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Gov. Abiodun signs Bill on appointment, burial of monarchs

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The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Monday signed into law a Bill that provides for how traditional rulers and chiefs are to be selected, appointed, recognized and buried.

The Bill was signed into law in the presence of the promoter of the Bill, the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona; the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle; the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi; while the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo was conspicuously absent.

Abiodun said it was imperative to review the existing law as the State could not have laws that are antiquated and contravene the fundamental rights of individual traditional rulers and what State stands for.

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Titled: “A Bill for a Law to provide for an approved method for the selection, appointment and recognition of Obas and Chiefs in Ogun State and for Other Related Matters,” the law seeks to redefine the traditional institution to reflect the current realities.

Among other things, the law provides for the preservation, protection and exercise by traditional rulers of their fundamental rights to be installed and buried according to their religions or beliefs and for other related matters.

Traditionalists had opposed the law and declared that it was an attempt to push cultural practice into extinction, but the Christian and the Muslim communities described the bill as “a welcome development.”

He said: “I believe that one of the unique things about this law besides the fact that it is set out to improve the method for the selection of Obas and Chiefs, is the clarity that this law provides as it relates to the passage of our kabiyesis.

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“This law seeks to improve on the previous existing Western Nigeria laws on where there had been ambiguity as it relates to how our kabiyesis will be buried. It states emphatically that the families of the respective Obas should have a say on how they are buried henceforth.

“It now allows the families to determine how our Obas will be interred and, of course, without prejudice to the traditional rites that are meant to be performed by the customary laws.

Going forward, the families now have a say on how our royal fathers should be buried.”

Abiodun, who described traditional institution headed by traditional rulers as the closest and oldest form of administration at the grassroots, noted that they had existed before the coming of the missionaries, assured that government would collaborate with them to deepen development in the grassroots, as they are reliable and dependable.

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He appreciated the Awujale for his doggedness and persistence in seeing to the review of the law in line with the provision of the Constitution of Nigeria, as well as members of the House of Assembly for ensuring that the Bill went through rigorous exercise as it was subjected to public hearing because of the interest people have on how Obas and Chiefs are appointed.

While noting that the law was another step towards building the future, the state helmsman said the State would continue to blaze the trail on laws that are in tandem with modern times and the socio-economic development, stressing laws that are antique and contravene what the State stands for would be reviewed.

In his remarks, Speaker of the Ogun State House Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kunle Oluomo, said the bill passed through the toughest proceedings in the history of the House as it generated a lot of issues from members of the public, adding however the lawmakers have done their bit to ensure that the Bill is in consonant with the nation’s constitution.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Oluwasina Ogungbade, said the law, which is the first in the South West of the country, was put in place to further make the traditional rulers contribute more to the development of the State, expressing the hope that it would be a template for other states to copy.

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Oba  Adetona, who was the Chairman, Ogun State Council of Obas when the bill was initiated, said it was a great achievement for people as the Bill attracted a lot of attention from both Christians and Muslims.

He commended the Governor and the Speaker for making it happen, appreciating the Almighty for keeping him alive to witness the development.

Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, said a lot had gone into the bill as things that were wrong have been put right, while the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, who is the current Chairman, Ogun State Council of Obas, said the bill goes beyond burial rites of Obas as it has put many issues bordering on traditional institution in the right perspective, expressing the hope that containing matters would be amicably resolved with the new law.

Other dignitaries at the event included the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Akeem Balogun; Secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Afolabi Salisu; Chief Economic Adviser to the Governor, Dapo Okubadejo; and other cabinet members.

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Obasanjo to PDP leaders: I can never return to your party

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Nigeria’s ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo has informed leaders of opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party that he will not return to the party.

This was made known on Saturday when a PDP delegation led by the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, four former governors, and members of the party’s National Working Committee visited him at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

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In the team include the PDP Vice-Presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Peter Obi; former Governors, Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Donald Duke (Cross River).

The Deputy National Chairman of PDP (South), Taofeek Arapaja, and other party officials were part of the entourage.

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Addressing the PDP delegation, Obasanjo said, “I’m no longer in partisan politics and there is nothing that can bring back. Anybody who wants my advice, I will always be there in the best interest of Nigeria.

“Whatever I do in my own life…because I became president on the platform of PDP, PDP will continue to be part of my life. Since the day I tore my PDP card, that was the day I ceased to be a member of PDP. That day I vowed not to be a member of any political party.

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“I will continue to be a statesman.”

Obasanjo told Ayu that he has the problems of PDP and Nigeria on his shoulders, and prayed God to give him the wisdom to carry it.

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Responding, Ayu told Obasanjo that “if you leave PDP, the blood of PDP will never leave you.”

He said the party would always require his fatherly advice towards governance in Nigeria.

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Obasanjo was first Head of State from 1976 to 1979. After his prison ordeal, Obasanjo was later elected Nigeria’s President from 1999 to 2007 on the platform of the PDP.

He, however, publicly tore his PDP membership card in February 2015 after a feud with ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

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Teenager Stabs Sugarcane Seller To Death In Borno

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The Borno State Police Command has arrested a 13-year-old boy identified as Abdullahi Sanusi for the alleged murder of a 19-year-old man named Mohammed Abdullahi over refusal to pay for sugarcane. 

The police said the victim on Wednesday forcefully took the suspect’s sugarcane without payment and when the former asked for money, Abdullahi started beating him.E08F686E F7E7 453B BAEE 7EC70165DE71

The suspect then used the knife, which he was using to cut sugarcane to stab the neck of the victim.

Borno State Commissioner of Police on Friday said the victim died at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

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“On the same date (19/01/2022) at about 1700hrs, one Abdullahi Sanusi, 13, of the same address used a sharp knife, which he was using to cut sugarcane and stabbed one Mohammed Abdullahi, 19, on his neck at Mallawan in Gidan Dambe area,” the commissioner said.

“As a result, the victim sustained serious injury. He was rushed to UMTH for treatment but later died on the same date.

“The suspect alleged that the deceased forcefully took away his sugar cane and refused to pay and when the suspect demanded his money, the deceased started beating him as a result of which the suspect stabbed the victim with a knife,” he added.

Similarly, Umar also confirmed the arrest of Ahmad Umar Goni, an SS2 student of Elkenemy College of Islamic Theology.

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Ahmad was arrested for allegedly using a razor blade to slit the neck of Jubril Sadi Mato, a JSS1 student of the school.

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