The Chairman of the Chieftaincy Review Committee in Ogun State, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, says 75 lower grade traditional rulers (Baales) upgraded to coronet rulers (Obas) by the immediate past Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, are minor chiefs “whose promotion didn’t follow due process.”
The Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, said the panel had, therefore, recommended that the 75 rulers be returned to their original position as Baales.
A statement made available yesterday to journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, by Mr Kunle Somorin, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun, quoted Oba Olugbenle as making the submission in the panel’s report to the governor.
Daily Trust recalls that Gov Abiodun had set up the panel to probe the elevation of many Baales to first-class traditional rulers by Amosun in the twilight of his administration this year.
The statement said the Olu had, at the presentation of the report, submitted that the monarchs’ upgrade ought to have been recommended by their appointive authorities who are first-class obas.
Oba Olugbenle expressed concern that traditional rulers were putting on “political robes” rather than sticking to their roles “as natural rulers, who see all the people as their children, irrespective of political affiliations.”
He was quoted to have said, “Baales are minor chiefs. Their upgrade should be recommended by their appointive authorities who are first-class obas. Some coronent Obas were upgraded without their prescribed authorities’ knowledge and we have recommended that they remain Baales. If they are to be upgraded, the requirements should be followed.”
Gov Abiodun was also quoted to have, while receiving the report, assured the committee that government would study, review and come up with appropriate policy decisions that would help reposition and strengthen the traditional institution in the state.
He also expressed confidence that the committee had done its best in finding solutions to the lingering issues, including chieftaincy disputes, in the state.
Abiodun also tasked traditional rulers to ensure peace and security to guarantee the safety of lives and property of people in their respective domains.