you seeing me?’ They are just forcing him because of their selfish interest.”

“We know Baba Olakulehin is the next Olubadan, but let us allow him to get well. Has anybody seen him since last Friday? Those who went there after Friday were unable to see him. They are forcing this man. We should allow him to get well.”

He maintained that Oba Olakulehin was packaged to deceive the people to achieve personal gains.

“You should remember during the time of Oba Balogun, he was in Mapo and debunked the rumour that he was blind and deaf. Olakulehin is being packaged. He cannot recognise anybody. Where has he spoken? Who did he speak to? Even those (crowned obas) who went there just sat down.

“They didn’t say anything. We know he is our leader and they told me before visiting him last Friday but I told them Baba has not called me. I wish the best for Ibadan, but let’s follow due process. That’s what we are saying,” he insisted.

“Those who went there, even the lawyer said they didn’t see him. So, this is not about nomination. Allow this man to get well. Let him be physically fit. No law says if you don’t nominate Oba in Ibadan before 21 days, you won’t nominate Oba again in Ibadan or that’s the end of the world.

“The governor has a say. He is the custodian of the law. He is the chief executive of this state. I’ve asked them why they are in haste. They came here and I told them, why are you rushing this man? I said the man is not okay now.”

The Otun Balogun said he would not attend any meeting called at the instance of the Olubadan-designate until Governor Seyi Makinde intervened.

“I will never attend any meeting until the governor says something on this issue. The governor has the power to appoint a physician, or medical practitioner to check the health condition of our incoming monarch before they start anything. He must be in good condition, medically fit and sound. He must be able to move around and talk to the people.

“So, the update so far now is that we have not got an Olubadan. They are just trying to wake him [Olakulehin] up. They are forcing this man. They know the man is not well. So, why are they forcing the man? I wish he could talk by himself. This is what I want from my people. Olubadan must be able to recognise his people. These are my people, he must be able to speak with his people,” Ajibola said.

The next-in-line of succession will nominate the Olubadan-designate at a meeting of the kingmakers, where the choice will be ratified and the name sent to the Oyo State Governor for ratification and approval

Oba Ajibola is the next in line after Oba Olakulehin on the Balogun line.

It will be recalled that Oba Ajibade had, while speaking to newsmen after a meeting of the kingmakers on Monday, March 25, 2024, at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, said, “I, as the Ekerin Olubadan, have not seen him. I went to his house, I didn’t see him. Many of us have been to his house. Maybe as a Yoruba man, he is getting prepared for the royal assignment somewhere. Don’t forget he is Balogun from the lineage of the warriors. It is not easy to be number one.”

Speaking further, Oba Ajibade said, “If anybody is not well or has been incapacitated in whatever form, even if you’re not from Ibadan, will you allow that person to ascend the throne? We will ensure that anybody who wants to become our Oba can walk well and can talk. He must be someone that we can discuss with.”

Section 10(2) of the Chiefs Law of Oyo State 1957, now Section 14 (2) Cap 28 Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000, stated the criteria to meet for a recognised chieftaincy title to which the Olubadan of Ibadanland belongs: “No person shall be qualified to be a candidate for a recognised chieftaincy title who suffers from serious physical infirmity, or has under any law in force in Nigeria been found or declared to be a lunatic or adjudged to be of unsound mind, or has, in any part of the Commonwealth been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty and sentenced to imprisonment therefore, and has not been granted a free pardon,” the section is quoted to have said.