Traditional rulers will henceforth be installed and buried according to their religious beliefs in Ogun State as Governor Dapo Abiodun, Monday, signed into law a Bill that provides for how traditional rulers and chiefs are to be selected, appointed, recognized and buried.
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 for Other Related Matters”, the law seeks to redefine the traditional institution to reflect the current realities.
The bill was promoted by the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr) Sikiru Adetona.
Among other things, the law provides for the preservation, protection and exercise by Traditional Rulers of their fundamental rights to be installed and buried according to their religions or beliefs and for other related matters.
Traditionalists had opposed the law and declared that it was an attempt to push cultural practice into extinction, but the Christian and the Muslim communities described the bill as “a welcome development.”
Signing the Bill on Monday in the presence of the State’s paramount rulers, Governor Abiodun said it was imperative to review the existing law as the state could not have laws that are antiquated and contravene the fundamental rights of individual traditional rulers and what state stands for.
“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 kabiyesis.
“This law seeks to improve on the previous existing Western Nigeria laws on where there had been ambiguity as it relates to how our kabiyesis 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,” he explained.
“Governor Abiodun, who described traditional institutions headed by traditional rulers as the closest and oldest form of administration at the grassroots, noted that they had existed before the coming of the missionaries, and assured that the government would collaborate with them to deepen development in the grassroots, as they are reliable and dependable.
The governor appreciated the Awujale for his doggedness and persistent in seeing to the review of the law in line with the provision of the Constitution of Nigeria, as well as members of the House of Assembly for ensuring that the Bill went through rigorous exercise as it was subjected to public hearing because of interest people have on how Obas and Chiefs are appointed.
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