Poring through the creational history and the concept of leadership selection in Ibadanland, one cannot but be impressed by the sterling diplomacy and wisdom employed by the ancestors of this forte in the Yorubaland. Olubadan (lord of Ibadan) is the royal title given to whoever occupies the stool, and he would’ve been selected from either of the two heir lines – Egbe Agba (civil) and Balogun (military) – to the throne. According to historical accounts, following this plan, the selection process for a new Olubadan is not only free of rancour and politics, as the heir apparent would’ve been known even before the demise of the incumbent monarch, but also affords the successor to the throne plenty of time to be adequately groomed for the aspired office. Even during the juntas era, that incurably scarred our national history, it is pleasantly surprising how the Otun Olubadan (civil) and the Balogun of Ibadanland (military) didn’t clash over the laid down rotational succession plan in the occasion of the demise of some Olubadan. In addition, the Olubadan stool doesn’t discriminate against any indigenous male-child born in Ibadan, as every male child born in this city is a potential king. Then, considering the successes of this time-honored principle, in a sane clime, I think, this valuable principle would have at least been canonised – since literature, for the most part, is a compendium of relishable and instructional history. But ours isn’t a sane clime. Otherwise some egomaniacs wouldn’t have attempted to use their public-vested-position to scrub off this very fine, ingenious historical principle.
In his ongoing war with self-aggrandisement, Ajimobi has done it again. His overbearing act this time around is a mockery of commonsense. Following his December 8, 2015, executive order to a three-man Administrative Technical Committee to look into the chieftaincy declaration of the Olubadan of Ibadanland; he later appointed an eleven-man Judicial Commission of Inquiry May, 2017, which has since submitted to the governor a report recommending 32 beaded kings be added to the Olubadan in Ibadan alone. Though it seems successful for now, but this is not the first time the Oyo state government will moot the idea of getting more beaded crowns in Ibadan. A former governor of the state, Christopher Alao-Akala, once elevated some Baales to kings, which Ibadan people vehemently resisted. A decision that even this renegade Governor Ajimobi reversed immediately he assumed office during his first term. Whatever induced the change?
Since Ajimobi is a typical Nigerian politician, it’d be a gross waste of time, and the space to be used, condemning him for his lack of political ideology and the idiocy of it. Rather, what he should be publicly humiliated for is his insufferable pride and lack of commonsense. If Ajimobi’s educational training is truly along the lines of financial accounting, I care to know how he obtained his degree.
The perks that come with having 30 beaded crowns – shy of two – in addition to the Olubadan, and the cost of building state of the art palaces for each king on the state purse cannot be overlooked, because it doesn’t make any judicial financial prudence. Definitely not when his administration is struggling to pay civil servants salaries. And not when my Alma Mata (Lautech) has been indefinitely under lock and key for a long time now due to a reported lack of funding. But there seemed to be enough money to drain on the coronation of the 30 new kings. The big question is: Of what use is the 30 coronated kings to the economy of the state vis-à-vis a shutdown higher institution of international repute? In the wake of the making of this executive stupidity, even Governor Ladoja advised Ajimobi to face governance squarely by addressing issues of state importance, which include the lingering crisis at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso, dwindling fortunes of education, health, delay in the payment of workers salaries and pensioners and failure to conduct local council election, among others.
Guess who installed the new kings? Sure you already know.