By the time the Olubadan designate, High Chief Saliu Adetunji is installed as the new Olubadan, he will be 87. The new Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, who ascended the throne in December 2015 is just 40.
Yes, it is possible for a young man to become king of any other Yorubaland but not Ibadan. No young man can even become Olubadan of Ibadan, the paramount ruler of the ancient town. The reason for this is not far-fetched.
In Ibadan, you cannot become the king without going through the 23 hierarchical lines of ascension for the Military line and 22 lines of ascension for the civil line. To become an Olubadan, you must first be a Mogaji which is the head of the family.
Your promotion from Mogaji to Jagun Olubadan or Jagun Balogun which is the most junior rank of the 23 chieftaincy rung of the ladder is not automatic. A chief in the chain of ascension must die to earn you promotion to the next level until you get to Otun Olubadan or Balogun (depending on your line of ascension) before you can become Olubadan. The average age that one can become a Mogaji is 40.
Aside this, there are no fewer than 200 Mogajis waiting to be conferred with the Jagun Olubadan or Jagun Balogun chieftaincy title.
The ascension from Mogaji will take any young man nothing less than 40 years. For example, the Olubadan designate, High Chief Saliu Adetunji, became Mogaji in 1978, which is 38 years ago before he became Olubadan. His predecessor, Oba Samuel Odugade became Mogaji in 1976 and became Olubadan 31 years later in 2007.
Oba Odugade’s predecessor, Oba Yinusa Ogundipe Arapasowu became the Mogaji of his family 40 years before he became the paramount ruler of the ancient city in 1999.
One other peculiar feature of Ibadan traditional rulers is that they don’t rule for long. The longest reigning Olubadan, was Oba Okunola Alesinloye, who reigned from 1930-1946. The shortest was Olubadan Oguntunde I, who reigned between November 21, 1947 and January 13, 1948.
THE PROFILE OF OLUBADAN DESIGNATE
High Chief Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, the man who is in line of succession as the next Olubadan of Ibadan was born in 1929 in Alusekere compound, Popo Yemoja, Ibadan. He was a tailor before moving into music record production through late Badejo Okusanya of Badejo Records.
He produced records for many musicians including King Wasiu Ayinde aka K1 de Ultimate, Sule Alao (Malaika), late lefty, Balogun, late Saka Laigbade, late Haruna Ishola and many others.
He was a proud owner of three record labels Omo Aje Sound Studio, Adetunji label and Babalaje Record before retiring to Ibadan his place of birth and ancestral home, from Lagos.
High Chief Adetunji became Mogaji of his family in 1978 and had moved through the 23 chieftaincy titles.
He was just promoted Balogun on January 1, 2016, after the death of the duo High Chief Sulaimon Adetunji and Omowoale Kuye, the Balogun and Otun Balogun respectively in 2015. When installed, he will be the 41st Olubadan of Ibadan.
Steps to becoming
Egbe Agba Egbe Balogun
(Civil line) (Military line)
Otun Olubadan Balogun
Osi Olubadan Otun Balogun
Asipa Olubadan Osi Balogun
Ekerin Olubadan Asipa Balogun
Ekarun Olubadan Ekerin Balogun
Abese Olubadan Ekarun Balogun
Maye Olubadan Abese Balogun
Ekofa Olubadan Maye Balogun
Agbaakun Olubadan Ekefa Balogun
Aara Alaasa Olubadan Agbaakin Balogun
Ikolaba Olubadan Aare Alaasa Balogun
Asaaju Olubadan Ikolaba Balogun
Ayingun Olubadan Asaaju Balogun
Aare-Ago Olubadan Ayingun Balogun
Lagunna Olubadan Aare-Ago Balogun
Oota Olubadan Lagunna Balogun
Aare Egbe Omo Olubadan Oota Balogun
Gbonka Olubadan Aara Egbe Omo Balogun
Aare Onibon Olubadan Gbonkaa Balogun
Bada Olubadan Aare Onibon Balogun
Ajia Olubadan Bada Balogun
Jagun Olubadan Jagun Balogun
NB: These two lines of ascension alternate the Olubadan between themselves. The last Olubadan, Oba Samuel Odunlana was from the Egbe Agba (civil line). Automatically, the next Olubadan, High Chief Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, will come from the Egbe Balogun (military line).
- TOLANI ABATTI