The Olugbon of Orile-Igbon in Oyo State, Oba Francis Alao, has told the state House of Assembly to be careful on the proposed amendment of the Chiefs Law of the state.
reports that the amendment seeks to empower the state governor to elevate some chiefs traditional rulers to bead-wearing obas if the council of obas and chiefs does not meet to consider their elevation.
Oba Alao, who is the Vice Chairman of the state Council of Obas and Chiefs, gave this advice in a memorandum he submitted at the public hearing by the state House of Assembly on the proposed amendment.
He lamented that the proposal did not take the customs and traditions of the people into consideration, saying it might be a recipe for unnecessary communal clashes and border disputes.
The paramount ruler, therefore, recommended that, “In order to preserve our cultural heritage, a proviso/clause be inserted into the amendment to provide that elevation under this law shall only be applicable during any period where the Council of Obas is unable to hold deliberations for any reason whatsoever.’’
Also, Oyo royal families and ruling houses cautioned against the amendment, in a memo titled, “Memorandum On Chiefs Amendment Law 2023 Section 28,” which they addressed to the Chairman, House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
In a copy of which of the memo sighted by , the ruling houses said they were strongly opposed to the abrogation of the powers of the Council of Obas and Chiefs on all matters relating to chieftaincies in the state.
The memo was jointly signed by Babayaji of Oyo; Onasokun of Oyo; Olusami of Oyo; Arole Oba of Oyo and Agunpopo of Oyo, on behalf of themselves as traditional royal title holders/chiefs and the entire Alaafin of Oyo ruling family.
It read in part, “We strongly object to the abrogation of the powers of the council on all matters relating to chieftaincies in the state. The council is better dissolved than publicly ridiculed and rendered toothless and irrelevant.
“We consider any attempt to clip the wings of the council as a dangerous trend that will bastardise the age-long traditional and customary administrative system that had sustained our civilisation and heritage at the grassroots level of governance.
“The passage of this proposed law or amendment will, no doubt, turn our traditional rulers into puns in the hands of politicians, thereby enthroning a new era of nepotism, favouritism, and influence peddling. Conferment of beaded crowns may thereby be turned into trophies for political servitude and awards to the highest bidders or the best connected.
“The law is supposed to regulate chieftaincies in line with the dictates of modern society. How can we pass this dictatorial law as a dictate of modern society? Even in Great Britaln, it is public knowledge that the Prime Minister does not interfere (both in ancient and modern times) and up to this week, in the selection process and the coronation of the Queen and the King. Are we more modern than those who brought clvilisation to our doorsteps from 1842 and before?”Olusegun