Ten Ibadan high chiefs on Wednesday endorsed Lekan Balogun as the Olubadan-elect.
But the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland and former governor of Oyo State, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja stayed away from the meeting of the Ibadan high chiefs.
The 10 high chiefs, who met at the Mapo Hall, Ibadan, argued that no court case barred them from selecting Balogun the new Olubadan.
The Ibadan kingmakers claimed that their elevation from high chiefs to beaded crown kings by the late Governor Abiola Ajimobi-led government did not alter the Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957.
Balogun while speaking at the meeting said, “I enjoin you all to discard with all unfounded rumours and insinuations capable of disturbing the peace of Ibadanland, irrespective of the quarter from which such fake news emanate.
“In line with the traditional practice of Ibadanland when an occasion like this arises, the Olubadan-in-Council has been up and doing liaising with the Oyo State Government to ensure that every necessary step to sustain the peace of the city is strictly followed.”
Since Sunday’s demise of Oba Saliu Adetunji, there has been controversy over the selection of next monarch of the ancient city.
High Chief Balogun is next in line to the throne, but a former Attorney-General of Oyo State, Michael Lana, had on Monday petitioned Governor Seyi Makinde, urging him not to approve Balogun’s selection as the next Olubadan.
According to Lana, since Ajimobi had crowned Balogun and other high chiefs in the council, except Rashidi Ladoja, it would be illegal to select and install any of them as the new Olubadan.
Speaking on Ladoja’s absence from the meeting, one of his aides, who pleaded not to be identified, explained that the former governor stayed away it was convened by high chiefs promoted to Obas by Ajimobi.
“He could not have been at the meeting. Those who met are chiefs that were crowned by Ajimobi. Ladoja refused to be crowned; so he is not one of them. That was not a meeting of the Olubadan-in-Council,” he said.