Fresh facts have emerged on why the new kings in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, boycotted the 90th birthday reception of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, held in Ibadan on Sunday.
Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, who is the next-in-rank to the Olubadan, acknowledged the receipt of the invitation cards from the Chairman of the Planning Committee for the birthday, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja.
He said the new kings decided not to attend the birthday reception because they were not properly invited to the occasion, adding that the new kings were invited as outsiders when they were supposed to be part of the organisers.
Balogun, in a telephone interview with Daily Sun, however, said the fault of the improper invitation extended to the new kings was not from Adedoja. He described the birthday planning committee chairman as a gentleman and an intelligent person, who ensured everything went properly.
The Otun Olubadan argued that the new kings were not carried along before the composition of the planning committee, and the whole programme did not have their inputs, which made the new kings to decide not to attend the birthday reception.
Balogun, however, explained further that if the beaded-crown wearing monarchs had not taken the decision to boycott the birthday reception, there was no way he could have attended the programme because he was bereaved, saying his personal assistant on family affairs died on Friday.
In a telephone chat with Daily Sun yesterday evening, the Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakelehin, confirmed the receipt of the invitation card, saying the letters were not properly addressed to them because they were addressed as ‘High Chiefs’ instead of ‘Obas’.
He stated further that the obas were supposed to be part of the organisers of the birthday programme, adding that before the planning committee was set up, the palace should have asked them to send two or three monarchs among them to be in the committee.
When contacted, Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Public Affairs to Olubadan, Adeola Oloko, said he was aware that 20 invitation cards were sent to the Ibadan new kings, that he referred to as ‘High Chiefs’ and the 20 invitation cards were delivered to Balogun, for onward delivery to the remaining traditional rulers.
On his part, Adedoja said invitation cards were sent to the beaded crown-wearing obas, adding that “we handed all the invitation cards to High Chief Balogun and I personally confirmed from them, including High Chief Edward Oyewole, who said they received the invitation.”
Meanwhile, Balogun has said the boycott of the birthday reception of Olubadan would not affect the ongoing reconciliation between the new kings and Oba Adetunji.