*Exercise needless, unnecessary, repetitive, says Omo Eko Pataki
Omo Eko Pataki, an association of prominent indigenes of Lagos State, on Monday, kicked against the proposed review of the Obas and Chiefs of Lagos State Law, 2015 by the state government, saying the exercise, apart from being one too many, was needless, unnecessary, repetitive, apparently designed and engendered to achieve an unclear objective.
The State Ministry of Justice’s Directorate of Legislative Drafting had in recent publications disclosed it had commenced stakeholders meeting on the review of the Obas and Chiefs of Lagos State Law, 2015, saying that the legislation was due for an update.
The ministry said that though the legislation was good, quickly noted that it had been in existence since 1957 with some identified lacuna.
The trustee of the group, General Tajudeen Olanrewaju (rtd), who is also the former Minister of Communications, said this in a statement titled: “No need to review Obas and Chiefs Laws,” a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Lagos.
Omo Eko Pataki, while kicking against the review, further noted that these were really interesting times in Lagos of today, with aberrations springing up everywhere, declaring sadly that the State Native Laws and Customs were facing stretching points, while values may fade away gradually if care was not taken.
According to indigenous Lagosians, all traditional norms are being broken while nothing was sacred again, noting sadly that it had come to a stage whereby unknown character, with no ancestral connection to the land, can be made a Baalẹ or kinglet.
“These are really interesting times in Lagos today. Aberrations are springing up everywhere. All traditional norms are being broken. Nothing is sacred again. A fringe, unknown character can spring up and be made a Baalẹ or kinglet who has no ancestral connection to the land.
“This review of Obas and Chiefs Law touches our daily existence. It is one review too many. It is needless, unnecessary, repetitive, apparently designed, engendered to achieve an unclear objective,” the former minister said.
“Our traditional institutions are the very pivot of our existence. They define our beginnings and our continuity. They characterize who we are.
“Our native’s laws and customs are facing stretching points and our values may fade away gradually if we are not vigilant,” he added.
The elder statesman queried the need for a review if the law was good in the first place, citing a popular American adage which goes thus: “If it is not broken, don’t fix it.”
This was just as he recalled a few of the reviews in the past, including the Justice Solanke Commission in 1975 and Justice Kazeem Commission in 1978, saying that the exercises established clearly the norms, the dictates and the practices of the indigenes of Lagos ancestral beginning, wondering who was not satisfied with all these norms contained in those commissions’ reports.
“If the law is good why the need for a review? Like the Americans always put it: if it is not broken, don’t fix it.”
“This is another review too many. There have been several review commissions like the Justice Solanke in 1975 and Justice Kazeem commission in 1978 which have established clearly the norms, the dictates and the practices of our ancestral beginning. Now, who is not satisfied with all these norms,” Olanrewaju stated.
Olanrewaju wondered why the review of Obaseki and Chiefs Laws was considered so important now amid challenges such as issues of insecurity, poverty, Covid, among others confronting people of Lagos, calling on all the Royal and the Ruling Houses in the state to speak up and denounce, what he described as this despicable attempt to rob them of their heritage.
The former minister further declared that “Enough is enough,” adding: “This untidy, unjust, puerile attempt to muddy up our Lagosian identity should be discarded forthwith.”
“Presently, there are many cases in court, specifically the Oniru and the Onisiwo Chieftaincy affairs. The courts are competent enough to handle all these issues. We should not jump the gun.
“I urge all the Royal and the Ruling Houses to speak up and denounce this despicable attempt to rob them of their heritage. Enough is enough.
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