Review of 1959 Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration is illegal, unacceptable ―Lanlehin
IMMEDIATE past Senator for Oyo South Senatorial District, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin has declared as illegal, the review of the 1959 Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration by Governor Abiola Ajimobi, saying it is not grounded in history, law or reasoning.
Lanlehin, who is a senior lawyer and governorship aspirant, spoke on Wednesday during a solidarity visit to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, at his palace, where he vowed that the outcome of the review would not be accepted by all Ibadan sons and daughters.
The former lawmaker, who holds the honorary title of the Bamofin of Ibadanland, said only a Chieftaincy Committee headed by the Olubadan, as the custodian of the tradition and custom of the metropolis, was empowered by law to propose any amendment to the Declaration after wide consultation, as contained in the Chiefs Law.
He said the change brought about by the outcome of the review by government was retrogressive and the process and procedure leading to it faulty.
“What the Olubadan is going through is not for himself or members of his family. It is on behalf of the whole of Ibadanland at home and in the diaspora.
“Olubadan is the custodian of a system that is the envy of all and sundry. Some of us have travelled all over the world and we know how very well they talk about the system in Ibadan.
“Not only am I a witness of this system, not only have I read about it, I am also a participant because my late father was the Osi Balogun of Ibadanland before his demise. I saw the peaceful, rancour-free and non-violent way the system has been operated for years and it has worked for us.
So, for anybody to want to change it or thwart or make it retrogressive will not be acceptable. In any event, the law does not support the manner of change either by way of the process or the result. So, procedurally and substantially, it is wrong.
“What has been done is wrong, unlawful and null and void. The Chiefs Law is very clear. This law is about the Declarations of each town. It is a Chieftaincy Committee that deciphers the customs and traditions of a particular people and codifies same it and it is registered and thus become a Declaration for the chieftaincy of that place,” he said.
In his remark, the Olubadan, who praised Lanlehin and family’s antecedent in the progress and development of Ibadanland, said he was not fighting Governor Ajimobi or the state government but opposed the rubbishing of the custom and tradition of Ibadan people.
Oba Adetunji said emphatically that Governor Ajimobi would not contemplate dethroning him on account of his opposition to the outcome of the review.
The royal father, while acknowledging the God factor in the affairs of mortals, said he never believed he would be a chief let alone the Olubadan.
He prayed for the success of the governorship aspiration of Senator Lanlehin, describing him as a worthy son of Ibadan.