By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has commended the Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, for measures taken to curb fetish practices in the installation and burial of traditional rulers in his domain.
Last week, Abiodun signed the Ogun Chieftaincy Bill into law in response to the clamour for religious freedom in the emergence and obsequies of traditional rulers in the state.
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However, MURIC’s Executive Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, in a statement on Monday, appreciated the governor’s assent to the legislation, titled: ‘Obas, Chiefs, Council of Obas and Traditional Council Law of Ogun State (2021)’.
Akintola said the new law coupled with the efforts of the state government would help mitigate the growing monopoly of traditionalists in the coronation and burial of monarchs.
He said, “The law is aimed at curbing fetish practices and putting an end to the monopoly of traditionalists who have hitherto controlled all installation and burial ceremonies of kings in the state.
“MURIC identifies with the aspirations of the brains behind this law. It is a booster for freedom of religion and a vital shot in the arm for the dignity of homo sapiens, for decency and for Allah-given fundamental human rights.
“It will stop overbearing traditionalists who have monopolised the installation and burial rites of Obas in the state with their fetish practices without respecting the personal religious beliefs of the Obas.
“Many Christians and Muslims who are eligible to vie for the obaship stool, but who have been kept in abeyance by the fetish practices will now be able to compete freely with others from the ruling houses.
“It is our hope that this will be extended to the obnoxious and illegal practice of unilateral imposition of curfews on communities by Oro worshippers. Ogun lawmakers may have to take another look at this aspect as it may require another bill to stop the imposition of illegal curfew by Oro worshippers.
“MURIC also commends the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode, Oba Sikiru Adetona and Hon Akeem Balogun (Ogun Waterside State Constituency) for working in synergy to introduce the bill in the Ogun State House of Assembly. Equally worthy of appreciation are members of the state assembly who supported the bill.
“We call on other state assemblies in Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti to syndicate the bill. Only thus can the houses of assembly in those states be described as truly democratic and in pursuit of freedom of thought, liberty and human dignity.”