The Olubadan-in-Council and Onpetu of Ijeru Kingdom, Oba Sunday Oyediran, have thrown their weights behind Governor Seyi Makinde on his planned reform of Chiefs Law in Oyo State.
This is contained in their memoranda presented at the public hearing held by the House of Assembly on the reform on Sunday in Ibadan.
The submissions came barely days after some senior chiefs, Mogajis, as well as market men and women, also supported the proposed reform.
The bill on the reform, seeking to amend the current Chiefs Law, particularly section 28 of the law, had passed the second reading stage at the House of Assembly.
Some traditional rulers in the state have supported the planned reform, while others called for caution.
The Olubadan-in-Council, in its memorandum, said that it was time to amend the Chiefs Law to allow more obas to be under the Olubadan of Ibadanland.
It advanced reasons why the Ibadan chieftaincy declaration should be reformed after the Chiefs Law has been amended.
The majority of Olubadan high chiefs, in their memoranda to the Speaker of the house, at the public hearing, declared support for the reform.
Commenting, Tajudeen Ajibola, the Otun Balogun of Ibadanland, said the state government needed to reform the Chieftaincy Laws vis-a-vis Ibadan Municipality in the 11 local government areas.
“Ibadan has been long governed by the 1957 Declaration Law, whereby High Chiefs under the Olubadan are subject to ridicule and lack of respect at public functions.
“Olubadan was upgraded to the status of Imperial Majesty. He also cut the line to 12 steps on Otun line and 13 steps on the Balogun line,” Mr Ajibola said.
He said the late governor’s reform was reversed by Mr Makinde, adding that Ibadan high chiefs were not respected and given necessary regard within and outside the government functions.
Mr Ajibola said they were not treated like other obas from Oke-Ogun, Oyo and Ogbomoso axis, who have no higher domain status or a size bigger than areas in Ibadan.
“The defect leading to the derailment of the attempt of the late Ajimobi to upgrade Ibadan hierarchy was failure to amend the Chiefs Law to give it the status it deserved.
“Now that the incumbent governor has decided to put the record straight and give Ibadan a befitting status, we solidly support the amendment to section 28 of Oyo State Chiefs Laws,” Mr Ajibola said.
In his contributions, the Onpetu of Ijeru Kingdom said that the law amendment was a good development.
Oba Oyediran said the governor’s discretion regarding the chieftaincy holders entitled to wear beaded crowns should be done according to due diligence.
He said that beaded crowns should be approved based on the historical antecedent of the chieftaincies, the peculiarity of a given area and the doctrine of necessity.
“In exercising his discretion, the governor should conduct due diligence to ensure that territorial identities are respected and avoid overlapping areas of traditional authorities.
“It must draw a distinct line between traditional Chiefs and honorary ones. The beaded crown approved by the governor should be annotated with the inscription of Obas created by statute,” he said.
The traditional ruler said that with the amendment, the governor was now placed in the position of a court judge in respect of entitlement to wear a beaded crown.
He said that the governor must exercise his discretion judiciously and judicially.