Soun-in-Council warns Gov. Makinde and lawmakers against changing the Chiefs Act.

The Soun-in-Council has declared that the proposed amendment to Oyo State's chiefs law is a deliberate attempt to destroy a cherished Yoruba tradition.

The council, which serves as the governing body for the traditional institution in Ogbomoso land in Oyo State, stated that the proposed amendment is an attempt to discredit the monarchial institution throughout Yoruba land.

ChinyKo recalls that the executive arm of government in the state, led by Governor Seyi Makinde, had concluded plans to amend Section 28 (1) of the chiefs law CAP 28 laws of the state 2000. The proposed amendment is currently at the Oyo State House of Assembly. The House of Assembly Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters is handling the proposed amendment.

The Soun-in-Council has, however, said that the proposed amendment would make the governor assume untamable power that would be perverted.

The council, in a letter dated 19th May 2023 signed by the Areago of Ogbomosoland, High Chief Samuel Sobalaje Otolorin, and addressed to the governor, insisted that such amendment is a recipe for disaster in the state.

The Soun-in-Council, in the letter titled “Memorandum on Proposed Amendment to the Oyo State Chiefs Law, Section 28 Cap 1, 2000,” noted that the advisory role being currently played by the traditional council, which helps to sanitize and maintain the integrity and dignity of the traditional system is what the review aims to jettison.

Otolorin, who spoke on Wednesday, confirmed to our correspondent that the council has sent the letter to the governor.

“Thus, an outright obliteration of the input of the traditional council in the process as the amendment seeks to achieve is a recipe for disaster and will confer untamable powers on the Governor that will definitely be abused if not by the present administration but without doubt by successive ones.

“In the future, therefore, Minor Chiefs and even powerful individuals who have no connections with and are not entitled to chieftaincies, will, relying on connections with the governor or unscrupulous government officials, concocting lies and distorting age-long histories, wangle their way to acquire the revered, sacred beaded crowns.

“Such a situation is currently forestalled by the involvement of the traditional council in the process because they unabashedly consider such requests looking critically at their merits or otherwise based on historical antecedents. Thus, the traditional council serves as checks and critical regulators of what has the potential to make a mockery of the traditional institution.

“The advisory role being currently played by the traditional council, which helps to sanitize and maintain the integrity and dignity of the traditional system, is what the review aims to jettison, it can only end in regrettable circumstances in the nearest future.

“Superiority rivalries, animosities, conflicts over lands, unhealthy competitions and such adverse nuances are some other things the proposed law will breed; it is tantamount to instigating an atmosphere inimical to development in the future. Pushing ahead with the proposal can only be seen as a desire to absolutely annihilate the cherished tradition among the Yoruba – monarchial institution – which a true-born Yoruba person would seek to jealously guard, protect and advance. Incontrovertibly the proposed law is a reflection and manifestation of draconian propensity.

“Having stated our position which is outright objection, borne out of the best interest of the good people of the state, we urge the Governor and the Legislators to be guided by reason, not act on the spur of the moment, discard the process and above all be wary of the dictates of posterity,” the letter read.

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