By James Ogunnaike
ABEOKUTA—GOVERNOR Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, yesterday, signed into law a bill that provides for how traditional rulers and chiefs are to be selected, appointed, recognised and buried in the state.
The bill, titled ‘A Bill for a Law to Provide for an Approved Method for the Selection, Appointment and Recognition of Obas and Chiefs in Ogun State and Other Related Matters’, seeks to redefine the traditional institution to reflect the current realities.
Signing the bill in the presence of some paramount rulers, including the Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle; Akarigbo of Remoland and the Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, who was the promoter of the bill, Abiodun said: “I believe that one of the unique things about this law, beside the fact that it is set out to improve the method for the selection of Obas and Chiefs, is the clarity that this law provides, as it relates to the passage of our monarchs.
“This law seeks to improve on the previous existing Western Nigeria laws on where there had been ambiguity as it relates to how our monarchs will be buried. It states emphatically that the families of the respective Obas should have a say on how they are buried henceforth. It now allows the families to determine how our Obas will be interred and, of course, without prejudice to the traditional rites that are meant to be performed by the customary laws. Going forward, the families now have a say on how our royal fathers should be buried.”
In his remarks, Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Kunle Oluomo said the bill passed through the toughest proceedings in the history of the House as it generated a lot of issues from members of the public.
Also speaking, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Oluwasina Ogungbade, said the law which is the first in the country, was put in place to further make the traditional rulers contribute more to the development of the State, expressing the hope that it would be a template for other states to copy.
On his part, the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, who was the Chairman of Ogun State Council of Obas when the bill was initiated, said it was a great achievement for people as the Bill attracted a lot of attention from both Christians and Muslims.