Forty-six days after the demise of the last Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana, his successor Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, ascended the throne yesterday and immediately tabled a list of his demands before the government.
Oba Adetunji who adopted the title of Aje Ogunguniso 1 pleaded for the creation of Ibadan State and the upgrading of the Ibadan airport to international status.
He urged the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC),Asiwaju Bola Tinubu,who was among the many prominent Nigerians at the event, to help him in getting the deeds done.
“I beg Bola Tinubu as a key personality in this government to assist us on these issues,” the Olubadan said in Yoruba,moment after receiving his letter and staff of office which were symbols of authority from Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State.
Time was 1.30pm and savouring the speeches,singing and dancing that characterized the ceremony were Governors Rochas Okorocha (Imo),Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun),Rauf Aregbesola (Osun),Ayo Fayose (Ekiti), and Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos).
Also in attendance were the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi; Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar; Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Zulu Gambari ;and the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akinolu,top politicians of all shades,religious leaders,eminent businessmen and women.
Ibadan indigenes and residents also swarmed the Mapo Hall venue of the event to witness the coronation of the successful music promoter.
As early as 7:30 am, all routes leading to the hilltop venue were already crowded with people struggling to beat security barriers before the official commencement of the programme.
The crowning of the king of the city highly rated for its massive size and central role in the socio-political and economic life of Nigeria and the Southwest in particular could not have been otherwise.
Presenting the certificate and staff of office to the new monarch,Gov. Ajimobi revelled in the uniqueness of the event, stressing that it was the first time a governor of Ibadan origin would crown an Olubadan.
He also pointed out that it was the first time the son of a tailor would be crowning another tailor as the Olubadan.
Ajimobi’s father was a tailor while tailoring was also Oba Adetunji’s early profession before venturing into music promotion in 1954.
The governor promised to overhaul the chieftaincy law of Ibadanland to ensure speedy completion of appointment procedures and also insulate high chiefs from partisan politics since they serve as fathers to all.
The governor urged the new monarch to be fair to everyone in his dealings.
“Since royalty is service, the Oba is expected to be above board and rallying point of all citizens,” Ajimobi said.
“He is the ruler of Ibadanland and symbol of unity and has final say on customary matters. The Olubadan is faced with the task of building peace”.
The governor, apparently referring to the legal move by the Seriki chiefs to access the throne, noted that the Chiefs Law regulating the succession to the stool of the Olubadan recognizes rotation to the stool between only the lines Otun and Balogun.
He said:”the choice of the new Olubadan from the Balogun line is customary, traditional, legal and satisfied all legal provisions without legal encumbrances.
The council, having presented him, I now approved this appointment. He is now the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland. He is a famous business tycoon and music recording guru discovering many talents sent across the world.”
After the presentation of certificate and staff of office, all the high chiefs paid homage to the new king in accordance with the custom.
In his acceptance speech, Oba Adetunji called for the creation of Ibadan State and upgrading of Ibadan airport to international status.
He also hailed the peace project embarked upon by the Ooni of Ife, saying his visits to the Alaafin and others signaled hope for the Yoruba race.
Members of Oba Adetunji’s family had ridden to the venue in an open-roof Peugeot 307 car.
The Mapo Hall arcade was crowded in all sides and security operatives struggled endlessly to control them.
“It is historical,” a man in the crowd said of the coronation,pointing out that it does not happen every day.
He said it is normal for people to want to see a new king being made.
Opposite the rostrum where the coronation was performed stood a large stage from which one of Oba Adetunji’s famous artistes, King Wasiu Ayinde, and Ibadan based Fuji star, Alhaji Rashidi Ayinde, dished out thrilling tunes.
After the arrival of dignitaries, the programme was flagged off with an opening prayer cum recitation of Qur’an by Dr Kamil Oloso, the Head of Islamic Studies Department, University of Ibadan.
Taking his text from Chapter 3 verses 36 and 37 of the Qur’an, Oloso explained that only God chooses and removes kings. He prayed for long and peaceful reign for Oba Adetunji.
The monarch had arrived the venue at 12:10 pm in a white bus led by a security pilot vehicle. His arrival was heralded by gun salutes.
By 12:29, Oba Adetunji mounted the exalted customized chair, symbolizing the throne. Inscribed on the chair is: “Kabiyesi Alayeluwa, Olubadan of Ibadan.”
The chief comperes, who are ace broadcasters, Yanju Adegbite and Wale Rufai, directed the activities with dexterity.
The dignitaries retired into Mapo Hall for reception after the coronation.
Other dignitaries at the event were former governors of old and new Oyo State, Dr Omololu Olunloyo and Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala respectively; Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun), Olusegun Osoba of Ogun State and Alhaji Aminu Turaki of Jigawa State.
Also at the event were Oyo State Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Alake-Adeyemo; Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Michael Adeyemo; members of the National Assembly and former deputy governors of the state, Chief Iyiola Oladokun and Alhaji Taofeek Arapaja.
Others include legal icon, Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN); Chief Lekan Are; Chief Lamidi Ajadi; Chairman of APC in Oyo State, Chief Akin Oke; Chief Gboyega Arulogun; Chief Kola-Daisi; Chief Teslim Folarin; Prophet Samuel Abiara; Chief Bose Adedibu; President of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Chief Wole Akinwande; Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof Idowu Olayinka; Prof Taoheed Adedoja; Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG Zone 11), Kalafite Adeyemi; Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr Rotimi Adeduntan and Engr Seyi Makinde.
Other traditional rulers at the event include the Alake of Egba, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, the Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan; the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba AbdulRasheed Akanbi and the Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Adeniyi Sonariwo.
Members of the Olubadan-In-Council in attendance were high chiefs Lekan Balogun (Otun Olubadan), Rashidi Ladoja (Osi Olubadan), Akinloye Owolabi Olakulehin (Otun Balogun), Olufemi Olaifa (Osi Balogun), Eddy Oyewole (Ashipa Olubadan),Tajudeen Ajibola (Ashipa Balogun), Abiodun Kola-Daisi (Ekerin Olubadan), Solomon Adabale (Ekerin Balogun) Chief (Mrs) Aminat Abiodun (Iyalode of Ibadanland)
The Minister of Communication; Barr. Bayo Shittu and the Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Adebayo Adelabu were also in attendance.
Earlier in the day,Oba Adetunji had been crowned by the 10th Oluwo Afobaje of Ibadanland, Chief Idowu Popoola at the chief’s palace at Oja Oba.
Clad in the traditional Aso-Oke, the new oba arrived in a Peugeot 307 CC 180 with registration number KJA 701 DZ, to commence the traditional rites.
The new king, who also performed the calabash selection aspect of the crowning rituals , picked the Money Calabash, an indication that his reign would bring prosperity to the city.