Traditionalists in Ogun State have vowed to challenge in court, the chieftaincy law, regulating installation and burial rites of monarchs in the state.
Governor Dapo Abiodun had on Monday signed the bill into law. It was initiated by the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, in 2020.
The bill entitled, “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.
The law also empowers families of monarchs to determine the mode of burial when death occurs.
While the Muslim community described the bill as “a welcome development”, traditionalists in the state kicked against the move, describing it as a move to erode the cultures of the Yoruba
Speaking with newsmen in Abeokuta yesterday, the Oluwo of Iperu and Vice Chairman of Osugbo Remo Parapo, High Chief Ifasola Opeodu, threatened to challenge the law before a competent court.
He argued that “a dead man has no right under the law.”
Opeodu also added that becoming a king was not by force and that on no account should either a Christian or a Muslim buries an Oba.
He said, “A dead man has no right under the law. Anybody that is dead has lost all the rights that he has.
“The right of Obas that they are claiming that we are violating is not right because a dead man has no right again under the law.
“Secondly, what we are saying is that Obaship institution will is optional, we are not forcing anybody to come there, we are not saying they should not bury Obas, but what we are opposing if you follow our augment is that how can they now say Christians and Muslims should come and be burying Obas, traditional heads?
“If there is anything that they don’t want during their burials, they should say, but traditionalists must be the ones to bury Obas, not Christians.
“Why don’t they say that Christians or Muslims should be the ones to install the monarchs? They are not saying this. The governor even said without prejudice to the rights of traditionalists under customary law.
“All these things are there. We are not saying that they should not bury Obas, but it should not be Christians or Muslims that will bury the Obas.”