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Ogun State: Governor Dapo Abiodun signs new chiefs’ law

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Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has signed into law a bill that provides for how traditional rulers and chiefs are to be selected, appointed, recognized and buried.

Titled “A Bill for a Law to provide for an approved method for the selection, appointment and recognition of Obas and Chiefs in Ogun State and for Other Related Matters”, the law seeks to redefine the traditional institution to reflect the current realities.

Among other things, the law provides for the preservation, protection and exercise by Traditional Rulers of their fundamental rights to be installed and buried according to their religions or beliefs and for other related matters.

Traditionalists had opposed the law and declared that it was an attempt to push cultural practices into extinction, but the Christian and the Muslim communities described the bill as “a welcome development.”

Signing the Bill on Monday in the presence of three Paramount Rulers – the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle; the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi and the Awujale of Ijebulan, Oba Sikiru Adetona, who is the promoter of the bill, Abiodun said it had become imperative to review the existing law as the state could not have laws that are antiquated and contravene the fundamental rights of individual traditional rulers.

“I believe that one of the unique things about this law beside the fact that it is set out to improve the method for the selection of Obas and Chiefs, is the clarity that this law provides as it relates to the passage of our Kabiyesi.

“This law seeks to improve on the previous existing Western Nigeria laws on where there had been ambiguity as it relates to how our kabiyesi will be buried. It states emphatically that the families of the respective Obas should have a say on how they are buried henceforth. It now allows the families to determine how our Obas will be interred and, of course, without prejudice to the traditional rites that are meant to be performed by the customary laws. Going forward, the families now have a say on how our royal fathers should be buried”, the governor stated.

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