By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
A new twist emerged in the controversial Ogun State Traditional Rulers’ Installation and Burial Rites bill being sponsored by Hon. Balogun Agbolade as the Osugbo Remo in Council and Traditional Worshippers have warned the state House of Assembly not to pass the bill.
The group said this was in the interest of Oba Sikirulahi Adetona, Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebu Land, and other traditional rulers. Oba Adetona has been fingered behind the proposed bill.
The group’s position was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of their deliberation on the proposed bill which has scaled the second reading at the floor of the state assembly.
It was made available to newsmen at Iledi-Ogboni Sagamu in Sagamu Local Government, which is the headquarters of Remoland in the state.
According to the Secretary of the Council, High Chief Johnson Olaseni Adeokun, the group alleged that major attempt of the bill, was to hatch the intention of the Awujale of Ijebu land to eradicate the Yoruba culture in view of his strange Islamic belief and to introduce another strange thing into Obaship institutions in Yoruba land.
Adeokun said the traditional institution was headed by the Osugbo and responsible for the installation and the burial of any demised king, noting that all agitation for the strange doctrine and the sponsor of the bill that Obas in the state should be buried according to their religious beliefs is null and void.
“Even the Nigerian constitution, according to Section 10 of the 1999 amended constitution, gives everybody the right to practice the religion of his or her own choice without any interference with other people’s beliefs and any religion doctrine,” Adeokun said.
He added that the proposed bill empowering Muslims and Christians to perform the burial rites of an Oba would constitute an infringement on the rights of the traditional worshippers and promote war, chaos and pandemonium.
“Obaship institution is contained under the traditional institution, as such, anybody who voluntarily gives himself out or permit or volunteer himself to be crowned and installed as a king under the Yoruba culture and or Yoruba traditional institution, will immediately attain the position of ALASE EKEJI ORISA, that’s means second in command to Oracle’s to their respective lands and domain).
“Having agreed, accepted and concurred to fall in line and abide with rules, regulations, doctrines and practices of such tradition, of course, such person can not be heard to be complaining thereafter, especially after such person had completely enjoyed the water in the jug, just like the Awujale and other Obas in Ogun state are doing,” Adeokun said.
He alleged that Awujale of Ijebu Land, Oba Sikiru Adetona had attempted twice, in March 1997 and in March, 2005 to smuggle the bill into the state House of Assembly for consideration but failed and ignored by the majority of the past Assembly, and that the bill has now reared its ugly head and initiated by another member of the House for deliberation.