Following the death of His Royal Majesty Saliu Adetunji on Sunday, 2 January, 2021 at the University College, Ibadan after a brief illness and buried the same day at his Popo Yemoja palace according to Islamic rites..
Two top Senators may Jostle for the crown instead of the smooth crowning of the Obas according to hierarchy.
And they are the Former Governor of Oyo State ,His Excellency Senator Rasheed Adewolu Ladoja and Senator Lekan Balogun.
There are two lineages in Ibadan namely the Otun and the Balogun lineage ,while the Late Adetunji came from the Balogun lineage the next Olubadan should come from the Otun lineage and the most senior High Chief is Senator Lekan Balogun, who is the current Otun of Ibadan land, that is, the second-in-command to the deceased monarch.
But if Osi Olubadan, the former Governor of Oyo State, is ambitious and wants to change history he might go to court to stop Balogun from becoming the next Oba based on an unresolved court case over the crowning of Coronet Obas in Ibadan.
Investigation revealed that after the crowning of the Coronet Obas by the late Senator Ajimobi the then Governor of Oyo State,Ladoja went to Court to challenge the State government and won..
The correct Obas appealed the judgment and the appeal is still in court till the demise of Adetunji.
If Ladoja goes to court he might win because he (Ladoja) had earlier rejected the crown which Senator Lekan Balogun accepted..
Though Ladoja is yet to issue any statement regarding the death of Adetunji but a source close to Olubadan in council said that all the High Chiefs are meeting to forestall any ascension crisis.
Below is the list of Ibadan chiefs based on hierarchy :
1) Lekan Balogun: Otun Olubadan.
2) His Excellency, Senator Rashidi Ladoja: Osi Olubadan.
3) Owolabi Olakulehin: Balogun Olubadan
4). Olufemi Olaifa: Otun Balogun.
5) Eddy Oyewole: Ashipa Olubadan.
6) Tajudeen Ajibola: Osi Balogun.
7) Amidu Ajibade:Ekaarun Olubadan.
8) Lateef Gbadamosi: Ashipa Balogun Olubadan.
9) Kola Adegbola: Ekarun Balogun.
10) Abiodun Kola-Daisi: Ekerin Olubadan.
But who really is Lekan Balogun and what is his antecedents to warrant him to be touted as the next occupant of the seat?
A businessman, Lekan Balogun sits on the board of several companies with interests in Oil and Gas, Distributive Trade, Management Consulting, Mechanized Farming and Export of non-oil items as well as Travels and Tourism.
A former senator, he is an administrator/head, industrial relations, recruitment and scholarships, planning and development at Shell Petroleum Development Company.
He was also a Research Fellow with the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, a director with Triumph Newspaper, Kano; Editor of the monthly Magazine-“The Nigerian Pathfinder” as well as Management Consultant for Multinational Organizations such as Leyland, Exiat Battery and Nigerian Breweries.
He’s a renowned technocrat, author and philanthropist.
He holds a Doctorate, Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Public Administration; Public and Social Administration and Economics from Columbus International University, Brunel University and Manchester University all in the United Kingdom.
A former Presidential Aspirant on the platform of SDP, Senator Balogun was also a gubernatorial aspirant for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State in the present political dispensation and a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the Fourth Republic.
He was chairman Senate Committee on National Planning and was a member of many Senate Committees such as Appropriations, Security and Intelligence, Police Affairs and Defence (Army).
The soon to be 80 year old Balogun has written and published widely. Many of his publications include but not limited to: A Review of Nigeria’s 4 years’ Development Plan, 1970-1974; Nigeria: Social Justice or Doom; Power for Sale: published in Punch Newspaper; Arrogance of Power; Nigeria: The people must decide, among other publications.
The soon to be crowned Olubadan has not been without his own share of controversy. In 2018, he alongside other Ibadan high chiefs got into a long drawn battle with the late reverend king.
They accused the Olubadan of running a one-man-show and disregarding the Olubadan-in-Council.
They also accused the monarch of appointing Mogajis (family heads) and Baales (village heads) without consulting the council.
Balogun in particular was the most vocal of the chiefs who many believed instigated the crisis between the chiefs who deserted the Olubadan palace and the king.
Following a mediation between the Olubadan and the chiefs, the Olubadan had asked high chiefs to apologize to the people of Ibadanland in particular and the Yoruba people in general for undermining the custom and tradition.
According to him, there is nowhere in Yorubaland where two kings sit inside a palace.
“Apart from violating our customs and tradition, there is no law that backs the wearing of illegal crowns in Ibadanland,’’ Adetunji said.
Adetunji stated that contrary to the allegation of the high chiefs, he had done no wrong nor acted illegally at any time.
According to him, Section 22 (2) of the Chiefs Law, Cap 28 Law of Oyo State 2000 makes the Olubadan the prescribed and consenting authority on all chieftaincy matters in Ibadanland.
The monarch argued that the Olubadan-in-Council was merely an advisory body without any power.
Also, last year, there were allegations that Balogun was at loggerhead with the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde. But Balogun quickly refuted this by debunking the allegation of having a rift with the governor just as he also maintained that the Ibadan Traditional Council had no grudge with the governor.