Ibadan stands still for Olubadan’s coronation



• Oyo declares public holiday, closes markets

The coronation of Chief Saliu Adetunji as the 41st Olubadan of Ibadan is now set to hold today as the ancient Mapo Hall venue of the ceremony wears a new look while heavy security presence was noticeable in the area to ward off area boys who may want to disrupt activities.

Also, about 25 top Yoruba musicians are expected to perform at the after-coronation ceremony, billed for the Lekan Salami Stadium,

Adamasingba. This serves as a respect for the new traditional ruler of the city, who was into entertainment business of record label ownership and promotions.

Among those billed for the occasion are Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde, Muri Thunder, Sule Malaika, who is married to one of the new Olubadan’s daughters, the trio of Obesere , Saidi Osupa and Taye Currency, who are all natives of the ancient city and others.

But in a bid to provide the new monarch with a befitting abode, the Oyo State government has decided to expand the existing structures inside the compound of the new Oba.

According to palace sources, one of the buildings inside the compound of the new Olubadan have been pulled down, while his present residence would be expanded to cover the entire length of the building in order to erect a massive palace for the new monarch.

Meanwhile, Governor Ajimobi of Oyo State has declared today as a public holiday in honour of the Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Saliu Adetunji, who will be installed as the Olubadan of Ibadanland today.

A statement by the Head of Service, Soji Eniade and made available to reporters yesterday, said: “The holiday is declared to commemorate the coronation of the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland.

“His Excellency, the governor, has therefore urged all civil/public servants, market men and women, artisans and other members of the public to massively turn out at the venue of the ceremony by 9:00 a.m. on Friday to witness the epoch-making event.”

Besides, Oyo State government has described as misleading and untrue claims by some corporate organisations that they are sponsoring the coronation of the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, on Friday (today).

Special Adviser to the Governor on Communication and Strategy, Mr. Yomi Layinka, who made the clarification at a press conference in Ibadan yesterday, said the coronation committee headed by the Otun Olubadan, Dr. Lekan Balogun, which also comprised representatives from the Olubadan-in-Council, Iyalode line and Olubadan-designate’s younger brother, Alhaji Ambali Adetunji, is the only recognised body vested with the preparation for the coronation.

Layinka, who heads the media sub-committee for the coronation, said that top government officials, led by a former Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Ismael Olalekan Alli, are also in the committee.

The governor’s aide said that the Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency, responsible for giving approvals for hoardings, had not received any application from any corporate organisation to display hoardings in any part of the city in respect of the coronation.

In another development, the Oyo State Market Leaders Advisory Council has directed that all markets in the 11 local councils of Ibadanland be shut on Friday, in honour of the coronation ceremony of Adetunji.

A statement by the Acting President of the Council, Alhaja Mopelade Iyadunni, said that the closure of the markets became imperative to accord due honour to the foremost monarch, who is succeeding Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I. who had joined his ancestors on January 19

In a related development, the governor has approved the conversion of the access road passing through the private residence of the Olubadan-designate at Popoyemoja, which will also serve as his palace, to a one-way.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport, Mr. Oyesola Oyedele, conveyed the governor’s decision at a separate press briefing yesterday.

He said that the decision became necessary to forestall the perennial logjam associated with the area, considering the expected heavy volume of traffic in the area on Friday and subsequently.

Oyedele explained that traffic had been diverted to the adjourning roads, where he said adequate road signs had been mounted, adding that Vehicle Inspection Officers and officials of the Oyo State Traffic Management Authority would be on hand to guide motorists accordingly.

The PS urged motorists to take note of the new directive, warning that errant drivers would be sanctioned.

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