Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, is the current Balogun of Ibadanland, head of the military line of the Olubadan system. He is set to become the next Olubadan of Ibadan following the death of Oba Moshood Olalekan Balogun, the late Olubadan of Ibadan.

Owolabi Olakulehin hails from the Ibadan Northeast Local Government Area (LGA) of Oyo State. His roots trace back to the Okugbaja family in the Ita Baale area of Ibadan. The late Olubadan and the incoming Olubadan are from the same Ibadan North East Local Government of Oyo State.

Olakulehin is an octogenarian, reportedly 84 years old. If his emergence is ratified, he would rank among the oldest monarchs to ascend to the position.

Olakulehin boasts a military career, having served in the Nigerian Army (NA). His experience in the esteemed Nigerian Army adds a unique dimension to his persona.

Currently, Olakulehin holds the esteemed title of Balogun of Ibadanland, signifying his prominent position within the community. The title ‘Balogun’ denotes a “warlord” or someone revered for their prowess in battle in the Yoruba tradition.

In 1992, during the Third Republic under the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Olakulehin ventured into politics and successfully secured a seat in the House of Representatives, representing his constituency.

The lineage of Olakulehin is further enriched by the notable involvement of his son, Sunbo Owolabi, who previously served as the commissioner for water resources during the tenure of the late former governor, Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi.

Following tradition, the next in line to succeed Olakulehin is Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, a former governor of Oyo State and senator, who currently holds the position of Otun Olubadan of Ibadan, leading the civil line.

Meanwhile, the family compound and the private residence of the next Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olakulehin have been playing host to well-wishers since Friday.

The family residence of the next traditional ruler is located at Olakulehin compound, in Ita Baale area, Ward 2 of Ibadan North East local government area.

The private residence of the Olubadan-designate is located at Alalubosa Government Reserved Area in Ibadan South West local government area.

The two areas have been receiving different visitors since Friday.

The development was due to the passage of the 42nd Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Mahood Olalekan Balogun.

Ita Baale produced only one Baale since Ibadan was established over 200 years ago. Baale Oyesile Olugbode from Ita Baale was the 7th traditional ruler in Ibadan and reigned for thirteen (13) years, between 1851-1864.

The title of Olubadan of Ibadanland has not been introduced as at that time.

The title was introduced in 1930 during the period of Olubadan Okunola Abaasi Alesinloye from Isale Ijebu who reigned for sixteen years, 1930-1946.

Findings revealed that this is the first time the traditional ruler in Ibadan with the Olubadan of Ibadanland title will come from Ita Baale.

Some of those who spoke within the family compound at the weekend noted that other family compounds around Olakulehin compound are: Daramola, Okugbaja, Daodu, Jenriyin, Akinrinde (Kola Daisi), Kuye, Mosaderin, Ogboriefon and Jenrola (Arisekola Alao).

Many of the indigenes of the area could not hide their joy as they noted that the family compound has been receiving all categories of personalities.

A member of the Olakulehin family, said that the journey to the Olubadan stool started in 1983.

He said, “In the past, we had over 45 Mogajis (family compound heads) in all the areas called E2. Some of the family compounds are Olakulehin, Okugbaja, Daodu, Daramola, Jenriyin, Akinrinde (Kola Daisi) Kuye, Mosaderin, Ogboriefon and Jenrola (Arisekola Alao).

“We started this journey in 1983 when he was made the Mogaji of the compound. He was made the Mogaji of the family compound during the time of Oba Yesufu Oloyede Asanike from IdiAro who reigned from 1983 to 1993. He later became the Jagun of Ibadan-based in 1986”.

Some of the youths who were seen at the family compound narrated that the emergence of Oba Olakulehin would bring a lot of development projects to the area.

One of the youths said, “It is our turn. It was not easy. But we thank God that Olubadan is coming to Ita Baale again. We thank God for the life of our father.

“This will bring a lot of good things to this area. Baba is a good person. He served in the army and he retired. He was also elected as a member of the House of Representatives on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) during the aborted third republic”.

Prominent sons and daughters of Ibadan have also been paying homage to Oba Olakulehin at his Alalubosa private residence.

Some of the early callers included members of Olubadan-In-Council.

The council members were led by a former governor of the state, Senator Rasidi Adewolu Ladoja who doubles as the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland.

Other members of the council who have paid homage to the new Olubadan are Oba Amidu Ajibade, Oba Adebayo Akande and Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi.

Some of the Mogajis, including the Mogaji of Adeyipo compound, Alhaji Muktar Gbadeyanka have also visited the Olubadan-designate.

It was learnt that the tradition of paying homage to the family compound and residence of the next Olubadan is an age-long tradition in Ibadan.