Ladoja stated that any Ibadan native has the right to seek legal recourse regarding such matters, as every genuine Ibadan resident has the potential to become a king. The Otun-Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, reiterated that his sole interest lies in wearing the Olubadan crown, and he expressed this sentiment during a gathering of journalists at his residence in Ibadan. He emphasized that his lifelong aspiration has been to become the Olubadan and that he has no intention of wearing any other crown.
According to reports from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), there has been speculation about the installation of high chiefs in Ibadan as kings wearing beaded crowns starting from July 7. Several high chiefs, who had been crowned during the tenure of the late Abiola Ajimobi, had previously relinquished their crowns as part of an out-of-court settlement, facilitating the ascension of Oba Lekan Balogun to the Olubadan throne.
However, Ladoja revealed that he had received information indicating that the high chiefs were now seeking permission to resume wearing their previously surrendered crowns. Ladoja, a former governor of Oyo State, emphasized that it is unlawful for any Ibadan high chief to assume the right to wear an already surrendered beaded crown. He further asserted that if the high chiefs had failed to surrender their crowns and withdraw the case from court, a new Olubadan of Ibadan would not have been in place by now.
Ladoja explained that when he joined the Olubadan line on October 1, 1993, his aim was to become the Olubadan, without any desire to wear a beaded crown along the way. He highlighted the role of high chiefs as advisers and supporters of the Olubadan, rather than individuals who share in wearing the crown. He firmly stated that his personal interest lies solely in the Olubadan crown of Ibadanland, emphasizing that the selection of kings in Ibadan is a matter entrusted to God.
Expressing his disappointment, Ladoja criticized the attempt by some high chiefs to circumvent the system, asserting that such actions are not in line with Ibadan tradition. He emphasized that it is neither fair nor right for high chiefs to become kings, and there is no need to fix something that is not broken.
Ladoja recounted the story of Aliiwo, who passed through Lagun village on his way from Iwo, leaving his followers there to join other warriors in Ibadan. He noted that if Aliiwo had desired to become the Onilagun of Lagun, he could have done so. However, the founders of Ibadan chose to govern themselves and the surrounding villages from the city, illustrating the historical significance of the traditional structure. Ladoja stated that he will not take the matter to court himself, as he does not perceive any issue in the high chiefs’ agitation. He concluded by saying that any Ibadan native has the right to approach the court regarding such matters since every genuine Ibadan resident possesses the potential to become a king.