Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State Friday vowed to implement every recommendation put forward by the judicial Commission of Inquiry on the review of the existing 1957 (1959) Declaration of Olubadan of Ibadanland and Other Related Chieftaincies in Ibadanland, promising to begin the implementation next month.
Receiving the formal report of the commission at the executive chamber of the governor’s office, Ajimobi noted that implementation of recommendations had always been a big challenge for all governors who had set up similar commissions to look into the review of the chieftaincy law in the state.
Meanwhile the commission recommended 11 high Chiefs and 21 baales to wear beaded crowns in the state while also reducing the long steps required for individuals ascending the throne of the Olubadan of Ibadanland among others.
The commission, set up on May 5, 2017 with seven members and an initial four weeks to submit its report later requested for additional time while additional four members were added, making a total of 11.
According to the governor, implementing the recommendations will not only justify the efforts, commitments and resources committed into the course but would also give answer to the yarnings of the numerous stakeholders and prominent indigenes who were calling for the review.
Ajimobi who traced the genesis of effort to review the law to the time of General David Jemibewon up to his immediate predecessor in office, Otunba Christopher Alao-Akala said, just like himself, his predecessors were requested by concerned stakeholders including prominent individuals, socio cultural based groups and others, to look into the chieftaincy laws, which compelled his administration to take the bold step to look into the matter.
He described as “fortunate and unfortunate” the situation in which virtually all his predecessors could not implement any of the recommendations of the panel they set up assuring that his administration will be remembered for implementing the review
While assuring that the intention was never to demean the office or status of the Olubadan in anyway, Ajimobi reiterated that it is to upgrade the office and make it in tandem with modern realities as practiced in all other states of the region.
He said: “We set up this panel out of the request of many members of the Olubadan-in-Council, the CCII and many other stakeholders just the same way they requested many other governors before us.
“Since the time of Jemibewon, all the governors that were in office set up commission of enquiry to look into the matter but unfortunately and fortunately they were unable to implement the recommendations of the commission.
“Even Governors Alao-Akala and Ladoja regime also set up the enquiry to review the same law but what we are doing is not new but what is new about it is that we will be placed on record as the government that will implement this review.
“The review is necessary to review the status of Olubadan but not to deminish him. It is to upgrade and make it in line with what obtains in Lagos, Osun, Ogun and other states. Particularly to make it in line with current trend. By reviewing this law we are democratising traditional rulership in our state”
The governor who commended the members of the commission, members of the Centre Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) the Olubadan-in-Council and the Olubadan of Ibadanland for their overwhelming support for the review noted that the support gave him the necessary philip and conviction that he is on the right path on the matter.
He stressed that the revelation that over 120 memoranda were collected on the matter shows the enormity of individuals who are interested and are in support of the review adding that the number remains the highest ever received on any issue and subject whose the views of the people were sort.
While presenting the report, Chairman of the commission, Justice Akintunde Boade disclosed a total of 120 memoranda were received, three struck out on the basis of not relevant to the terms of reference while nine of the people who submitted memoranda refused , failed or neglected to give oral evidence in support of their memoranda.
He added that after a careful assessment of all the memoranda submitted, 106 of the 120 memoranda were given due consideration.
Noting that the report was prepared in three volumes for convenience, the Chairman said, the main report, containing the findings and recommendations of the commission is in volume I, the memoranda received by the commission compiled in volume II while volume III of the report contains the day to day proceedings of the commission.
Giving a hint into the key recommendations of the commission, the Chairman said the steps to ascendancy to the throne has been reduced from 22 to 11 and 23 to 12 on the Otun Olubadan line and Otun Balogun line respectively.
He added that if the government will approve the recommendations, atleast 32 beaded crowns monarch will emerge while the Olubadan remains the paramount ruler and overall head of Ibadanland.
The retired justice also said the age limit for a mogaji, the least on the wrung of the ladder has has been reviewed to between 25-35 and thereby placing an embargo on the appointment of new chiefs.
However, the commission emphasised and restate the “unassailable fact that the Kabiyesi, the Olubadan of Ibadanland remains the only paramount ruler in Ibadanland”