Pan-Yewa titles: Yewa Traditional Council should not fall into the old trap

In the last few days, I have observed that the media space has been awash with the submission by some people querying the authority of the Yewa Traditional Council led by the Paramount Ruler to honour prominent Yewa indigenes with pan-Yewa chieftancy titles.

The contentious chieftancy according to a petition written to the governor of Ogun was that of Aremo of Yewa land confered on Senator Olamilekan Adeola (Yayi) whom the petitioners perceived to be a non-indigene.

Perhaps If any of the agitators had been a member of the Traditional Council, it would have suggested that there is a minority report.

But coming from those who obviously have their traditional ruler as members of Yewa Traditional Council who have so far not displayed any discordant tune on the issue, I have no choice but to seriously warn the petitioners to exercise caution and display decorum.

Aremo chieftancy is first and foremost a honorary title without any traditional implications and is therefore unlike certain other titles that are family or lineage specific in which case the candidate for such positions can not be imposed on the family.

As an example, within Ilogun community of Yewa North and Abeokuta North the Elemo Ilogun is exclusive reserved for the Kogbon dynasty. Ditto for the Apena Ilogun.

Traditional rulers are well verse in the history and traditions of their domain which they have the responsibility to uphold.

They know the roots of each family no matter how large the community.
Therefore, with the Onisaga of Isaga saying that Olamilekan Adeola (Yayi) family hailed from Isaga from where they later settled at Ilaro due to the effect of inter tribal wars of those days and with the people of Pahayi not querying the authenticity of the historical background of the indigene in question, who are we to raise issues or express otherwise.

It is a known fact that the title Aremo is not synonymous to “Olori Omoba” Those who are Princes and Princesses know themselves according to their lineages and they also know their expected roles, rights and limitations.

The Yewa Traditional Council has no doubt exhibited so much conservatism in the past which has resulted in the failure to recognise some eminent Yewa indigenes with pan Yewa traditional titles. Why would illustrious sons and daughters like Professor Biyi Afonja, Chief Kola Bajomo, Chief Mrs Iyabo Apampa, Chief Mrs Iyabo Anisulowo, Chief Mrs Ebun Oyagbola, Professor Alabi, Prof Tope Popoola, Chief Kola Lawal, Venerable Ladipo Ajayi, Chief Sangokunle, Mr Sangoleye , Chief Sina Adejobi, many of our retired millitary generals and high ranking Police officers still be without pan Yewa titles despite their pacesetting accomplishment. A number of them have even died un-song and uncelebrated by the Yewaland they served with all their hearts while alive.

There are obviously many Yayis outside there who are indigenes of Yewa and who the Traditional Council should have brought back home using delibrate strategies like conferment of chieftain titles.

I recently had an encounter with an 80 year old indigene, a highly successful banker from Ayetoro, a former Director in a first generation bank with many successful children who however felt no sense of connection to his origin because of the failure of the traditional institutions in Yewaland to seek him out and attract him home through deliberate conferment of chieftain titles.

While I am not oppose to people or group of people disagreeing with our royal fathers, it must never go to the ridiculous extent of challenging the authority of the paramount ruler or the traditional council openly. This is a style our neighbors in the state has mastered to their harmony and progress.

In conclusion, I call on the Yewa traditional council to see this current development as a blessing in disguise and an opportunity for the Paramount ruler of Yewaland at least an opportunity to assert his authority as primus inter paris.

The Ogun-State Government is not expected to allow itself to be dragged unnecessarily into a matter that is clearly and unambiguously within the authority of the Yewa Traditional Council. Politics should not be mingled with traditional matters and should not be used to short circuit our traditional institutions in Yewaland.

I will want to advise those who authored and signed the petition to be weary of knocking their heads against a brick wall. Traditional issues are very complex and enduring, it survives politics and outlive politicians.

They should learn from the story of a Prince who while in his early 30s, he led political thugs to burn down the palace of his town. Three decades later, it was the turn of his ruling house to produce a new king for the town and with him being the most qualified for obaship position.

However, because of his past misdeed, he was denied and told that it was not possible for him to occupy the same palace he led political thugs to burn several years back ( Ojo ma npani wo inu ilekan ni emeji).You can seek shelter from rain in same house on more than one occasion.

Dr. Bamgbose, veteran journalist and broadcaster is an illustrious son of Yewaland