Following series of unresolved controversies and with due respect, we found it most appropriate to transmit the clarification and necessity of the above subject matter in the interest of fair and just but not to undermine the position of anyone in our society. The dominant motive is simply to set the record straight, so that we can stop fooling and deceiving ourselves with an unnecessary attack or unknown correction as read many times on the social media. In addition, this is also to help reshape our conduct so that we can continue to avoid an act of criticism or misunderstanding in relation to this problematic issue within us as a Community.
In view of the above facts, we considered it of great importance to formally clarify the circumstances surrounding the current status of Ondo Town in accordance with the Governing Law or Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We must put it on record about the fact that the territorial boundary adjustments or creation of Towns, Local Government Councils and States are statutory responsibility of the Federal Government Authority through an Executive Order of the Federal Military Government Decree, or promulgation of an ‘Enable Act’ of the National Assembly including the Upper Chamber duly signed into Law by the sitting Head of State or President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, not by State Governor, neither by an individual or group press statement. The 1999 Nigeria Constitution, Chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, Sub Section 1, 2 & 3 refers; Supremacy of Constitution. Then, Chapter I Part II, Section 7 & 8 refers: Powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The naming of Road or Street is the statutory and constitutional role of a Local Government Council Authority in their affected Towns, which required the consent of all Landlords or house owners in that new development area. This particular clause cannot be bypassed with an ordinary privilege or influence under any circumstances because no individual or group is allowed to perform the statutory functions of any of the three tiers of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The 1999 Nigeria Constitution, Chapter VIII, Part IV, Schedule IV, Section 1, Sub Section (g) refers: Functions of a Local Government Council.
We acknowledge the fact that it is of good aspiration to uplift the status of Ondo Town to a beautiful and developed environment but not by renaming the ancient Town without following the necessary procedures which cannot even see the light of the day. It goes beyond the scope of strength and power of a sitting State Governor, while traditional rulers are under the direct control and supervision of their respective Chairman of their various Local Government Council Authority as far as the Governing Law or Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is concerned. The 1999 Nigeria Constitution, Chapter II, Section 13, 14 & 15 refers: Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy.
We can confirm that after an extensive and vigorous search, there is no Law or Federal Legislatures resolution as well as Judicial pronouncement that change the status of Ondo Town neither any Federal Government Official Gazette published to that effect. It is our position to state it categorically that such an attempt to rename Ondo Town is constitutionally illegal.
Furthermore, it should be noted however that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recognised only the 36 State Capitals as a City including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja not any other known Towns within the soil of Nigeria. We strongly affirmed our believe that in the absence of a seal of the statutory instrument of establishment of the constituted authority, ‘Ondo Town will remain in the original status as Ondo Town’ in accordance with the existing guiding Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’. The 1999 Nigeria Constitution, Chapter VIII, Part IV, Section 318, Schedule I, Part I, Sub Section 28 refers: States of the Federation.
At this juncture, we specifically blame the advisers of this failed project for their misdirection without seeking competent legal advice from onset about the consequence of the inability that may arise with serious difficulty to pass through the hurdles for many years to come on earth. The 1999 Nigeria Constitution, Chapter IV, Section 39 refers; Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration On Human Rights: Right to freedom of expression and the press.
In conclusion, it is not appropriate to continue to allow the outsiders to see us as a laughing stock about the genuine status of ‘Ondo Town’. The most appropriate thing to do logically is to apply for the creation of a special area within the ancient Ondo Township to be known as a City Centre, just like our Colonial Master did in England where City of London was created inside the London Town. This can also spread around to every developed geographical location just like Saliu Akinmbolaji Oladapo City (SAO City) at Pele Village in Ondo West Local Government Council Area of Ondo State.
We can call our heritage by any name but this is the right time to legally correct the misinformation surrounding the status of ‘Ondo Town’ so that everyone of us can genuinely maintain ‘status quo’ for the sake of posterity.
I trust that every reader shall focus on the purpose and direction of this message with honest attraction and give it the best and widest publicity as it may be required while I stand to be challenged.
Long Live Ondo Town!
Long Live Ondo State!!
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!
Otunba Damilola Oladimeji ‘POH, ECHGA, GIOU’,
Ekimogun Cultural Heritage Global Ambassador
Ojo Gbogbo Bi Odun ‘II’
SPECIAL NOTE: We shall allow a reasonable and meaningful contribution under this crucial topic as it affects everyone one of us and as a proud citizen. At the same, we will not tolerate any insult in the interest of remarkable unification and for the betterment of our heritage known as Ondo Land or called Ondo Town.