Friday, September 8, 2017 9:14 am
By Akinyemi Onigbinde
In spite of my not favourable disposition to the style and content of Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration of Oyo state, made worse by his infamous ‘constituted authoriy’ outburst on the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology question, I find myself agreeing with his action on the obaship issue in Ibadan land, and his logic on the unnecessary self-demystifying response of Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, the Olubadan on the matter.What is at play, under the guise of defending ‘the time-hallowed tradition of Ibadan land’,is no more than the expected reaction of an imperial power whose former expansive empire has been carved out and handed over to others.No Oba dances to Gbedu drum over loss of privileges, and no one should console the Oba with a honorific title of ‘ His Imperial Majesty’.Reality of our contemporary history is that the paramouncy of an Oba, over and above other Obas, outside of his geographical space, is no more than the respect the so-called lesser Obas are prepared to accord him, and what the political authority see of his conduct
It is indeed an irony, on the flabby wings of poverty of understanding, but much of sentiments, that you find supposed democrats encouraging a monarch, an unelected person, with no constitutional role, but merely occupying a ceremonial post by inheritance against an elected officer of state in a Republic. Let those urging Olubadan of Ibadan against his boss, the Governor of Oyo State and the trustee of his staff of office, be guided by the lessons of history.
Truth, as pointedly put by Ajimobi, is that what a governor owes an Oba is no more than respect, as no Oba, no matter how revered by the people and tradition can hope to win in a public fight with any of Nigeria constituted authorities, even against a local government, an Oba immediate overseeing authority. As no governor is expected to openly side with an Oba in any public disagreement with the Chairman of a local government, in the course of the latter exercising his authority over the former, it thus become a compounded tragedy for an Oba when he chooses to engage in a boxing duel, with the gloves off, with a state chief executive .Even under a regime of constitutional monarchy the king merely reign, he does not rule, and Yoruba history is replete with many Obas that lost their respective crown to arrogance, arrogating to themselves more importance than they have earned, just because people have learnt to tolerate them, in spite of their near-zero contribution to socioeconomic development of their so-called kingdoms, beyond deploying their respective stool for personal enrichment and self- aggrandizement.Yet, those among history-recorded deposed Obas, favoured with a return to the throne already suffered the indignity of banishment and separation from their ancestral homestead.
Let His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, the 41st Olubadan of Ibadan land not be misled that ‘heaven will fall’ if the governor of Oyo state is painfully encouraged to retrieve from him the staff of office, handed over to him as a temporary occupier of the throne Of Olubadan in Mapo.There may be thunder claps, but no rain will follow the lightning , as a new Olubadan will be crowned, with the normal fanfare.Then, and after then, the deposed Olubadan will become history told in small letters