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Concern over Olubadan-designate’s health; We must see him before declaring him King – Kingmakers insist

Concern over Olubadan-designate’s health; We must see him before declaring him King – Kingmakers insist

THE absence of the Balogun of Ibadanland and Olubadan-designate, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, from decisive meetings and the inability of stakeholders to see him since the death of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, have continued to generate tension in Ibadan.
Oba Olakulehin was expected at the meeting of the kingmakers last week, but his absence fuelled rumours over his health.

There were speculations on Friday that the over eighty-year-old king could be recuperating somewhere from an undisclosed illness.

The anxiety over the state of health and physical fitness of the Olubadan-designate heightened as the 21-day period within which to choose the late Oba Balogun’s successor drew near.
The deadline is next week on Friday.
The Ekerin Olubadan, Oba Hamidu Ajibade, declared after a meeting held on Monday that the kingmakers would not pronounce him Olubadan, as statutorily required of them until he is present at their meeting.

Oba Olakulehin was expected at the meeting of the kingmakers last week, but his absence fuelled rumours over his health. There were speculations on Friday that the over eighty-year-old king could be recuperating somewhere from an undisclosed illness.

The deadline is next week on Friday.
The Ekerin Olubadan, Oba Hamidu Ajibade, declared after a meeting held on Monday that the kingmakers would not pronounce him Olubadan, as statutorily required of them until he is present at their meeting.

The kingmakers, comprising the Osi Olubadan, Oba Eddy Oyewole; the Ashipa Olubadan, Oba Biodun Kola-Daisi; the Ekerin Olubadan, Oba Hamidu Ajibade; the Ekarun Olubadan, Oba Adebayo Akande; the Otun Balogun, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola; the Osi Balogun, Oba Lateef Adebimpe; the Ashipa Balogun, Oba Kola Adegbola; the Ekerin Balogun, Oba John Isioye-Dada and the Ekarun Balogun, Oba Abiodun Azeez, had met on Monday at Mapo Hall, Oja’aba, but were unable to conclude since the Olubadan-designate was not in attendance.

Although most of the kingmakers are in their late 70s and 80s, whoever will be crowned as the Olubadan is expected to be of sound mind, with no serious physical infirmity or record of conviction of an offence involving dishonesty in any part of the Commonwealth.

Section 10(2) of the Chiefs Law 1957, now Section 14(2) of the Chiefs Law (2000), states the criteria for an Olubadan-designate to scale the hurdle and be pronounced the Olubadan-elect: “No person shall be qualified to be a candidate for a recognised chieftaincy title who suffers from serious physical infirmity, or has under any law in force in Nigeria been found or declared to be a lunatic or adjudged to be of unsound mind, or has, in any part of the Commonwealth been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty and sentenced to imprisonment therefore, and has not been granted a free pardon.”

Speaking on the absence of Oba Olakulehin at their meeting on Monday, Oba Ajibade said:
“I, as the Ekerin Olubadan, have not seen him. I have been to his house, but I didn’t see him. Many of us have been to his house. Maybe as a Yoruba man, he is getting prepared for the royal assignment somewhere. Don’t forget he is the Balogun from the lineage of the warriors. It is not easy to be number one.”

Corroborating the claim that the prospective Olubadan must be declared fit for the throne before he will be pronounced as such, Oba Ajibade said, “If anybody is not well or has been incapacitated in whatever form, even if you are not from Ibadan, will you allow that person to ascend the throne? We will ensure that anybody who wants to become our Oba can walk well and can talk. He must be someone we can discuss with.”

Speaking on the apprehension the absence of Oba Olakulehin has generated, a member of the family who did not want to be quoted said, “Oba Olakulehin will be available next week for the commencement of the process that will climax with his installation as the Olubadan.”
The source admitted that the Olubadan-designate is suffering from age-related illness, but noted that the kingmakers are aged, too.

Another family source who also preferred anonymity said: “There is no problem with Baba. He is old, we all know that, but he is not suffering from any infirmity. He will attend the meeting called by the kingmakers next week. By then, you journalists should come around. You will all see him.”
Why Olubadans are aged before ascending the throne
Taking the statistics of the ages of past rulers of Ibadanland, they are usually old men, having spent years climbing the succession ladder. It is unfortunate that not all aspiring Olubadans eventually emerge, as nature has a way of keeping some of them off their ambition. The death of someone on the ladder is a promotion for another.
Most of the kingmakers in line to become Olubadan are already aged, with many of them suffering from old age-related ailments. From the Ekarun Balogun to the Balogun and from Ekarun Olubadan to the Otun Olubadan are men in their 70s to late 80s. The Olubadan-designate is nearing 89; the Otun Olubadan, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, is nearing 80; the Osi Olubadan, Oba Eddy Oyewole, is in his late 80s, with the youngest among them in his early 70s.

Tribune.

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