By Tayo Joseph Lagos, Nigeria
Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has taken a major step towards the review of the Olubadan chieftaincy declaration and other related chieftaincies in Ibadanland with the inauguration of a seven-man judicial commission of inquiry.
The commission, headed by a retired High Court judge, Justice Akintunde Boade, was inaugurated by the governor at the Executive Council Chambers of the Governor’s Office, in Ibadan, on Friday. It was given four weeks to submit its report.
Other members of the commission are a retired permanent secretary in the ministry of local government, Chief Onaolapo Ajibola; and the state’s Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary in the ministry of justice, Mr. Wasiu Gbadegesin.
Also on the list are Messrs Joseph Oladele, Paul Ayoola, Ogunniyi Ogunjinmi, and Abiodun Adegbaye, while the Director of Chieftaincy Matters in the ministry of justice, Mr. Olanrewaju Jaiyeola, will serve as the secretary.
The commission was saddled with the responsibility of “reviewing the existing requirements and qualification for ascendancy to the throne of Olubadan, as well as to review the selection process of Olubadan from Otun and Balogun lines.
“(It was also mandated) to look into the possibilities of having more beaded crown Obas in Ibadanland, taken into consideration the present size and population of the city.
“(The panel is also expected) to review the existing 1957 Declaration of Olubadan of Ibadanland in line with the proposed change in chieftaincy institution in Ibadaland.”
In an address at the occasion, Ajimobi said that the review was long overdue, considering the fact that the existing declaration made in 1957 was no longer in tune with the current reality and modern trend in Yorubaland.
Ajimobi said, “I want to emphasize that this judicial commission of inquiry is not being set up to witch-hunt anybody nor to raise prejudice against anyone, but to ensure effective traditional institution in Ibadanland.
“This is to pave way for socio-economic development for Ibadanland and Oyo State in general, which is one of the cardinal objectives of the present administration.”
The governor had, on December 8, 2015, constituted a three-man Administrative Technical Committee to look into the chieftaincy declaration of the Olubadan of Ibadanland.
The committee had, among other things, recommended a review of the extant document to reflect the high population of Ibadanland, which, it said, called for the installation of more traditional rulers with beaded crowns.
It also noted that the two lines of Otun Olubadan and Balogun, which currently produce the Olubadan in rotational order after the candidate might have scaled 22 and 23 prongs respectively, after several years of waiting, was a minus.
The report noted that the long years of waiting to occupy the Olubadan stool have always left the eventual monarch constrained to cope with the rigours of the stool.
The committee had reported that the Olubadan was the only traditional ruler wearing crown in Ibadanland, which it said was incongruent with the vast population of Ibadanland spread over eleven local governments.