Prince (Dr) Dapo Abiodun MFR
The Governor of Ogun State,
Oke – Mosan,
We wish to acknowledge the pivotal role being played by Your Excellency towards the restoration of sanctity and integrity of the Traditional Institution in Ogun State since your assumption of office on 29th May 2019.
Your Excellency has clearly proved, through the matured way you have been handling the chieftaincy sector, that you are aware that the efforts being expended by the Government at the center can hardly be felt by the people at the grassroots if the Traditional Institution, particularly the Chieftaincy sector is not carried along, being the one that is sandwiched between the Government and the Good people of Ogun State.
As a matter of urgency, we wish to bring to the attention of Your Excellency, the controversy trailing the planned conferment of the Chieftaincy title of “Aremo Oba of Yewaland” on Senator Olamilaken Adeola “Yaayi”., which has been grossly politicized and which would need to be re-assessed in order to determine the appropriateness of his candidature for the traditional title of Aremo Oba Yewaland.
Your Excellency Sir, your kind esteemed intervention is urgently required in the impending tussle over the Chieftaincy title of “Aremo Oba Yewaland” in order to guarantee an enduring peace devoid of chaos and acrimonies in Yewaland. For clarity and avoidance of ambiguity on the issues in focus, it is imperative to present background information on what is known as Yewa Traditional Council vis-à-vis the limits of the Council President who is also the Olu of Ilaro and paramount Ruler of Yewaland.
Yewaland is a conglomerate of autonomous communities, most of which migrated from Oyo and Ile – Ife. While communities like Joga – Orile, Igan Okoto, Iboro, Ibese, Ilaro e.t.c. predominantly in Yewa South and North are from Oyo, the Yewa communities of Awori and Ketu stocks are from Ife. This presupposes that there is no single monarch in Yewaland whose domain covers the entire Yewaland. Each Tradition Ruler operates and adjudicates within the areas that are traditionally associated with his township. This limitation is without any exception, as it applies to all Traditional Rulers in Yewaland, including the paramount ruler whose domain covers Ilaro and settlements traditionally associated with Ilaro Kingdom. The implication of this limitation is that no Traditional Ruler in Yewaland has the exclusive power to confer any Chieftaincy covering the entire Yewaland without the concurrence of the Yewa Traditional Council.
As a matter of fact, the precedence that was set during the reign of the immediate past Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland; Late Oba Adekambi Tella can be relied upon in order to elucidate on the relevance of the points being established. For the avoidance of doubt, it is necessary to outline the rationale behind the selection process that culminated in the installation of the under listed holders of Chieftaincy Titles of Yewaland during the reign of the immediate past Olu of Ilaro and the Paramount Ruler of Yewaland;
Alhaja Salimot Badru Beere of Yewaland Ipokia LG
Professor Anthony Asiwaju Asiwaju of Yewaland Imeko/Afon LG
Chief (Mrs) Yemisi Abbas Iyaloja of Yewaland Yewa North LG
It is instructive to note that the Chieftaincies listed above were actually zoned to the various section of Yewaland as a way of ensuring equity, fairness and all – inclusive governance in the region. For instance, the position of babaloja of Yewaland was zoned to Yewa South but remains vacant to date because Oba Adekambi Tella (now late) preferred the Iyaloja of Yewaland Chieftaincy to be zoned to Yewa South Local Government which was in contrast with the decision of the Yewa Traditional Council as at that time. This move actually polarized the Traditional Council into factions despite the fact that the Chieftaincies being conferred as at that time, as listed above, are honourary chieftaincies. That notwithstanding, the controversies that trailed the conferment of the honourary Chieftaincies could not have been considered to be misplaced, judging by the coverage of the Chieftaincies and considering the fact that the activities of the holders of the Chieftaincies are binding on the entire Yewaland within their respective portfolios.
Having considered the precedence that had been laid on the conferment of Chieftaincies that cover the entire Yewaland on worthy indigenes of Yewa stock, it is instructive to consider the appropriateness of the candidature of Senator Olamilekan Adeola ‘Yaayi’ for the highly coveted traditional title of Aremo Oba of Yewaland. Most importantly, it is expedient to note that the Aremo Oba of Yewaland Chieftaincy is a traditional title with deeper cultural importance than the honourary Chieftaincies listed earlier. Therefore, more consciousness and constraints are expected to be exercised before conferring such sensitive traditional chieftaincies on someone.
With all honesty and without being bias, the background check carried out on Senator Olamilekan Adeola ‘Yaayi’ has given a conflicting revelation with respect to his precise origin or source in Yewaland. This has been a source of concern to the relevant stakeholders of Yewaland who are of considered view that the highly coveted traditional Chieftaincy title of Aremo Oba of Yewaland is supposed to be conferred on an indigene of Yewaland whose background/linage is known and can be confirmed with proofs that cannot be controverted. Senator Olamilekan Adeola Yaayi, who is presently representing Lagos West in the senate, has at one time claimed Isaga in Abeokuta North Local Government Area as his place of origin, but later built a house in Joga Orile, while he has also laid claim to Paayi in Ilaro as his ancestral home at another time. In all these places, none of his relatives or kinsmen has so far been identified.
Apart from the contention over the background of Senator Olamilekan Adeola Yaayi, the demise of a number of first class Obas such as Aboro of Ibese, Onisare of Ijanna, Onigun of Odan Abuja and Onijoun of Ijoun e.t.c. have created vacancies within the Traditional Council that have not been filled. Unfortunately, majority of the vacant stools are very highly rated Obaship stools that are supposed to be part of the decision making with regards to who should be installed as the Aremo Oba of Yewaland. It will be highly unfortunate if Yewa Traditional Council goes ahead to appoint the title holder of Aremo Oba of Yewaland in the absence of first class Oba like Aboro of Ibese and the others whose stools are currently vacant. It is imperative to note that the operations of the Aremo Oba of Yewaland are binding on the entire Yewaland and as such all notable Obas should be part of the selection process of the holder of the Aremo Oba Chieftaincy title.
Your Excellency, the core stakeholders of Yewaland are concerned that a wrong precedence would be laid if Traditional Titles are conceded to non – indigene whose off springs may continue to lay claim to what does not belong to their lineage because their parents had procured our tradition with money. We are not however aversed to situations whereby Honourary Chieftaincy titles are conferred on non – indigenes who have made laudable contributions to do more, to spur them to feel more belonging and to make them feel more appreciated. However, it will be out of place to give away Traditional Titles to someone because of his affluence, political ambition, social status, and/or because he is well placed in politics or for pecuniary gains. This will not be in the best interest of the larger society and it will further erode the sanity and integrity of our culture.
In view of the foregoing, we wish to call on your Excellency to kindly intervene in the lingering power play that is calculated towards the politicization of the highly coveted Traditional Chieftaincy Title of Aremo Oba of Yewaland. In the event that nothing is done urgently to salvage the integrity of our traditional institution, what it implies is that the title of Aremo Oba of Yewaland will be conferred on a personality whose paternity and indeed his entire origin have not been traced to a particular settlement in Yewaland.
Your Excellency is therefore humbly implore to kindly put machinery in motion in order to carry out a fact – finding investigation on the lingering Chieftaincy tussle over the appointment process into the Traditional Chieftaincy of Aremo Oba of Yewaland with a view to putting the whole process of installation of the new Aremo Oba of Yewaland on hold until all gray areas are straightened before the whole issue degenerated into chaos because a stitch in time saves nine.
We are yours sincerely
Prince Tosin Adelusi
Alhaji Saheed Olabisi
Mr. Wasiu Sadiq
Mr. Saheed Alagbe
Hon. Olusola Akinosi
Hon. Comm. L.G &C.A
Attorney General and Comm. For Justice
Yewa Traditional Council