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OYO OBAS COUNCIL HEADSHIP: OKE OGUN DEMANDS INCLUSION

By NBF News
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A bill seeking to include a representative of Oke Ogun Zone among first class Obas to rotate the chairmanship of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs is now in the works.

The bill seeks to amend the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs (Amendment) 2011 Law passed in the twilight of the immediate past administration in the state.

The contentious law, which revoked the permanent chairmanship of the traditional body hitherto enjoyed solely by the Alaafin of Oyo, provides for the rotation of the office among the Olubadan of Ibadan, Soun of Ogbomoso and the Alaafin. But legislators from the Oke Ogun Zone, who are sponsoring the latest move, contend that the legislation was warped, lopsided and discriminatory as it left out traditional rulers in the other zone making up the state, namely, Oke Ogun.

The Minority Leader in the State Assembly, Mr. Adekunle Rafiu, who is the arrowhead of the move, unveiled the plan at an interactive session with reporters in Ibadan yesterday while faulting many of the laws enacted by the previous assembly. He observed that Oyo State was geographically and politically constituted into four zones, viz: Ibadan/Ibarapa; Oyo, Ogbomoso and Oke Ogun.

The lawmaker remarked that it was 'an unpardonable error' to sideline Oke Ogun which also had first class Obas in the rotation of the council's chairmanship. He disclosed that leaders of thought and legislators from the zone had therefore concluded plans to have the Okere, a foremost monarch, rotate the occupation of the stool with his three colleagues.

In another breath, Rafiu cautioned the state governor against compromising the interest of the state on the ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, without first getting the existing law ceding the institution solely to Oyo either revoked or amended. Rafiu said without prejudice to the moral or political issues involved, it was incumbent on the executive to send an amendment bill to the state assembly to revert to the old law which vested ownership on the two states 'because the law is the law.'

According to him, such a bill would then be debated and even thrown open for public hearing to gauge public opinion, stressing that if the overall outcome was unanimously in favour of joint ownership, so be it.

He, however, made a case for the status quo on the grounds that Osun State had long since stopped financial contribution to the institution, having established its own university.

To Rafiu, this conferred undue advantage on the sister state in terms of educating its citizenry both in its own university and LAUTECH. Arguing that there was nowhere in the country, where two states jointly owned a tertiary institution, Rafiu said it was illogical for Osun to insist on its claim, having established its own university and having appropriated similar institutions that belonged to the two states, after its creation.