There is no doubt that the chieftaincy law amendment in Oyo State has been considered and passed by the State House of Assembly.
However, there are needs for guidance towards the implementation of the amended law.
A good factor that is most paramount in consideration for upgrading Baales to Oba status is how each town, village, or community originated especially in Yorubaland.
The Yoruba people believed that most Yoruba towns originated from Ile _Ife. Therefore Ile Ife was the home to all, but at a time in the past the need arose for migration and that was responsible for the origin of other settlements outside Ile Ife.
Historians have at several forays highlighted reasons for migration from Ile Ife to other locations and needless repeating those reasons in this short piece. One may probably mention the inter-ethnic rivalry among the Yorubas as one of the reasons, that whatever form of communal clashes often ended in wars.
An example that readily comes to mind was that of Apomu which led to the sack of Owu town of old. Today Owu people that relocated from their original home and settled in other communities wear beaded crowns, Obas such as Othe low of Owu kingdom now in the present-day Ogun State.
The point one is making here is that despite the relocation of the Owu people, that did not deprive them of wearing the beaded crown. Some communities existed in the past among the Oyo Yorubas which I am familiar with, along with the old Oyo empire, such communities equally relocated for several reasons and the fact that they relocated from their original home to find another settlement must not deprive them of wearing the crown just like the Owu people.
Once there were historical facts backing them of their rights to wear the crown. There was no doubt that the emperor so to say as at the time of existence of the old Oyo empire was the Alaafin, however, there were towns then that were ruled by Baales but today while Baales of some of such communities have been upgraded to Oba status by some government in the past, others are yet to enjoy the same privilege.
The need for similar communities that are still in existence today back by history to enjoy similar advancement from Baale to Oba calls for inclusion in the present dispensation.
The need for towns and villages with historical facts of being ruled by Baales in the past and most importantly that such Baale had their sources connected with royalties either as direct offsprings or indirectly in case they are of female descent, the need for their inclusion in the present era of advancing some Baales to Oba status calls for consideration.
That some Baales are to be upgraded will not remove the seniority status accorded to some senior Obas.
I want to plead for consideration and inclusion of communities of old but still, in existence today that were then founded by Baales should come under consideration in this new dispensation.
Some towns and villages of old, in an attempt to form a bigger community, that has necessitated merging with other independent Communities.
The present-day Oyo Alaafin came into existence as a result of the merger of some towns in that period. I want to plead that historical and independecommunitiesity that were merged, Baales that fall into this category and were founders of their settlements are to be considered for advancement from Baales to Oba’s status.
Many communities had their founders but today such communities have merged to form a bigger settlement and there are cases of such communities in some major towns in the present-day Oyo State.
However, Baales of recent that are honorary perhaps due to expansion as a result of flocks of people to the present-day Yoruba cities and towns may not take the lead in the consideration with Baale who were founders of a particular kingdom.
Today some nearby towns have submerged that if not because of natural boundaries in between, such towns, may be mistaken to be just one, but the fact that there was historical evidence that affirmed the independent status of such communities in the past, should be a factor for advancement from Baales status to that of Oba.
Furthermore claims to Oba status may include the territorial land space of a particular Baale, proof of royalties such as a palace housing Baales, the pattern of administration, a government Gazette that proved such Baales were once under chieftaincy declaration of the old Western region, and many other factors must be considered for upgrading a Baale to an Oba Status.
Summarily, I think that the elevation of Baales with historical evidence along with some paramount rulers within the same geographical areas, will not lead to chaos in that historical facts are there, that lay claim to seniority.
I want to strongly believe since such practices of elevation are already in existence in some states within the Yoruba nation and everyone goes on with normal life there, that of Oyo State will also be a blessing, not a disaster.
A good reference point is that of Abeokuta in Ogun State. there is Alake, Gbagura, and Oke Ona and they co-exist peacefully.
Perhaps the need to say that Yoruba culture is not static, new ideas are being brought to our culture every day in the areas of commerce, education, governance, and health to mention but a few.
Therefore whatever innovation that may be brought or introduced into the chieftaincy law of Oyo State already passed into law must be viewed as part of the changing world.
Let me mention that in the past Obas and Baales were buried according to some known traditional rites but today is a changing world, some Obas have spoken publicly that at their demise they want their internment either according to Islamic or Christian traditions against Yoruba traditional burial rites for Obas.
I want to submit that the reformation of chieftaincy law already passed into law will bring progress and unity of purpose among traditional rulers.
The idea of upgrading a Baale to the status of Oba is just a status symbol, after all the executive arms of the government are in charge of governance, the legislators make the law and the judiciary is in charge of passing judgment while the armed forces enforce the law of the land. This is not to degrade our Obas and Baales but to State the fact of what is going on in the changing world.
I think that Baales that may be upgraded to Oba status, know his limits, as there are Chronological facts to caution.