Olubadan stool: Olakulehin’s health makes him unfit for now — Otun Balogun

The process of selecting the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland to fill the vacant stool suffered a setback as the Otun Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Abimbola Ajibola, yesterday, distanced himself from other kingmakers who endorsed the Olubadan-designate, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin.

Addressing newsmen at his Sanyo residence in Ibadan, Oba Ajibola, one of the kingmakers, said Oba Olakulehin is not fit to assume the throne as a result of his age-related ailments.

Recall that the Olubadan of Ibadanland, late Oba Olalekan Balogun Alli Okunmade 11 died on March 14, 2024, and since then it has been a ding-dong affair to nominate a new Olubadan.

But the Otun Balogun of Ibadan insisted that the Olubadan-designate is just being forced by some people to fill the vacant stool.

Four members of the Olubadan-in-Council, who are the kingmakers of the Ibadan Traditional Council, had visited Oba Olakulehin at his Alalubosa residence penultimate Friday to see him physically and one of them said the ailing next in hierarchy to the Olubadan stool was hale and hearty.

But, contradicting the earlier position of the kingmakers who visited Oba Olakulehin, the Otun Balogun of Ibadanland said: “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. I won’t support illegality.

They said we called a meeting and we have endorsed Olakulehin. I’m not part of that. I have told them my mind that I won’t be part of that illegality. We know Baba Olakulehin is the next Olubadan, but let us allow him to get well.

“Why are we in a hurry? Someone (Olakulehin) we have not seen, he has not spoken with us. He has not spoken with the Ibadan people.

“I am his (Olakulehin) 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.

“The kingmakers should leave the Olubadan-designate and give him more time to recuperate. Before Olubadan can be elected, certain conditions must be fulfilled. It is not just about being the most senior.

You must be medically fit. You must not be blind and you must be able to recognize people and move around. Even if the kingmakers recommend you, the Governor can reject it based on any of these conditions.”

He reiterated that if the Olubadan-designate fulfils the requirements, nothing would stop him from being nominated.

He said: “Our contention is based on all these. Can he perform? If he can perform, then yes. Nobody is in rivalry with him. Health-wise, he’s not fit for now. He can’t recognize anyone. When he’s well, we will enthrone him.

“He is being forced. They know he is not well. I wish he could talk tp himself and say this is what I want. The rule says he must be able to recognize and speak to his people.

“He needs to recover. It’s obvious he’s not well enough. He won’t be enthroned in the room. He needs to go to Mapo and all of that. Some people are not thinking of Ibadan’s interest. They are only thinking of their interest.”

He clarified that there’s no mandatory deadline for the nomination and installation of a new Olubadan.

Ajibola said: “There’s no law that places any consequence if we don’t announce a new person within 21 days. The Governor is the custodian of law. There are traditions we have to follow. If he’s not feeling fine, how can we do that? Ibadan people have not even been able to see him. During Oba Lekan Balogun’s time to become Olubadan, everyone saw him and he spoke with the Ibadan people”.

Why Ogboriefon family wants Olubadan-designate

Vanguard investigation revealed that the Ogboriefon family of Oba Olakulehin, the designate produced Baale about 160 years ago and that if this opportunity eludes them, they don’t know when in their lifetime the pendulum will swing to their family again.

This implies that since Olubadan was promoted from Baale, (community head) to crown-wearing king, a member of the family has not been enthroned as Olubadan.

A member of the Ogboriefon family, who spoke with Vanguard in confidence, said: “Members of our family mounted the Olubadan stool about 160 years ago. Many of us had not been born. Since then, we have not been able to produce Olubadan from our family. Now, when it was our turn, they were introducing new rules in the middle of a game. It’s our turn. Our Olubadan is okay to mount the throne.

“We are alive when one of the members of the Olubadan in Council was being carried to meetings and functions, if he didn’t die before it became his turn, would they have denied him?”

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