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The Traditional Worshippers Association of Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter, have told Muslims and Christians not to rejoice yet over ‘Ogun Obas and Chiefs Law’, saying the law is in their favour and not otherwise .
The worshippers said this on Wednesday while addressing newsmen during a press briefing held at their shrine in Sagamu, Ogun State.
There had been series of controversies over the new law regulating monarchs’ burial and installation rites in the state.
The law titled “Obas, Chiefs, Council of Obas and Traditional Council law of Ogun State, Bill 2021,” which was signed by Abiodun in January, is aimed at “respecting human dignity and promotion of modernity” in the installation and burial of traditional rulers.
The new legal framework grants family members the right to determine the mode of burial of any deceased Oba
The Cordinator of Traditional Worshippers Association of Ogun State, High Chief Ifasola Opeodu, said the association is pleased with the Ogun Obas and Chiefs Law , wondering why muslim and Christian clerics rejoiced over the law.
Opeodu said the muslims and christians might be happy probably because they didn’t know what the law contained.
He said, ” we, as traditional worshippers of Ogun state, are pleased with this law.
We wonder when we listen to the news and see some Muslim clerics saying they are very happy about the law, probably they don’t know what is contained in the law.”
He however, warned muslims and christians to stay out of obaship installation and burial process in the state, saying, the two religious leaders are not empowered by the law.
He said, “the law serves as a warning to all muslim and christian Intruders together with the recalcitrant Obas and their sympathisers to stay out of the Obaship installation and burial process upon the reflection in the said new law that muslims and christians are not members of the traditional institution.”
According to.him, section 55 (1- 4 ) of the Obas and Chiefs law of Ogun State, 2021, there is no room for traditional rulers to be installed or buried by either muslims or christians.
, “Section 55 (I) says, any person(s) who disturbs the burial of traditional rulers by the family is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to twelve(12) months imprisonment. This is without prejudice to the observance of Traditional rites by those entitled to do it by customary law;
“(ii) a traditional ruler shall be entitled to be buried in accordance with the customs and traditions of the land, save however, that this body shall not be subjected to any mutilation or cannibalisation.
“(iii) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, it shall be the responsibility of the relevant traditional council to determine the Customary Law and the nature of the Traditional burial rites;
“(iv) The determination endorsed by those referred to in (iii) above shall be made by a declaration to be registered with the Commissioners within twenty-one (21) days of its being so made or of any amendment (s) thereof;
“(v) The receipt of the declaration by the office of the commissioner shall be deemed to be sufficient proof of the registration.”
However , he said any traditional ruler that wants to exercise his constitutional rights, which gives room to join either muslim or christian must relinquish his post as he also said any muslim or christian that wants to be a traditional ruler must not complain against the traditional process.
He said, “Any muslim or christian that volunteers to exercise his constitutional rights to join the traditional institution to become a traditional ruler or chief in Ogun state and Yoruba land amidst heavy traditional installation rites and rituals cannot later complain against the process.
“Unless such a person or traditional ruler exercise his same right under section 38(1) of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria to relinquish his post and current religion belief as a Traditional ruler to join either Christian or Islamic institution and this position of the constitution take care of section 57(1) of the new obas and chiefs law of Ogun State 2021.”