OBAS IN OGUN STATE GET THEIR FREEDOM

By Fr. Anthony Adetayo

Traditional worshippers in Ogun State had clashed severally with monarchs and the State House of Assembly over the bill that will give the Obas in Ogun State the right for family-chosen burial rites. As already obvious they alleged that it was an attempt to erode the culture of the Yorubas. For several years the discussion began with what was considered inconceivable from the onset to the traditional worshippers. However, following the tenets of the proceedings of the law, Governor Dapo Abiodun on Monday 10th January 2022 signed the Ogun State Chieftaincy Bill into law.

The bill titled ‘Obas, Chiefs, Council of Obas and Traditional Council law of Ogun State, Bill 2021, is aimed at “respecting human dignity and promotion of modernity” in the installation and burial of traditional rulers.

Explaining the details of the bill, the Governor stressed that, “This law seeks to improve on previously existing Western region laws or where there had been ambiguity as it relates to how our Kabiyesis will be buried, henceforth, this law now empowers the families to determine how our Kabiyesis will be interred, will be buried.

“I believe that one of the unique things about this law, besides the fact that it spells out a method of selection Obas and chiefs, is a clarity that this law now provides as it relates to the passage rites of our kabiyesis (Monarchs).

Reacting to this development, the Catholic Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Diocese, Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina aimed at the importance of such law. According to him, the Obas have right to freedom of religion as well and such it is a fundamental right of any human being whether king or commoner.

Bishop Francis Adesina with The Awujale of Ijebu land

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