From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Three hundred Ibadan natives, under the aegis of the Integrity Youths of Ibadanland, have told Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, that the outcome of the proposed review of the 1957 Olubadan chieftaincy declaration will be counter-productive if implemented.
The warning was given at an encounter with newsmen, yesterday.
President of the group, Mr. Wasiu Ojekunle and the Secretary, Mr. Kamaldeen Ganiyu, asked the state government to rescind the proposed review, to prevent embers of discord, disunity and violence it might cause in the city.
Giving reasons for its objection, the group noted that more kings with beaded crowns in Ibadanland would not be needed considering its tradition, contending that many people would jostle for the “kingship like political offices and this would always breed chaos and generational hatred.
“We reiterate that our history has not been written for fun. It contains processes and procedures to be followed in our ways of life. Our traditions, culture, cannot in any way, be equated with modernity or globalisation.”
They recommended that the state government should organise a Town Hall meeting with regards to a review of the Chieftaincy Law, and added: “Our royal fathers, high chiefs, should put a stop to rancour, grudges that could be used by third party to destroy our valued traditional institution in Ibadanland.
“We vehemently kick against the move to have more obas in Ibadanland. We rather want the government to strengthen the existing positions for community leaders through the Olubadan-in-Council.”
But, Secretary to the State Government, Olalekan Alli, assured stakeholders in Ibadan that a proposed review of the 60-year-old Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration would not diminish the status of the Olubadan.
Alli said the state government would welcome constructive criticism on the proposed review, especially before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, saying: “I believe every Nigerian and citizens of Oyo State will support the government in moving forward. There will be opportunities for other people to wear beaded crowns in the state.
“The Olubadan will remain as Olubadan of Ibadanland, not Olubadan of Moniya or Sango or Bodija. All others that will be wearing beaded crowns, definitely, when this policy comes to fruition, will actually be reporting to the Olubadan.”
He noted that the current Olubadan chieftaincy declaration was done in 1957. “It was government that did the declaration, then. It is the same government that has to do it, now.”