An international socio – cultural group of Ibadan indigenes, Ibadan United in Diaspora, has thrown its weight behind the review of Olubadan chieftaincy declaration of 1957, saying that the government has historical traction and legal backing for its action.
The Coordinator of the group in North America, Mr. Remi Babatunde, said in a statement that the group premised its action on four key issues, explaining that these include the objective of the Oyo State to setup a commission to review the Olubadan chieftaincy, the historical traction, the legal backing and support or otherwise of the stakeholders, comprising of organization like us.
Babatunde said that the group supported the decision of the state government after careful research and homework, hence its decision to issue a public statement on the issue.
He said “Ours is an international socio – cultural group made up of well-meaning Ibadan indigenes in diaspora with keen interests in developments in Ibadan land. As responsible individuals, we are forced at this juncture to publicly react to issues relating to the Oyo State Government’s decision to embark on a review of the OLUBADAN OF IBADAN CHIEFTAINCY DECLARATION AND CHIEFTAINCIES IN IBADAN by the 11-man panel headed Justice Akintunde Boade.
“Our reaction is coming at this time owing to the fact that we needed to conduct some research and do our homework properly before issuing a public statement on the issue. We also acknowledge the fact that there is a case in court on the matter and will therefore limit our statements to facts based on our findings,” the coordinator said.
Babatunde said that the findings of the group revealed that Government’s position is in line with modern trends what is obtainable generally in the traditional and Obaship institution in the South West and a direct response to the request of majority of the OLUBADAN – IN COUNCIL for a review as well as the elevation the Olubadan to the level of an IMPERIAL MAJESTY with ROYAL MAJESTIES beneath the Imperial stool, adding that for a Government which professes to be modernizing Oyo State, this may not be out of place.
The coordinator explained that the group found out historical traction of a 1974 Commission of Enquiry to review the Chieftaincy declaration and its recommendations were adopted and changes effected by the then Military Government of Western States, adding that In I976, there was the ADENEKAN ADEMOLA JUDICIAL COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY. It made recommendations which the then Military government accepted and changes effected in 1981.
He pointed out that former Governor Kolapo Ishola set up the OLOKO COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY on April 1st 1993 to review the chieftaincy Declarations all over the state, by virtue of the powers conferred on the Governor of Oyo State by section 25 of the CHIEFS LAW, noting that the recommendations which were initially accepted by Late Alhaji Lam Adesina were abrogated by former governor Rashidi ladoaja.
Babatunde added that findings of the group revealed that Governor Rasheed Ladoja also set up the ADIO COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY whose recommendations never came to fruition, saying that Governor Abiola Ajimobi like other Governors must have derived his powers from sections 10 and 25 CAP 28 of the OYO STATE CHIEFTAINCY LAW 2000.
“This law states that, ‘Section 10 of the Chiefs law gives a 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….
“Section 25(1) gives power to the Governor to set up an enquiry which he may consider necessary or desirable, which includes the power to make, review or amend a declaration. We believe It is under this provision the Governor exercised this statutory power by setting up the Judicial Commission of Enquiry to look into the issues stated in order to be satisfied (as required by section 10) as to whether or what to review in the extant declaration,” he stressed.
Babatunde said there is no doubt that the review has the backing of the stakeholders as their findings revealed that over 100 memorada were submitted and sittings were attended by different groups including the members of Olubadan-in-Coucil, Ibadan elders, Mogajis, baales among others, urging that all parties should let the law take its course and allow peace to reign in Ibadan land.
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