A Socio-cultural group in Oyo State, Oyo Renaissance Forum on Monday advanced reasons why Ibadan Mogajis, Baales, market men and women, Chiefs and others are happy with the Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde over planned move to reform the Oyo State Chiefs Law.
They believed that once the bill becomes law, it would allow for the wearing of beaded crowns by Senior chiefs in the State especially Olubadan In-Council and some notable Baales of ancient towns and villages.
The Convener of the group, Chief Adeola Areago, an Ibadan indigene, historian and scholar, based in the United Kingdom applauded the move by the State Governor, saying the move was long overdue.
Areago in a statement made available to reporters via electronic mail, said the news of the planned review of the Chiefs Law of Oyo State is already being applauded by all stakeholders including Mogajis in Ibadan, Baales, traders and others.
‘As a potential beneficiary including other Mogajis, Senior Chiefs and Olubadan-in-Council members, everybody is happy with the Governor. The planned review of the law to allow for the wearing of beaded crowns by a number of qualified chiefs shows the Governor of the State as a responsible and responsive leader committed to ensuring a better Oyo State and Ibadan in particular.
‘Many of our senior citizens; the elites whose legendary Baales in ancient communities deserve beaded crowns to become more respected in the comity of other monarchs across the State, are also happy with His Excellency.
‘The State lawmakers should also be commended for its move to fast track the passage of this bill. Their names would be etched out in history alongside His Excellency for making the long-awaited dream a reality.’
He said the Governor must show more commitment to the executive bill on the matter currently before the State House of Assembly and ensure timely passage of same in order to make the long-awaited reform of the State Chiefs Law a reality.
‘ I have seen various statements supporting the proposed amendment of Chiefs law by the Governor. This is highly commendable.
‘The governor should go ahead with his action for now. He should ignore critics. It is normal. Once it becomes law. Law is Supreme. And everybody would just have to re-adjust to the new reality in Ibadan and Oyo State in general.
‘It is therefore a thing of joy that the new law would give the Governor the power to be the prescribing authority on all chieftaincy matters.
“Not only that,” another source who is in the known of Obaship issues, explained, “this bill, if passed into law, empowers the Governor as the sole appointing authority for Obas and Chiefs without any recourse to the Council of Obas – thereby removing all checks and balances.
It would be recalled that the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof Oyelowo Oyewo disclosed that many of the requests to the state governor by traditional leaders known as Baales to wear beaded crowns at different domains across the state have remained pending for so long because of the inability of the council of Chiefs to meet.
He noted that the absence of the state Council of Chiefs which ought to interface with the governor before granting approvals for such requests have not also been able to sit for necessary deliberation over a long period of time.
The Attorney General added that these factors necessitated the proposal by the state executive council headed by governor Makinde to amend section 28 of Oyo state Chiefs Law in order to further improve the process.
He said, the proposed amendment, when fully effective, will empower the state Governor as the sole authority without consultations with the Chiefs to grant approvals for wearing of beaded crowns.
Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye, while shedding more light on the proposed amendment bill said, “the state executive council deliberated on section 28 sub section 1 of the Chiefs Laws of Oyo state.
“The law as it is today is that the Governor can only approve application for beaded crown after consultations with Oyo state Council of Obas and Chiefs but we all know that Council has not met for a very long time now and we have a lot of applications for approval of beaded crowns.
“So, that section 28 of the law has now been amended to give the governor sole authority to approve application for beaded crown in Oyo state without consultations.”