Ladoja rejects Makinde’s planned elevation of high chiefs

Former Governor of Oyo State and Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, on Wednesday, broke his silence on the elevation of 11 High Chiefs to the status of beaded crown Oba, saying, he was not interested in any crown than that of the Olubadan of Ibadanland.

The PUNCH had exclusively reported that Governor Seyi Makinde approved the promotion of 11 Ibadan High Chiefs to beaded crown Obas and Friday, July 7, had been tentatively fixed for their installation, as stipulated in the letter sent to the governor by the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun.

Other High Chiefs to be elevated are Balogun of Ibadanland, Owolabi Olakulehin; Otun Balogun, Tajudeen Ajibola; Osi Olubadan, Eddy Oyewole; Osi Balogun, Lateef Adebimpe; Ashipa Olubadan, Biodun Kola-Daisi; Ashipa Balogun, Kola Adegbola; Ekerin Olubadan, Hamidu Ajibade; Ekerin Balogun, Olubunmi Isioye; Ekarun Olubadan; Bayo Akande and Ekarun Balogun, Abiodun Azeez.

But while speaking to journalists at his private residence in Bodija, Ibadan,  after observing Eid prayers at the University of Ibadan Muslim praying ground on Wednesday, Ladoja said there was no need to fix what was not broken.

He said, “I want to say it again, nothing has changed. Nothing has changed because people say you don’t mend what is not broken. I don’t think it is fair and I don’t think it is right to have many Obas, to have we, High Chiefs, as Obas. Why? Who are we competing with?

“When I set out to join the race to become the Olubadan, I was focusing on how to become the Olubadan and the only crown I want to wear is that of Olubadan of Ibadanland. I’m not interested in any other crown apart from that of Olubadan of Ibadanland. And everyone of us knows that it’s God that chooses Oba in Ibadan.”

According to Ladoja, the Ibadan Mogajis (compound heads) are already equal to traditional rulers of other towns.

He said, “Whether we are right or wrong, we know that Mogaji in Ibadanland installs Baale in rural areas. So, even Baale in Ibadan is superior to another Oba in other places. So, when you look at it, the reason for their own crown is because they asked us to leave that one for a lesser qualified person to wear crown, and it is nothing. It is not in our tradition.”

An informed government source had disclosed to The PUNCH plan by Makinde to elevate Ibadan High Chiefs to Oba.