Osun Government Defends Appointment of New Obas, Says Actions in Compliance with Law and Tradition

Osun Government Defends Appointment of New Obas, Says Actions in Compliance with Law and Tradition

OSOGBO-09/03/2024- Osunstate.gov.ng

The government of Osun State has rebuffed opposition of violation of law and tradition over the appointment of new kings, declaring that the appointments were in line with tradition and chieftaincy laws.

In a statement signed by Oluomo Kolapo Alimi, the Commissioner for Information, allegations of misconduct, corruption and abuse of power were described as unfounded and baseless.

We call the public to recall that the present administration at its inception set up a number of committees to review the activities of the immediate past administration particularly towards the end of its tenure in response to the yearnings of the people of the State who felt some of the activities were detrimental to the progress of the State.

One of such committees was the one that reviewed activities on Chieftaincy matters from July 16 to November 26 2022. The Committee held public sessions and received several petitions on which it wrote its report. A White Paper Drafting Committee reviewed the report of the Committee before it was further reviewed by the State Executive Council and a White Paper was issued.

The White Paper touched upon several Chieftaincy matters handled by the immediate past administration towards the end of its tenure and gave succor to the people in line with their yearnings. Prominent among the Chieftaincy matters are the stools of Aree of Iree, Akirun of Ikirun and Owa of Igbajo.

On the stool of Aree of Iree, it was discovered that the immediate past administration deliberately bypassed the town’s kingmakers and made use of warrant chiefs to select and approve an Oba for Iree. The White Paper therefore advised the Iree Kingmakers who were in court to protest the action of the immediate past administration to withdraw the suit with an assurance that they would be allowed to perform their traditional duty.

In response, the Kingmakers’ lawyers presented necessary documents which indicated they were prepared and willing to withdraw their suit which would be filed once the courts which were on lockdown resumed.With this, preparations to re-fill the stool following due process began and after a keen contest, Prince Muritala Oyelakin was selected by the Iree Kingmakers and his appointment was duly ratified by the State Executive Council as the Aree of Iree.

On the stool of Akirun of Ikirun, the White Paper stated that all contending parties should await the decision of the Court of Appeal on the suit filed by one of the ruling houses in Ikirun which was dissatisfied with the action of the immediate past administration on the Akirun stool.

The White Paper stated that a fresh selection process would take place in Igbajo to enable all eligible princes from the Owa Oke Odo Ruling House participate in a free and fair selection in the interest of fair play, equity and in line with the custom and tradition of Igbajo.

Consequently a fresh selection process began and all interested princes from the eligible ruling house participated in the selection process. When it became expedient for the Igbajo Kingmakers to hold their selection meeting to appoint an Owa-elect, five surviving Kingmakers out of the six recognized by the Owa of Igbajo Chieftaincy Declaration deliberately refused to do so.

After refusing to attend several meetings to which they were invited by the Local Council, Government had no other option than to invoke the provisions of Section 17 of the Chiefs Law of Osun State which permitted the revocation of the performance of any delegated function by any one and the appointment of other persons to perform such a delegated function.

Thus, warrant kingmakers appointed according to law performed their duty and selected an Owa of Igbajo elect whose appointment is to be ratified by the State Executive Council.

The Government has gone to this length to explain the course of action it took so that members of the public would be adequately informed and enlightened to understand that the actions were taken to correct the injustice perpetrated by the immediate past administration on some Chieftaincy stools towards the end of its tenure in office and in response to the yearning of the majority of the people of the affected communities who appeared before the committee set up by this administration and requested for fresh processes which would be free and fair and in line with the tradition and customs of their respective communities. This the Government has done.

We therefore affirmed that as a government, we acted within the law and tradition as well as in the best interest of the people of the affected towns.

Signed:

Oluomo Kolapo Alimi,
Honourable Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment

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