On Monday, the 21 kings recently crowned by the government of Oyo state announced that they were moving to depose the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, for taking decisions unilaterally and for being antagonistic to the state government. They served him a 21-day deposition notice.
In a response on Tuesday, Oba Adetunji said the removal threat is an affront to the people of Ibadan.
The response was issued by the monarch’s spokesman, Adeola Oloko:
- Contrary to the allegation by his accusers that he took unilateral decisions on behalf of the ‘Olubadan-Kings-in-Council’, the Oba said that the council was unknown to the Oyo State Chieftaincy Laws. He said the council is simply an advisory one which is not backed by law or customs.
- In fact, according to Oba Adetunji, the baales whom the high chiefs have added to themselves to become 21 were not members of the council.
- The matter is in court, and the Oba said he is surprised that “a group of educated individuals such as the high chiefs could resort to illegality by commenting on a matter before the court.”
- He never barred the high chiefs from attending palace activities, adding that they were the ones who rejected palace invitation. He however said despite their absence, he has been exercising his duties without let or hindrance.
- They simply cannot remove him because “ by custom and tradition, no Olubadan has been recommended for removal from office by any high chief or group of high chiefs at any time and my own reign will not be an exception.”
- Already, he said, families of about “four of the embattled high chiefs” have written him, asking for their immediate replacement. “But, like a prodigal son, we hope that they would sooner than later renounce the unrecognised crowns and return to the warm embrace of their father as the palace door is perpetually open,” he said.