July 11, 2024

Govt’s interference caused strains in Ibadan traditional system — EX-CCII President, Oyero

Kingmakers boycott meeting over Olubadan-designate’s absence

By Laolu Elijah, Ibadan

A former President of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Chief Bayo Oyero has condemned the involvement of the Oyo State Government in the lbadan traditional system saying reforms of the Ibadan chieftaincy Declaration should not have been initiated by the government.

He said this on Monday while presenting a lecture at the 2024 annual lecture organized by Ibadan Foundation led by Alhaji Tunji Afunlehin which held at the Ibadan Civic Centre, Idi Ape, Ibadan.

He lamented that the enviable traditional system in the whole Yoruba land is now going through strains as a result of the interference of government in the traditional system.

At the lecture entitled, Ibadan: A time to score golden goals; Visioning for fatherland” Chief Oyero said, “recent events in our traditional chieftaincy system hints us that we must not be indifferent to goings on, which can have far reaching implications for our system which is unique and revered by all other Yoruba kingdoms.”

“One thing is clear; politics has crept into it and it is unhealthy for the system. One can now see the wisdom of Oba Odulana Odugadev 2007-2016 when he attempted to insulate our traditional chieftaincy system from partisan politics.

He proposed that chiefs at the peak of the two ladders of Otun and Balogun lines-i.e high chiefs should renounce partisan politics. Members of his council frustrated his efforts.”

“Up till the period of the immediate past administration in the state, no government ever tampered with Ibadan chieftaincy system. It is becoming clear to indigenes of Ibadanland that government involvement in the system is not productive for the system.”

Instead of unnecessary interference of the state government, he reasoned that
“reforms should be initiated by the Olubadan and Olubadan Advisory council and endorsed by the people. Not by any state government. I hope and pray that the changes already made and intended will not consume the system, which is already experiencing strains and stresses never known in its 78 years of existence from 1946. The reform was fashioned by by the then Olubadan Aleshinloye and his chiefs and the educated Ibadan elites which was later endorsed by the government and promulgated into a Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957.

Even during the 19th century, no government ever tampered with Ibadan chieftaincy system. Ibadan leaders, right at the onset of this 3rd Ibadan settlement, freely chose republicanism over hereditary monarchy and they were unhindered. The proper thing should be when the Olubadan and his council had proposed reform and is able to carry the people along, the government can now be approached for legislative endorsement. It should be a bottom up and not a top down.

“I am not oblivious of the fact that because such reforms may have financial implication for the state government, so the government may not be totally out of the picture. It can advise, guide and take care of the interest of the government. The negative effects of government involvement in chieftaincy matters is typified by the current situation in Kano State.

He also warned that a non Ibadan woman should not be allowed to join Iyalode line adding that if this is not checked, Ibadan will be the only known Yoruba kingdom where her Iyalode is a non indigene.

“There is a practice going on now in our chieftaincy system that should be arrested before it bastardizes our system. The practice of appointing non-Ibadan women into Iyalode line is unacceptable. Once appointed, they are potential Iyalode.”

The Olubadan Advisory council must know it is an abuse of office to approve and preside over the installation of their wives as chiefs in Iyalode line.

In attendance were Chief Bayo Oyero, former President of the CCII, Chief Mrs Bola Doherty, CEO, Bola Group of Schools, Oba Olasunkanmi Abioye Opeola, the Oniroko of Iroko who represented Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, Dr Adetunji Adeniran, First Pathologist Veterinary, Architect Fatai Falola, IPU Ibadan, Retired Major General, AA Oalniyi, former GOC, 82 Div. Nigerian Army, Baale Ekotedo, Elder Taiye Ayorinde.