Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday installed 21 new monarchs in Ibadan to change the age-long monarchical setting of the ancient city.
The new obas, elevated from high chiefs and baales to beaded crown monarchs, were installed at a ceremony held amid fun and jubilation at Mapo Hall, Oja’ba area of the capital city.
Meanwhile, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji, was conspicuously absent at the coronation ceremony despite being made the royal father of the event.
The monarch had earlier issued a statement dissociating himself and his office as the paramount ruler of Ibadanland from the event, threatening not to attend.
Also, a former governor of the state, Rashidi Ladoja, was absent despite being one of the eleven Ibadan high chiefs that were conferred with the obaship title of ‘His Royal Majesty’.
Although 32 chiefs, including 11 Ibadan high chiefs who are members of the Olubadan-in-Council and 22 baales were conferred with the obaship titles, only 21 of them were on hand to receive the instrument of office having received their letter of conferment from Ajimobi two days earlier.
The 21 include eight high chiefs and 13 baales who were also promoted to obaship status.
The new monarchs who were on hand to receive their insignia and instrument of office include Oba (Senator) Lekan Balogun, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olakuleyin, the Osi Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola, the Ashipa Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Eddy Oyewole and the Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi.
Also, the new royal highnesses, who were installed and presented their instruments of office are the Onijaye of Ijaye, Oba Lasisi Akano; the Oniroko of Iroko, Oba Ismaila Opeola; the Onikereku of Ikereku, Oba Moses Akinyosoye; the Ololodo of Olodo, Oba Mudasiru Adebayo and the Elegbeda of Egbeda, Oba Victor Sunday Okunola.
Others were Onido of Ido, Oba Gbolagade Babalola, Alakufo of Akufo, Oba Olabamiji Thomas, the Oloke of Okelade-Okin, Oba Wahab Okedina; the Alawotan of Awotan, Oba Dauda Omotoso and Olofa of Offa, Oba Adeboye Salako.
The rest were the Onilagun of Lagun, Oba Rafiu Alawusa; the Alaba of Aba-Nla, Oba Tiamiyu Ladipo and Alakanran of Akanran, Oba James Obisesan.
The governor, who said he was not changing the history but promoting and elevating the Ibadan traditional hierarchy, noted that the coronation of the new obas would neither undermine the authority of the Olubadan nor alter the Olubadan succession arrangement in anyway.
He added that the administration was rather consolidating and elevating the status of Olubadan.
Ajimobi accused some individuals of manipulating and influencing the mind of the Olubadan after he had got an understanding and mutual agreement with the paramount ruler after series of meetings.
The governor, who noted that the Olubadan remains his father and nothing can ever come in between them, said the coronation and promotion of the obas had the support of the Ibadan Elders Forum, the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Olubadan-in-Council, mogajis, community leaders and many prominent indigenes of Ibadan.