Traditional rulers in Yoruba land under the aegis of Integrity Obas Forum of Yorubaland ( ITOF)has inaugurated a 7-man Executive Council to run its affairs for a duration of four years.
The event was held in Abeokuta on Tuesday.
Speaking after the inauguration, the new President of the Forum, Oba Olufemi Martins Abiodun, the Olu of Paata , said that the Forum was established in 2019 to support the efforts of government, and complement the roles of Imperial Majesties and Paramount rulers in Yoruba Land through advocacy meetings and promoting good moral and ethical standards among its members as well as fostering more unity and progress of Traditional Institutions.
While appreciating the efforts of the Chairman of Ogun State Traditional Council, His Royal Majesty, Oba Dr. Sikiru Kayode Adetona Ogbagba 11, the Paramount ruler and Awujale of Ijebu Land, Oba Dr. Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Paramount ruler and Alake of Egbaland, His Royal Majesty Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the Paramount ruler and the Akarigbo of Remo Land and Oba Dr.Kehinde Olugbenle, The Paramount ruler and Olu of Ilaro for their contributions and supports towards the Traditional Institutions in the State, he said it is believed that with continuous advocacy and engagements, more progress would be achieved to further improve the integrity of traditional institutions.
The President said the Forum would create an enabling environment to bring all monarchs together, fight a common course and be an epitome of good leadership by laying good examples to both the older generation monarchs and the upcoming ones, adding that, part of their objectives is to correct erroneous impressions the society has against the institution of Obas.
“Those of us you see here have our personal businesses, we do not solely rely on government salaries, though it’s our entitlement. We want to use our personal resources to touch the lives of our communities and also effect positive changes in the Society.
“Government can not do it alone, and there is a need to partner with traditional institutions, so that there will be even distribution of resources as well as preservation of customs, traditions and cultural heritage of the land. So, we, at the Integrity Obas Forum of Yorubaland, will ensure that we contribute our quota to ensure progress and unity, support government laudable programmes and ensure the welfare of our people are given topmost priority attention”
“We also commend the efforts of the present and past administrations in Ogun State for supporting the Traditional Institutions”the President said.
In addition, Oba Martins noted that the Forum was established on the premise of Integrity, stressing that the institution is ready to live up to its name. He added that anyone who wants to serve must first serve as a village chief ( Baale) and must have garnered enough experience before upgrading to the position of an Oba.
In his submission,the Secretary of ITOF, Oba Folarin Tanimowo, the Olu of Ibebi, Ijebu-Mushin, pledged that the new Exco of the Forum would ensure that culture and traditions which have been in existence since the olden days do not go to extinction. He lamented that civilization is gradually eroding cultural values, noting that if care is not taken, the upcoming generations would not reckon with traditions anymore.
He pointed out that the various challenges that has faced the institution over the years cannot be resolved overnight by a single body hence the need to engage in collective efforts and contributions by various individuals and groups to nip the problems in the bud.
He stated that part of the responsibilities of the group is to conduct screening of both old and new members, monitor the conducts of members, verify the integrity status of incoming members before joining the association and organize capacity building workshops from time to time for members.
He explained that the Forum would ensure continuouscollaboration and partnership with other groups and individuals across Yorubaland as well as addressing the issues of hierarchy and seniority among traditional rulers which is one of the factors militating against unity and progress.
Members of the newly inaugurated executive include: Oba Olufemi Abiodun Martins (President), Oba Adewunmi Odutela, the Onibudo Ayetoro (Vice President), Oba Folarin Tanimowo (the Olu of Ibebi, Ijebu-Mushin (Secretary).
Others are: Oba Johnson Adeleye, Olu of Okiku Ilu ( Financial Secretary), Oba Musibau Oladapo Adeyole (Olu of Oteyi Olokuta), Oba Toye Abduraheem ( Olu of Erunbe) and Oba Odugbemi Oladele, the Olu of Lisa (members of Trustee).
Members of the Forum who also were in attendance included: Oba Modiu Alalade, Olu of Magboro Akeran, Oba Olufemi Akanni Martins, Oba Adewunmi Adeniji , Olu of Ayetoro ibodo, Oba Olukayode Sodimu, Olu of Sunren Olorunsogo, Oba Adeyole Mufutau, Oba Samuel Olukayode Shodimu , Olu of Sunre Olorunsogo, Olu of Oteyi Olokuta, Oba Ebenezer Soetan. Olu of Olowo, Oba Johnson Adeleye, Olu of okiki ilu Ota, Oba Opaleye Abiodun,. Olu of Obere Ota, Oba Ismaila Sokunbi,. Olu of Agbamaya, Oba Jimoh Adele Fagbohun, Olu of ilukogun and Oba Akeem Akinbiyi,. Olu of Ajipatutu.