By Dapo Akinrefon
FORMER Minister of Communications, General Tajudeen Olarenwaju (retd), yesterday, kicked against the proposed review of the Lagos State Obas and Chiefs law saying it is needless, unnecessary, and designed, engendered to achieve an unclear objective.
In a statement, the former Communications Minister urged traditional rulers and ruling houses in the state to speak up and denounce “this despicable attempt to rob them of their heritage.”
The statement reads: “In recent publications in the media, it was reported that the Lagos State government has commenced a stakeholders’ meeting on the review of the Obas and Chiefs of Lagos State Law, 2015. It is organised by the Ministry of justice’s Directorate of Legislative Drafting.
“In furtherance of this case, the Director, Aderisola Olarenwaju, not a relation please, said that the legislation was due for an update. The official went further to say the legislation is a good law but it has been in existence since 1957 and the Ministry identified several lacuna in the law.
“These are really interesting times in Lagos today. Aberrations are springing up everywhere. All traditional norms are being broken. Nothing is sacred again. A fringe, unknown character can spring up and be made a Baalẹ or kinglet who has no ancestral connection to the land.
“This review of Obas and Chiefs law touches our daily existence. It is one review too many. It is needless, unnecessary, repetitive, apparently designed, engendered to achieve an unclear objective.
“Our traditional institutions are the very pivot of our existence. They define our beginnings and our continuity. They characterize who we are.
“Our native laws and customs are facing stretching points and our values may fade away gradually if we are not vigilant.
“If the law is good; why the need for a review? This is another review too many. There have been several review commissions like the Justice Solanke in 1975 and Justice Kazeem Commission in 1978 which have established the norms, the dictates, and the practices of our ancestral beginning. Now, who is not satisfied with all these norms?
“Why is this so important now? There are so many challenges confronting us in Lagos state. We are presently challenged with issues of insecurity, poverty, COVID-19, and sundry demands. The review of Obas and Chiefs laws is hardly a necessity now.
“This untidy, unjust, puerile attempt to muddy up our Lagosian identity should be discarded forthwith. We should not jump the gun.
“I urge all monarchs and the Ruling Houses to speak up and denounce this despicable attempt to rob them of their heritage. Enough is enough.”