By: Lawal Jamiu
Concerned by the need to review the State Chieftaincy law with a view to addressing incessant litigation in chieftaincy matters, ensure adherence to due process in the installation, promotion, burial rites, composition and the activities of kingmakers as well as the need for Chieftaincy Tribunal, the Ogun State House of Assembly today held an interactive session with relevant stakeholders including the State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs as well as Paramount Rulers and the State Council of Baales on the proposed Chieftaincy Law.
The initiative was preparatory to setting the pace for the process of putting in place a new law aimed at repeling the existing legislation for a more comprehensive law that would help reform the traditional institution in the State.
The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, who presided over the session held at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta in company of other lawmakers, noted that the session was meant to parley the monarchs with a view to putting in place an all- encompassing legislation towards resolving issues creating avoidable legal tussle in the institution, thereby creating unnecessary distractions and expenses for government.
Decrying the numerous court cases relating to installation of monarchs and land related matters filed before the different courts, the Speaker opined that the traditional institution supposed to be exemplary and dignified, hence the need for the traditional rulers to be apolitical being the custodians of the rich culture and tradition of the people.
Oluomo expressed the readiness of the Ninth Legislature in the State to blaze the trail by setting the pace for improved standard to give a well defined role to traditional rulers especially on how to strenghten security in their respective domains, while putting in place measures towards maintaining hierarchy within the traditional system.
In his remarks, the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Afolabi Afuape described the proposed legislation as laudable and long overdue, saying it would put an end to the aged long disputes in the process of installation, elevation, ranking and area of prescribed authority for monarchs.
Responding, the representative of the Chairman of the State Traditional Council and the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, who is also the Dagburewe of Idowa, Oba Yinusa Adekoya, his Egbaland counterpart, represented by the Bantuu of Egbaland, Chief Kehinde Sofenwa, the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland represented by the OlokeOdan of Oke-Odan, Oba( Dr) Oluwarotimi Fagbenro and the Representative of Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, who is also the Elepe of Epe Sagamu, Oba Osiberu Adewale, described the Assembly’s move as a right step deserving commendation, as it would address the shortcomings being experienced in the existing law, which they described as “being too cumbersome”.
Highlighting causes of litigations, petitions and disputes to include undue interference in the process of filling vacant stools, the monarchs recommended the review of the approval of regency council and that of the roles of warrant chiefs; canvassing that the supervisory and moderating role be reserved for the traditional council.
In another development, the Assembly through its Committee on Oil, Gas, Energy, Water Resources and Rural Development led by Hon. Abdul Bashir Oladunjoye, has directed the Head of Commercial Operations of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company ( IBEDC), Mr. Ayoola Adio to immediately issue a letter of non indebtedness and release to the Alasia- Likorodu Community in Sagamu Local Government Area to allow them source their alternative energy.
Hon. Oladunjoye issued the directive during a tripartite meeting with the Special Assistant to the Governor on Energy, Mr. Wale Sulaiman, the Management Team of IBEDC and the affected community, explaining that the issuance of the letter would enable the community which had been in darkness for over four years due to disconnection from the national grid; connect to the Ikeja Distribution Company to access electricity.
The Chairman in company of other members of the Commmitee noted that the Community, having paid their outstanding debt with the IBEDC should be allowed to go in line with their agreement with the Distribution Company.