Parties to the Olubadan of Ibadan land chieftaincy promotion dispute have agreed to sheathe their swords in deference to the highly influential Ibadan Elders’ Forum (IEF), which brokered a truce meeting, on Tuesday.
Rising from a closed-door meeting held at the residence of the President of the IEF, Ambassador Olusola Sanu, Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; and the newly promoted Otun Olubadan, Dr. Lekan Balogun, said the disagreements had been resolved amicably.
The pronouncements by the two leading figures in the disagreement in an interview with journalists had thus ended the festering dispute fuelled by the alleged infractions committed by the Olubadan in Council in the New Year day promotion of nine high chiefs.
Earlier, the IEF members had visited the governor in his office over the matter, while a separate meeting was held with the newly promoted chiefs, before the two parties were reconciled by the IEF at an enlarged meeting that lasted into the night.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, the governor said that the government had deferred to the wise counsel of the elders and had given provisional consent to the promotion of the chiefs pending their compliance with the extant chiefs’ law.
Ajimobi insisted that the due process must still be followed as contained in the letter written to the Olubadan in Council by the Director of Chieftaincy Matters in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Zaccheaus Jayeola.
Therefore, the nine chiefs are still expected to submit medical reports obtained from any state-owned secondary health facility certifying them fit for the positions and should also be prepared for screening by the Department of State Services before their promotion would receive a final approval.
The governor saluted the prompt intervention of the elders, whom he said he holds in high esteem given their pedigree and track records.
He said, “Brothers are fighting and elders have intervened. There is no cause for further misunderstanding. We will perfect the papers because the issue has been resolved by men of impeccable character.
‘Due process will now take place. Sometimes, we get married before perfecting marriage ceremony. We are all committed to the promotion of peace in Ibadan land, but we will not lose sight of due process in everything we do. We should not give room for visitors to think that we are disorderly in Ibadan. ”
Speaking on behalf of other chiefs, the new Otun Olubadan said that the issue had been resolved, adding that the concerned parties had agreed to forge a common front in the overall interest of the state.
He commended the Ibadan elders for not allowing the disagreements to escalate before intervening, adding that the chiefs had agreed to follow the due process to perfect their installation.
Balogun said, “We have all agreed with the governor, because he is my brother and we are one family in Ibadan. We have agreed to do the needful on the matter.”
The meeting was attended by members of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), led by the President, Chief Wole Akinwande; members of the IEF, including Chief Bode Amao, Chief Kola Daisi, Dr. Lekan Are, Chief Kareem Latunji, Chief Bayo Oyero; members of the Ibadan Progressives Union; among whom was a former President of the union, Very Rev’d Ademola Moradeyo.
Others were a former Head of Service of the Federation, Prof Oladapo Afolabi; Chief Adebayo Akande, the eldest son of the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Prof. Femi Lana; a former Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Ola Makinde; and a former President of the CCII, Chief Yusuf Akande
Apart from the new Otun Olubadan, some of the newly promoted high chiefs also at the truce meeting were the new Otun Balogun, High Chief Akinloye Olakulehin; Ashipa Olubadan, High Chief Eddy Oyewole; and new Ashipa Balogun, High Chief Tajudeen Abimbola.
The new Osi Olubadan, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, was not at the meeting for reasons not disclosed to journalists.