• Visit Oba Adetunji, say House of Assembly awaits review Bill
Four members of Oyo State House of Assembly, who are from Ibadan, disclosed, yesterday, that Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s review of Olubadan Chieftaincy, was not backed by law.
The four lawmakers are Fatai Adesina, representing Ibadan South-East constituency I; Akeem Ige, representing Ibadan South-East constituency II and member of the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matter; Buniyamin Olasunkanmi, representing Egbeda state constituency; and Samson Olasunkanmi, representing Ona-Ara state constituency.
The lawmakers said this when they visited Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, in his palace at Popoyemoja, in Ibadan.
They reiterated that the House has neither received nor deliberated on the Olubadan Chieftaincy Review Bill, which has increased kings in the capital city, from one, to 34 kings, with Olubadan towering above them all.
The four lawmakers, who were elected on the platform of Accord Party, argued that “it is not proper for the governor to crown people when the House has not deliberated on a document that was reviewed by a commission and which has to do with the (governor’s) action.”
The lawmakers insisted it was wrong for the state government to crown the 21 new kings by fiat when the old document on Ibadan chieftaincy system had not been sent for the House to amend.
Adesina, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues said: “We are yet to receive any proposed amendment, concerning the review, done by a commission, from the state government. It is new to us but, if such law is passed for amendment, we will express our feelings and see to it that Ibadan traditional system and council are not disturbed in any way.
“Members of the House are reasonable people. We know that whatever we do today, posterity will judge us. People who stood on the wrong side during the Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola struggle are nowhere to be found today.
“We will not like to die politically because of this issue. It is always funny when people say that the governor controls the House. Sections four, five and six of the Nigerian Constitution detail the functions of every arm of government. Governors are not semi-lords. The people we represent have the power to remove us; if we don’t do the right thing.
“We have been informed that if this governor’s action stands, Oyo and Ogbomoso will be the next destinations. The state government should be contented with some other fundamental issues and not traditional issues.
“As the Oba in a community, under Ibadan, or some council areas, how will you greet the Olubadan?
“Can a king remove his crown to greet another king? Can someone be crowned twice in a town? These are issues that remain confusing. If you tell a lie today, you have to tell about 20 more to cover it up in future. That is what is happening now.
“We stood our ground on several issues in the past because we are not rubberstamp lawmakers. Indigenes of Ibadan will not want their city destroyed,” he said.
When contacted, Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun, punctured their claim.
He said sections 10 and 25 CAP 28 of the Oyo State Chieftaincy Law, 2000 “gives discretionary power to the governor of the state, if satisfied that a declaration is faulty or objectionable, to amend or replace such declaration. “That power is exercisable only by the governor without necessarily being in consultation with anybody.”