Traditionalists in Ogun State have vowed to challenge the controversial chiefs law in court, saying Obas must be buried by traditional worshippers.
Governor Dapo Abiodun had on Monday signed the ‘Obas, Chiefs, Council of Obas and Traditional Council law of Ogun State, Bill 2021’ into law at the residence of the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona.
The law, which was kicked against by traditional worshippers, has stopped the imposition of rituals during the installation and burial of a monarch.
It empowers the family of a deceased Oba to decide how he would be buried in accordance with his faith.
As gathered, the new law also allows a newly elected Oba to choose whether or not he would go through the usual seclusion rites, known as Ipebi in Yoruba land.
Promoters of the new law believe say it would curb fetish practices in the process of installing and burying traditional rulers in the state.
However, the Oluwo of Iperu and Vice Chairman of Osugbo Remo Parapo, Ifasola Opeodu, has threatened to challenge the law before a competent court, saying “a dead man has no right under the law.”
Opeodu maintained that nobody is forced to become an Oba, stressing that “on no account should either Christians or Muslims bury an Oba.”
His words: “We are going to call a meeting, we are challenging the implementation in court. We are going to ask the court to restrict them from implementing the law and the court will decide.
“The first ground is that 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 argument 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.”