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Why New Alaafin Of Oyo Has Not Been Appointed – Report

Why New Alaafin Of Oyo Has Not Been Appointed – Report
  • PublishedFebruary 29, 2024

It has been almost two years since the passing of Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, however, the seat of the Alaafin of Oyo remains unfilled, leaving the residents of Oyo town eagerly awaiting the appointment of a new ruler.

The demise of Oba Olayiwola Adeyemi III on April 22, 2022, following a reign of 51 years, has initiated a intricate succession procedure for the 46th Alaafin, with as many as 82 princes competing for the esteemed position.

The elaborate succession procedure is steeped in tradition, with Mukaila Afonja, the Baba Iyaji of Oyo and head of all princes, responsible for assembling the roster of contenders from the ruling lineage qualified for the throne.

The compilation is subsequently submitted to the Bashorun, who leads the Oyomesi (the council of kingmakers), and, in conjunction with a seven-member committee, seeks guidance from the Ifa oracle to discern the future Alaafin.

Despite the pivotal role of the Ifa oracle in selecting the successor, the process has been tarnished by disputes and disagreements among the kingmakers regarding the preferred candidate.

According to reports, Prince Lukman Gbadegesin from the Agunloye Ruling House has been put forth as a nominee by the kingmakers, and his name has been subsequently submitted to the state government for endorsement.

The official declaration of Prince Gbadegesin’s nomination, announced on September 30, 2022, garnered unanimous backing from all the kingmakers.

Nevertheless, the decision has stirred controversy, given that the opportunity for disgruntled parties to lodge petitions with the government against the selection process allows for potential further disagreements.

One of the kingmakers who spoke with Vanguard said, “We have submitted everything to the government. If you want to know anything, direct all questions to the government, but we have completed the process.”

Ever since the name was submitted to the government, all eyes have been on Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration to make an official announcement on who mounts the throne.

At one point, there was a division among the kingmakers with three of them pointing accusing fingers at the head of kingmakers for allegedly not following due process in the selection.

The three kingmakers namely: the Agbakin of Oyo, the Samu of Oyo and the Alajagba of Oyo distanced themselves from the choice of Prince Gbadegesin.

They argued that the kingmakers were not properly constituted claiming that one of the kingmakers was not a qualified warrant chief and should not have been included in the choice of the new king.

Addressing a press conference, the kingmakers said: “Seven months ago, the Governor held a meeting with the Oyomesi and specifically told us of government’s decision that due process must be followed in the nomination of a candidate for the Alaafin stool. He instructed us to do our duty freely because the government is only interested in the best for Oyo and Yorubaland.

“The new member of the kingmakers has been denied the opportunity of participating in or contributing to the Resolutions of the kingmakers since his official appointment in 2022 on account of the blunt refusal of the Basorun to comply with the directive of government for due process.

“But, Basorun remained adamant, and no meeting of the kingmakers was convened to deliberate on the major issue of nomination or selection of a candidate for the stool of the Alaafin.

“We are opposed to Basorun’s utter disregard for government directive on due process and his continuing imposition of one of his handpicked chiefs as a warrant chief whose letter of appointment is questionable. We are ready to meet with other kingmakers to perform our legitimate duties by our tradition, custom and the law of the land.

“The government directed us to meet and follow due process. Unfortunately, Basorun, who is Chairman and Convener of our meetings, decided not to convene any meeting of the Oyomesi since late last year till the present moment.”

Reacting to the allegations, Bashorun of Oyo said: “At my age, I don’t need to tell lies anymore; you can ask them to produce the paper with which the government rejected our earlier nomination. The two persons running around now also signed, endorsing our unified decision on who was chosen.

“They have taken us to court and lost because what they are banking on is loads of lies. Let them continue; both the people and God are watching them and all of us.”

When Vanguard called the head of all the princes, Prince Mukaila Afonja, on the issue of the delay, he said since the matter has been taken to court, all parties do not have any other option than to wait for the court’s decision on the issue.

Afonja said: “We went to court last week and the matter was adjourned to April 16, 2024. We have to wait for the decision of the court.”

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