Olubadan: Ibadan obas blackmailing me to gain sympathy.

Olubadan: Ibadan obas blackmailing me to gain sympathy.

The crisis rocking the Ibadan traditional institution took a fresh twist on Wednesday as the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, accused the embattled high chiefs of resorting to cheap blackmail against him to gain sympathy.

The embattled members of the Olubadan-in-Council had written a letter accusing Oba Adetunji of high handedness and failure to accept their promotions as Ibadan monarchs.

The Olubadan, in a statement by his Director of Media and Pulicity, Adeola Oloko, accused the Otun Olubadan, High Chief Lekan Balogun, of levelling unsubstantiated allegations against him to assassinate his character.

Puncturing the claim that he was selling chieftaincy titles for as much as N30m, Oba Adetunji, said he had no reason to commercialise chieftaincy titles given his age and accomplishments in life.

The statement read in part, “The embattled high chief (Lekan Balogun) should have substantiated his claim by mentioning the name of the chief or chiefs who paid the said sum. Was the money paid in cash, cheque or through transfer?

“Despite Balogun’s claim to education and age, he could not differentiate between free comment and libel.” It stressed further that what the high chiefs did not tell the public was that in September 2019, when they (the high chiefs) came to plead with Olubadan that the vacant positions from Otun Balogun down to Jagun on both sides be filled, what the Olubadan requested from them was the usual N100,000 per step.

It read, “The money in question, when collected, is always paid into the coffers of the Olubadan-in-Council. It is then disbursed at the end of every successful chieftaincy exercise and divided into three equal parts. While one part usually goes to Olubadan, the two other parts are always shared between Otun Olubadan and Balogun lines.

“When on December 15, 2016 the former governor Abiola Ajimobi was honoured along with his wife, Florence, with the honorary chieftaincy titles of Aare and Yeye Aare of Ibadanland, that was how some of our high chiefs falsely accused Olubadan of having collected a sum of N50m. They bluntly refused to be consoled until Ajimobi told them point blank that Kabiyesi did not charge anything. We challenge High Chief Balogun to produce demonstrable evidence of his claim.”

When reached for reaction to Olubadan’s statement, one of the chiefs said the response would come from all the affected chiefs and not just from one person.

It was gathered that the embattled high chiefs would be meeting in Ibadan today (Thursday).

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