In what may seem to challenge Olubadan of Ibadanland directive, Oba Saliu Adetunji, only he and Governor Seyi Makinde should host masked this year, masked in large numbers converged on the Aliiwo family home of Otun Olubadan, Oba Lekan Balogun to entertain him and his guests.
Prior to the start of the annual Monday festival, Oba Adetunji had his personal assistant / director of media and advertising; Mr. Adeola Oloko said that “only the governor of the state of Oyo, Engr. Seyi Makinde and Olubadan of Ibadanland would be entertained by the masked.”
But the masked man led in large quantities to enter the large complex after another to entertain Oba Balogun, who was accompanied by his colleague Obas, including Balogun of Ibadanland, Owolabi Olakulehin, Eddy Oyewole, Lateef Adebimpe, Hamidu Ajibade among the others pour gifts into the mask as they happily danced and prayed for the peace, stability, growth and development of Ibadanland.
The highlight of the party, which was mixed with an acrobatic display by local gymnasts, was the traditional killing of a dog, a rite reserved by law for an important masquerade in Ibadanland, the “Atipako”.
Speaking to journalists after the ritual followed by a heavy downpour, Oba Balogun described the program as “incredibly fantastic”, just as he wondered why Olubadan should insist that he alone among the Olubadan-in-Council members should receive the masked ones his palace
Recalling that Oba Adetunji, ever before he qualified to host the masqueraders by virtue of his position then as ‘Ekerin Balogun’ had to plead for it from the late Oba Odugade Odulana and the late monarch graciously approved it with inputs from some of the then High Chiefs, stating that, “it is now inexplicable why Oba Adetunji should wish to deny those of us who genuinely qualify to host the masqueraders.
“Olubadan tried it last year and failed just as he has equally failed to stop the outing this year. What he stands to benefit from robbing our tradition which should be promoted by him remains unknown to us. But, thankfully, the custodians of the masquerades had taken it upon themselves to protect the tradition in defiance of his order which lacks logic.
“For the umpteenth time, we are saying we have no problem with him as the Ibadan foremost monarch and the reform being attacked by him has not in any way diminished his status. As Otun Olubadan, I’m behind him just like other High Chiefs promoted as Obas and we still retain our titles,” he added.
When Oba Balogun was reminded that ordinarily, the pronouncement of a monarch should automatically be binding on all his subjects and their defiance amounts to insubordination, he said, “the popular saying in Yoruba that ‘toba lase’ presupposes that Oba would always weigh his directive before making pronouncement.
“In this instance, Kabiyesi has not been fair, not only to us, but, to our tradition and our people in general. You can imagine the implication of not allowing the prayers to be offered, the economic gain the stakeholders would make as well as the interaction between us and our masquerades. Oba’s directive becomes binding when unnecessary sentiments are not put into consideration,” Oba Balogun stated further.