The release of a white paper report on chieftaincy matters by the Osun State Government has ignited a wave of commentaries, with stark differences in interpretations and conclusions. Supporters of the Osun state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are accused of disseminating misleading narratives based on the report, raising concerns about misinformation.
The controversy stems from decisions made by the former Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, after the July 16 governorship election. Oyetola’s actions, particularly the expedited installation of traditional rulers, drew criticism for allegedly disregarding norms, traditions, rule of law, and guidelines.
Governor Ademola Adeleke, upon assuming office, sought to address the resultant crises in places like Igbajo, Iree, and Ikirun. An executive order was issued to suspend contentious decisions, followed by the establishment of a panel to investigate Obaship issues in affected towns, aiming to restore peace and stability.
In Ikirun, the white paper report identified legally recognized ruling houses to produce the Akirun, stressing adherence to the Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957. The report recommended awaiting the conclusion of ongoing litigations before taking any action, demonstrating the Adeleke administration’s commitment to due process and the law.
For Iree, the situation is complex due to a court judgment setting aside a 1957 Aree Chieftaincy Declaration. The report suggests encouraging Kingmakers to withdraw their suit, fostering community collaboration to devise an acceptable Chieftaincy Declaration.
In the Igbajo Obaship crisis, the white paper acknowledged the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration, emphasizing the need for a fair and transparent process. The report called for a fresh selection process to accommodate all eligible contestants, challenging opposition claims of mischievous insinuations.
Governor Adeleke’s thorough approach to chieftaincy matters emphasizes due process, equitable treatment, and compliance with legal norms. The administration’s commitment to the rule of law and local tradition is underscored, rejecting claims of political bias or hidden agendas.
The white paper’s comprehensive nature has garnered acceptance in affected communities, portraying the administration as a reformist force addressing inherited challenges. Governor Adeleke’s commitment to equal treatment before the law, irrespective of social standing or political affiliations, echoes the administration’s stance on civility and adherence to rights and processes.