On December 31, 2018, Alaiyeluwa, Oba Rilwan Oluwalambe Taiwo, the Oba of Ojokoro land and the Akeja Oniyanru (Akanbiogun 1) of Ojokoro Local Council Development Area, Lagos State, issued and served a “Notice of Romoval from Office as Baales” on Chief Zaccheus Adeleye and Chief Bakare Akintunde Jonathan, Baales of Ilupeju Titun and Abule Egba Tuntun respectively.
According to the suspension letter, the Oba’s action was predicated on “Some allegations leveled against” the two Baales, “In connection with Abule Egba inferno sometime in December 2018 by SARS State Police Headquarters.”
This did not come to the subjects as a funny development. It caused uproar in the communities. There were arguments for and against the action of the respected Oba.
However, the citizens and the Baales did not take the laws into their hands. The due process of law was allowed to run its full circle.
Interestingly, Some weeks back, precisely on October 8, 2019, Alaiyeluwa, Oba Rilwan Oluwalambe Taiwo, wrote Chief Zaccheus Adeleye and Chief Bakare Akintunde Jonathan, Baales of Ilupeju Titun and Abule Egba Tuntun respectively.
In the letter titled “Reinstatement of Chief Zaccheus Adeleye as Baale of Ilupeju Titun Town and Baale Abule Egba Titun , Ojokoro, Lagos,” the Oba stated inter alia “ Sequel to the fulfillment of all what the two Baales were asked to do and its utmost unalloyed patriotism and loyalty to the paramount ruler of Ifako Ijaiye/Ojokoro land, they are hereby reinstated. All privileges, instruments and benefits attached to their offices are also restored back to them. This letter serves as notice to all concerned subjects, general public and relevant government agencies.”
To proof the genuiness of the reinstatement, the respected Oba copied executive chairman, Ifako Ijaiye Local Government, the Executive Chairman, Ojokoro Local Government Development Area, LCDA, Chieftaincy Committee, Ifako Ijaiye/ Ojokoro, Council of Obas, Ojokoro LCDA, Department of State Security, DSS, Ifako Ijaiye/Ojokoro LCDA, Council of Elders, Abule Egba Titun and Council of Elders, Ilupeju Titun.
What Oba Rilwan Oluwalambe Taiwo did is a demonstration of quality leadership. This is highly commendable, to say the least.
For centuries, before the advent of British rule, governance in different parts of present-day Nigeria was synonymous with traditional institutions and their rulers. Indegenous administration generally centered on the traditional ruler who was considered the repository of religious, legislative, executive and judicial knowledge and functions. The nexus between the traditional and modern has been a central theme of postcolonial African philosophy. Indeed, traditional modes of thought, behaviour and institutions constitute resources to the projects of modernisation and development.
In effect, the traditional ruler formed the nucleus of governance. Understandably, traditional authority is structured on the basis of hierarchy and status with rules and discipline patterned along environmental peace and developments.
Given the distance between the Nigerian state and the people arising from continued government arbitrariness and neglect of the needs of the people, Nigerians have strong affiliation to traditional authority for protection.
It was against this backdrop that while the suspension lasted, the good people in the respective towns were denied the traditional services of the Baales especially in contributing positively to the goals of modernization, organic growth, rapid increase in social wealth and economic development.
Significantly, the reinstatement has ushered the desired peace and harmony into the communities. This has ushered in love, continuity, and positive image of the community to the outside world. The people earnestly support their Baales and the traditional stool .
The cultural significance of the reign of a traditional ruler cannot be neglected. Peace has since returned to the communities as the wish of the people in having their most trusted and viable traditional ruler is granted.
Princess Temitope Aladegoroye,