To fill the vacuum created by the death of Oba Saliu Adetunji, ten of the 11 members of the Olubadan-in-Council last Wednesday endorsed the nomination of Dr. Lekan Balogun as the successor.
Former Oyo State Governor, Rasheed Ladoja, Osi Olubadan of Ibadan, was absent at the meeting, suggesting a crack in the council. But not long after, news broke that Ladoja had also endorsed the selection of Balogun. Many were relieved by the development within and outside Ibadanland.
But that respite would not last long as Ladoja emerged on Friday to deny making any statement to the effect that he’s in support of Balogun’s selection.
He said: “In my comment, I did not say High Chief Lekan Balogun will be the next Olubadan or not. I said and quote me, ‘Otun Olubadan, traditionally is the next heir to the throne of Olubadan, but in this regard I’m not talking about the nomination of Lekan Balogun. There was no time, I said I backed his nomination or not. Please, only report what I said and don’t quote me out of context.
“My explanation should not be misconstrued to mean I’m in support of his nomination as the next Olubadan or not.”
The ex-governor’s latest stance has further compounded the confusion rocking the selection process of the next Olubadan.
Sentry gathered that the unfolding drama is actually meant for the eyes and ears of Governor Seyi Makinde whose consent or dissent will determine the fate of Balogun in the coming days.
“Politics is playing out in the selection process. Ladoja is trying hard not to show his hand when in actual fact he and some others believe Balogun should not eat his cake and have it. Remember the crisis over the elevation of Balogun and others to Obaship status by late Governor Abiola Ajimobi. The case is still in court and the Ladoja group want Balogun to withdraw his appeal and apologise before he can be crowned,” a source told Sentry.
Will Makinde promptly assent to Balogun’s selection and end all arguments? Or will he delay assent and allow the uncertainty and speculations to linger?