The recent appeal to kingmakers by the paramount ruler and Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona that his successor must not come from among moneybags has continued to generate debates from different stakeholders in the area.
While some people believe that Awujale’s pronouncement was in good faith, and will probably serve as a guide to the kingmakers who are saddled with the responsibility of selecting the next traditional ruler after such must have been presented to them by the next ruling house, Gateway Times reports that others see it as a way to technically knock out particular rich men who must have been nursing the ambition to become king after him.
A reliable source who is conversant with the palace politics confided in Gateway Times that Awujale was indirectly referring to Otunba Subomi Balogun, the founder of First City Monument Bank. (FCMB), who is also one of the favourite persons of Awujale.
Interestingly, Otunba Balogun, who was alleged to be plotting to influence his son to become the next Awujale is the Olori Ebi of the Funsegbuwa ruling house in Ijebuland, which is the ruling family in line for the next Awujale.
However, the FCMB founder who was said to be embarrassed by the report linking him and son to the next Awujale’s stool, has, however, denied that he had plans to field his son, Mr. Ladi Balogun, the Managing Director of FCMB as the next Awujale of Ijebuland.
Otunba Balogun, who is the Olori Omooba of Ijebuland, had in public statement issued on Monday, August 26, 2019, expressed shock at the extent ”some faceless people could go to create enmity among the people of Ijebuland.”
It would be recalled that the Awujale, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, recently warned the Kingmakers at the 2019 Ojude- Oba Festival not to politicise the selection of his successor by allowing moneybags to disrupt the selection process leading to emergence of one of them.
In Otunba Balogun’s words, ‘I am most disappointed with the writers and those that are fueling the rumour that I am plotting my son, Oladipupo Balogun, who is handling the affairs of my business, to be the next Awujale of Ijebuland, while the Alaiyeluwa is still very much alive.
“We all know that Awujale Oba Adetona and I are friends, both of us are still alive. if Awujale had made a pronouncement, does that mean that they should drag my name to sell their stories?
“I happen to be the Olori Omoba, and providence has placed me in a situation in which everybody will expect me to be close to the Awujale and be supportive of whatever he is doing by way of our culture and tradition.
“Secondly, people know me as a very senior member of royalty in Ijebuland. Apart from being the Olori Omoba, I am the Olori Ebi of one of the largest ruling houses in Ijebuland,” he noted.