By: Olajide Toriola
Oyo State Government has warned an alleged self-acclaimed Baale of Ejioku, Prince Bashiru Adesina, to desist from parading himself in such capacity, having failed to secure the approval of the Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, in disobedience to the provisions of Chiefs Law of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000, CAP. 28.
A statement by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Bimbo Kolade, on Monday, conveyed the government’s displeasure at the development, which, he said, contravened laid down rules guiding the appointment of Part II recognized chiefs.
Although Section 20 (1, 2 and 3) regulates such appointment, Section 20 (1) specifically reads, “Subject to the provisions of this section, the governor may approve or set aside an appointment of a recognized chief,” the class under which the Baale of Ejioku falls.
Kolade warned that the government would wield the big stick should the concerned chief remain adamant in order to protect the sanctity of the revered traditional institution of Ibadanland.
While acknowledging the existence of correspondence between the ministry and Lagelu Local Government in respect of the vacant Baale of Ejioku stool, he said that the process had remained inchoate, having been stalled at the LG level since October, last year.
The ministry said its October 17, 2016, letter to Lagelu LG, which was received by the Director, Administration and General Services, Mr. Kolawole Popoola, mandating it to provide certain documents as proof that the due process had been followed, had yet to be complied with.
In the letter, the ministry had requested the LG to provide “public notice issued by the LG on the vacant stool; certificate of appointment issued by the kingmakers (in respect of the chosen candidate); as well as the attendance sheet stating those that attended the family and the kingmakers’ meetings.”
The letter by the ministry’s Director of Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Zaccheaus Jayeola, also mandated the LG to submit the letter written by the LG conveying the approval of the state government to the next ruling house to fill the vacant stool.
It reads further, “(You are requested to provide the) letter written to the kingmakers by the head of the ruling house, informing them of the candidate nominated for the vacant stool; and the consent letter of His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, the Olubadan of Ibadanland.
“Please note that the required documents are to be presented before the approval of His Excellency, the Executive Governor (Senator Abiola Ajimobi), could be sought.”
With the benefit of hindsight, Kolade said that the ministry would ensure that the due processes were followed to the letter to avert anarchy and litigations by the contenders, which, he said, was always at huge cost to the government.
The commissioner admonished those nursing the ambition of becoming traditional chiefs to adhere strictly to the legal process in pursuing such ambitions instead of cutting corners or resorting to self-help.
He said, “There are laid down rules and regulation guiding the emergence and installation of a traditional chief, as enshrined in the Chiefs Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000, CAP 28. This has been the guiding light for the ministry.
“It is therefore an attempt to cause anarchy in the land for anybody to start parading himself as a Baale without following the due process. We have in the recent past warned contenders to the traditional stools against flouting the extant laws.
“Experience has shown that such inordinate ambition is an invitation to breakdown of law and order, because of the acrimonious contentions among contenders to such stools. That is why laws were enshrined to guard against anarchy in the land.
“For the sake of emphasis, the state government does not recognize Prince Bashiru Adesina as the Baale of
Ejioku. He is, therefore, warned to stop parading himself in such capacity till those concerned comply with due process.”