Ogun Chieftaincy Law: A Booster for Freedom of Religion- MURIC

An Islamic human rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has commended the Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, for signing the Ogun State Chieftaincy Bill into law. The new law curbs fetish practices in the installation and burial of Ogun kings thereby allowing each king to be installed and buried according to his religious dictate. The group described the development as a booster for freedom of religion.

MURIC disclosed this on Monday 17th January, 2022 through its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

Professor Ishaq Akintola noted that the governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, signed the Ogun Chieftaincy Bill into law on Monday 10th January, 2022. The bill, which is titled ‘Obas, Chiefs, Council of Obas and Traditional Council Law of Ogun State Bill 2021’, is aimed at curbing fetish practices and putting an end to the monopoly of traditionalists who have hitherto controlled all installation and burial ceremonies of kings in the state.

He said,“MURIC identifies with the aspirations of the brains behind this bill. It is a booster for freedom of religion and a vital shot in the arm for the dignity of homo sapien, for decency and for Allah-given fundamental human rights.

Ogun State New Chieftaincy Law: Traditional Rulers to be Appointed, Buried According to their Beliefs

MURIC’s Director stated that it will stop overbearing traditionalists who have monopolised the installation and burial rites of Obas in the state with their fetish practices without respecting the personal religious beliefs of the Obas. Many Christians and Muslims who are eligible to vie for the obaship stool but who have been kept in abeyance by the fetish practices will now be able to compete freely with others from the ruling houses.

“It is our hope that this will be extended to the obnoxious and illegal practice of unilateral imposition of curfews on communities by Oro worshippers. Ogun lawmakers may have to take another look at this aspect as it may require another bill to stop the imposition of illegal curfew by Oro worshippers.

Similarly, Professor Akintola also commends the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode, Oba Sikiru Adetona and Hon Akeem Balogun (Ogun Waterside State Constituency) for working in synergy to introduce the HB No 36/OG/2020- bill in the Ogun State House of Assembly. Equally worthy of appreciation are members of the state assembly who supported the bill.

“We call on other state assemblies in Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti to syndicate the bill. Only thus can the houses of assembly in those states be described as truly democratic and in pursuit of freedom of thought, liberty and human dignity,” he added.

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