Makinde okays Olakulehin as 43rd Olubadan


Seyi Makinde

The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, ratified the appointment of Oba Owolabi Olakulehin as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadan land.

Makinde, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Sulaimon Olanrewaju, in Ibadan, approved the appointment in a memo signed on June 14, 2024, “in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 19 (Cap 28) Law of Oyo State 2000 as amended.”

The governor is, however, yet to announce the date for the coronation.

The throne became vacant following the demise of Oba Lekan Balogun on March 14, 2024.

Oba Olakulehin, until his elevation, was the Balogun of Ibadanland and the most senior in rank to ascend the throne.

There was, however, controversy over his health as his absence after the passage of Oba Balogun caused tension and broke the ranks of the kingmakers.

Some of the kingmakers had visited his house immediately after the passage of Oba Balogun was announced, but the next-in-line was not available to host them as demanded by custom and tradition.

There was also a crisis over the legal case against the beaded-crown-wearing obas, instituted by the Otun Olubadan, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, at the state High Court as other kingmakers shunned the first meeting he called at Mapo, as they held a parallel meeting to the scheduled day.

Ladoja, however, withdrew the suit after a meeting summoned by the Ibadan elders which he attended alongside all the kingmakers and other stakeholders at the house of Chief Bode Amao.

As the controversy over Olakulehin’s health lingered, the monarch made a return to Ibadan and was received by some of the kingmakers.

However, the Otun Balogun of Ibadan, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola, who was next in rank to Olakulehin, while addressing journalists at his residence in Sanyo, Ibadan, asked Ibadan people and the kingmakers to allow the monarch to recover before ascending the throne.

The statement drew the ire of the family, prompting the Otun Olubadan and head of the kingmakers, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, to summon the kingmakers to a decisive meeting on Friday, April 12, 2024, where Olakulehin was ratified as the Olubadan-designate.

Ladoja chided Ajibola for his statement on Olakulehin’s health as he was not a medical doctor to declare anyone fit, and then clarified that the monarch was not a young man, but had advanced in age in the waiting period to ascend the throne.

All the kingmakers were present at the meeting, except Oba Ajibola, who distanced himself, insisting that Oba Olakulehin was not physically fit for the throne.


Oba Olakulehin was, however, present at the nomination meeting, to confirm his fitness for the throne and spoke with newsmen, expressing happiness for the opportunity. He also thanked the kingmakers for their support.

Thereafter, the monarch attended a church service at St Peter’s Aremo, Ibadan. He also played host to the Mogajis (family heads) who came to pay homage. The team from the governor, led by Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), also met with him at his Alalubosa Estate residence in Ibadan.

At the meeting with the government’s representatives, Olakulehin declared his fitness and extended his appreciation to the governor for the courtesy.

At the final burial of Oba Balogun, earlier fixed for June 1 but shifted to June 8, Makinde confirmed that due process was followed in the selection of Oba Olakulehin as the Olubadan of Ibadanland, but said he would perform the enthronement of the next Olubadan as soon as Oba Olakulehin was confirmed strong for the coronation.

The statement by the governor generated controversy as notable Ibadan indigenes, including Senator Ladoja, kicked against the stand of Makinde.

Ladoja, speaking with newsmen, said that having confirmed that the process that threw up Oba Olakulehin as Olubadan was in accordance with the law, nothing was stopping him from being crowned as the next Olubadan.

“The question of whether he is medically fit or not is left for the people of Ibadanland to determine,” Ladoja said.

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