The ancient city of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, was agog on Friday, the 4th day of March, 2016, as His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji was crowned the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland, at about 10:51am by the 10th Olowu Afobaje of Ibadanland, Chief Idowu Popoola.
Born on Sunday, 26 August, 1928, at Adetunji Compound, Popoyemoja, Ibadan, in the present day Ibadan South-West local Government of Oyo State to Pa Raji Olayiwola and Alhaja Suwebat Amope Adetunji, Oba Saliu Adetunji is the eldest of his father’s 17 children. As the eldest child of the family, his seniority is not just a title as it confers on him a responsibility, even in a polygamous setting where he is expected to lead by example as the first-born.
The Oba is a man of modest education; yet, he speaks, reads and writes in English. He began his career as a tailor when his uncle, Salami Oladiti, took him to Lagos in 1949. The young Saliu Adetunji wasted no time in enrolling as an apprentice under the tutelage of Mr. Disu Alade Igbalajobi, where he learnt to sew native and English dresses.
In 1957, Saliu Adetunji became a merchant in the music recording business through his boss then, Pa Samuel Badejo Okusanya. Given the nature of his business investments and his international exposure, Saliu became a specialist in talent discovery, music composition, arrangement, production, promotion, advertisement and marketing.
According to the juju music maestro, Chief Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi, “what Baba Saliu Adetunji does not know in the Nigerian music industry is not worth knowing. He is the longest surviving indigenous music promoter in Nigeria. He is also the Life Patron of the entertainment industry in the country.”
From being a modest seller of records at Ereko Lane, Idumota, in the present day Lagos Island Local Government of Lagos State in 1957, Saliu Adetunji played a pivotal role in the rise of Nigerian Juju music superstars, such as, Lefty Balogun, Amuda Agboluaje, Tatalo Alamu, Raimi Atolagbe, Dauda Epo-Akara, Sule Epo, Iyanda Sawaba, Asanat Omo Aje, and host of others, whom he promoted through his popular music label, Omo Aje Sound Studio. He is also credited with the rise of King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal K1 and Alayeluwa Sule Alao Malaika, among others.
Oba Adetunji has an exemplary family life. He is blessed with many children, grand children, and great grand children.
He began his long journey to the Olubadan throne in 1976, when he was chosen by the leader of the large, all-inclusive Adetunji family of Alusekere Compound, Popoyemoja, Ibadan, on the advice of the immediate past Balogun of Ibadanland, late High Chief Suleiman Omiyale. After becoming the Mogaji of his family house, during the reign of Oba Gbadamosi Adebimpe, the then Olubadan, he started the journey to join the Ibadan Traditional Chiefs, by getting enlisted in the Balogun line in 1978. He received the chieftaincy title of ‘Jagunmolu Balogun’ during the reign of Olubadan Daniel Tayo Akinbiyi of Elekuro, Ibadan.
In the past 40 years, he has been promoted from one step to another till when the exalted throne of the Olubadan became vacant following the passage of Oba Samuel Odulana Odugbade I on Tuesday, 19 January, 2016.
In line with the procedure for the coronation and installation of a new Olubadan, Chief Saliu Adetunji was on Friday, 4th March, 2016, crowned the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland and presented with the staff of office by the State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
Oba Adetunji, aged 87years, is widely travelled. As a successful businessman and entertainment impresario with extensive interests in property and real estate, there is no doubt that, the new Olubadan of Ibadanland has paid his dues.
In line with the tyradition, some High Chiefs were promoted by Olubadan-in-Council, namely:
Oloye Lekan Balogun – Otun Olubadan
Oloye Tajudeen Olakunlehin –Balogun Olubadan
Oloye Rashidi Ladoja – Osi Olubadan
Oloye Olaifa Otun – Balogun
Oloye Eddy Oyewole – Asipa Olubadan
Oloye Tajudeen Ajibola – Osi Balogun
Oloye Biodun Kola Daisi – Ekerin Olubadan
Oloye Adabaale – Asipa Balogun
Hamidu Ajibade – Earun Olubadan
Aminat Abiodun – Iyalode Ibadan
Among the dignitaries that graced the occasion were Executive Governors of Oyo, Osun, Lagos, Ekiti, Ogun and Imo States; former governors: Ahmed Bola Tinubu, Rashidi Ladoja, Alao Akala, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; traditional rulers: the Ooni of Ife, Alaafin of Oyo, Sultan of Sokoto, Oba of Lagos, Emir of Ilorin, Alake of Egbaland, Ozuruigbo V of Owerri, and a host of other dignitaries.
The Head, NICO Ibadan State Office, Mr. Kenneth Odum also attending with some of the staffers, namely, Shola Aina, Ikona Ubi, Abdulrasaq Muhammed, and Sunday Ijasan.
NICO Ibadan State Office