THE Ijebu Traditional Council will soon inaugurate a 24-man committee that will oversee burial of any traditional ruler according to his religious belief.
This was disclosed by the Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, on Tuesday, during the annual interdenominational week-long prayer for Ijebuland, Ogun State and the country.
The monarch said members of the committee would be selected from the six local government areas that constituted Ijebuland.
He said the council, at a meeting held late last year, resolved to form a four-member committee, two each from Christianity and Islamic religions, to meet with the Osugbos (traditionalists), who usually hijacked corpses of deceased rulers on the pretence of wanting to bury them according to the tradition.
He referred to the Osugbos as bailiffs and explained that it is just an association, not a chieftaincy title or any cult to fear or reverence.
He said “They are not authorised to bury any king that joined his ancestors or perform any ritual on the body.
“Osugbos, according to our culture, are like bailiffs. If there is any fight in those days, especially concerning land or farm boundaries, they are the ones that the king will send to restore normalcy and bring report back to the king.
“Now, they do what they want because we give them the right to do such when they arrive at the burial programme of any Oba and everybody runs away.
“No, this is nonsense which must stop henceforth because they are mere messengers,” he said.
He advised the people not to run away again but pick up their canes and send them away.
The Awujale added that “henceforth, any culture that is not in vogue and not in tandem with the modern day reality will be jettisoned and thrown away.”
The Ijebu paramount ruler, however, noted that the way other Yoruba people buried their kings has nothing to do with the Ijebu tradition and that Ijebu Traditional Council had unanimously agreed on this.
The Gbengande of Ososa, Oba Adetoye Alatishe and other members of the Ijebu Traditional Council said they all aligned with the decision, describing it as a welcome development.