Who succeeds Oba Sijuwade at Ile-Ife?

No Comments » September 8th, 2015 posted by // Categories: Yoruba Affairs



 

SUMMARY

There are four ruling houses in Ile-Ife. They are

1.  Lafogido, (eg the Ademiluyis; Adagba Compound , Olumobi Family)

2.  Osinkola (eg Oba Adesoji Aderemi),

3.  Giesi and

4.  Ogboru (eg Oba Okunade Sijuwade).

UNQUOTE

QUOTE

Although, it was learnt that it is apparently the turn of the Giesi Ruling House to produce the Ooni now, having been skipped on the order of rotation when the late Oba Sijuwade was picked and installed Ooni in 1980, Lafogido is contending the issue, saying its rival missed its chance after being jumped over in the exercise then.

UNQUOTE

Apparently the  correct ROTATION order is:  Osinkola, Giesi,  Ogboru, Lafogido

 

THE SUN

Aderemi N sijuwoade

Who succeeds Oba Sijuwade?

 0

BY  ON SOUTH-WEST MAGAZINE

from CLEMENT ADEYI and    OLANREWAJU OYEDEJI, Ile-Ife

With the conclusion at the weekend of the seven-day rites of passage for Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II, kingmakers in the cradle of Yoruba ethnic nation are expected to formally declare the race for the succession of the highly revered and flamboyant monarch open any time now.

But even before the remains of the king who died in London on July 28, 2015, were committed to mother earth a fortnight ago, jostling for the exalted royal stool had commenced in earnest among Ife princes. The Ooni stool is not only sacred but perceived as a bonding force for the people of Yorubaland and others in the Diaspora, which explains why it is very much coveted by prominent indigenes of the town whenever it becomes vacant.

Daily Sun can authoritatively report that the contest, although still clandestinely being conducted, has become fierce and dogged by politicking and intrigues, as it is known that whoever emerges the Ooni is regarded as the representative of the gods on earth, spiritual head and custodian of the entire Yoruba race, as the Arole Oduduwa.

Though, tradition forbids would-be successors to declare intention for the throne when a predecessor was still being mourned, investigations revealed that no fewer than12 top princes from three of the four Ife ruling houses had shown interest in the race even before the Ife Royal Traditional Council formally announced the demise of Oba Sijuwade penultimate Wednesday.

There are basic qualifications to the throne: The Ooni must come from a ruling house. He must be well educated. He must also be rich. He must be well versed with the culture and tradition of his people. He must also come from a very rich social background. He must be a man of integrity and credibility. The late Oba Sijuwade possessed all these qualities.

Considering the prestige of the office, which had been further elevated by the last two occupants of the throne- Oba Aderemi Adesoji and Oba Sijuwade, observer note that the competition for the throne cannot be an all comers’ affair and a successor would have to possess an enviable pedigree and other qualities in abundance.

Even so, they said, certain factors must come into play in the selection of a new Ooni, one of these is the ruling house factor: There are four ruling houses in Ile-Ife. They are Lafogido, Osinkola, Giesi and Ogboru.

With the Osinkola Ruling House and Ogboru Ruling House, having produced the late Oba Aderemi and Oba Sijuwade respectively, both appear to be effectively out of contention for the stool, restricting the race to the remaining two ruling houses, Giesi and Lafogido.

Section 4 (2) of the Chief Law 1957 of the Customary Law regulating the selection of Ooni of Ife provides for the rotation of the stool among the ruling houses. According to the law: “The family whose turn is to provide a candidate shall be invited in writing to present their candidate or candidates from among whom the kingmakers shall select the most suitable person.”

Sources close to the kingmakers told Daily Sun that seven members of the Lafogido Ruling House are already eyeing the new stool. Among them are Prince Adeyinka Ademiluyi, a well to do and highly influential septuagenarian; Prince Ademola Ademiluyi, a lawyer and business magnate, Prince Adegboyega Ademiluyi, an oil magnate; Prince Kanmi Ademiluyi as well as Prince Adebambo Ademiluyi, 50, who is a member of the prestigious Yoruba Tennis Club.

Kanmi is reportedly close to prominent personalities in the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), including Governor Aregbesola of Osun State. A former editor of a national daily, he also has age on his side as he is in his 50s. He is, therefore, highly favoured for the post.

Other contenders include:  Prince Adetayo Oladele, a Columbus-based businessman and current President of Ife Descendants Union, Columbus, Ohio. He is from Adagba Compound of the Lafogido Ruling House. Also in the race is Prince Adebode Adefioye, a member of Olumobi Family of the Lafogido Ruling House, who is said to be a director in many multinational companies.

From the Giesi Ruling House, two iconic contenders have also thrown their hats into the ring. One of them is Prince Sikiru Ayedun, an erstwhile Commissioner for Commerce under Aregbesola. He is an experienced business mogul and philanthropist.

The second aspirant is another prominent business tycoon and educationist, Dr. Abdulrahmon Adegoke Adedoyin, the proprietor of Oodua University, Moro and the Polytechnic, Ile-Ife both in Osun State.

The entry of some of the wealthy princes and others with perceived political affiliations into the contest, however, appears to be ruffling feathers and generating controversy, with members of Olumobi Family in the Lafogido Ruling House issuing a warning against distortion of facts about the history, custom and tradition of criteria for the selection of an Ooni.

According to them, material wealth and political influence by aspirants should not be given a priority over the traditional rights and pedigree of those believed to be the true princes of Ile-Ife royal dynasties.

They are also of the opinion that the amount and value of the rich knowledge of the culture and tradition, integrity, strong relationship and affinity with the people of the town as well as the entire Yoruba nation should rather be given a priority in the choice of the next Ooni.

According to a statement by one of the leaders of the family, Prince Adedimeji Dauda Adefioye, it is the turn of the Lafiogido Ruling House to produce the next Ooni because it is now more than two centuries since the last Ooni that came from the lineage resigned.
He said that the late Olumobi, the progenitor of the Olumobi Compound in the Lafogido Ruling House, had reigned as the 22nd Ooni shortly after the reign of Luwoo who was regarded as the only female Ooni as well as the town’s 21st monarch.

Another prominent member of one of the ruling houses, Prince Adeyemi Ologbenla, advised stakeholders and kingmakers to be wary of some aspirants, he noted, were not from any of the lineage that produces a king in Ife. He also dismissed claims from certain quarters that the late Oba Sijuwade had anointed and endorsed a particular candidate as his successor before he died. He argued that in the history of the ancient town, no monarch had ever anointed a successor for himself, saying the choice was the prerogative of the Ifa oracle:

“Since it is the Ifa Oracle that has the prerogative to choose a new Ooni according to the culture and belief of the people, there is no way that the late Oba Sijuwade could have anointed anybody as his successor before he died.”

However, sources within the Giesi ruling house told Daily Sun that the various outbursts and posturing were merely a conspiracy against a formidable aspirant, who, they said, “was “clearly the man to beat” because of the enviable and matchless credentials and accomplishments he parades.  A crown prince from this royal house said the aspirant, who has enormous investments and has made huge contributions to the development of Ile Ife is the consensual candidate of the Agbedegbede dynasty of the Giesi Ruling House and was eminently qualified for the stool according to the law and tradition of the land.

It was learnt that application form which was earlier fixed for N100,000 may have been increased to N250,00, following the increase in the number of aspirants gunning for the stool.

However, there are complaints that some of the leaders and elders in the ruling houses are holding clandestine meetings and hiding the forms from being collected by some of the contestants as a way of shutting them out of the race to favour their candidates

The kingmakers are to decide the ruling house whose turn it is to produce the next Ooni. After this, the approved ruling house presents a list of contestants out of which the kingmakers would pick Ooni-elect after consulting the oracle. He is then presented to the ruling house, which will now present him again to the local government where he hails from. The local government will also present him to the governor of the state for the final approval.

Although, it was learnt that it is apparently the turn of the Giesi Ruling House to produce the Ooni now, having been skipped on the order of rotation when the late Oba Sijuwade was picked and installed Ooni in 1980, Lafogido is contending the issue, saying its rival missed its chance after being jumped over in the exercise then.

Meanwhile, Ile-Ife indigenes have tasked the kingmakers to be fair in the choice of the new Ooni.  Busola Ajayi expressed hope that the choice of the next Ooni will not be based on political affiliations:

“I am scared that our politicians will not hijack decision on who becomes the next Ooni, because everything in Nigeria is politics. I can only call on the kingmakers to make integrity their watchword, whoever becomes next Ooni will decide a lot for Ile-Ife.”

Samuel Opeyemi another resident also stressed the need to safeguard peace in installing the new Ooni: “We do not want problems after installation of the new Ooni. The right person should emerge, kingmakers should not receive bribe and compromise anything. I have read lots of reports as regard who becomes the next Ooni but the last one I read was like pointing at lots of controversies, a divided house cannot work.”

Olawunmi Bamidele, a businesswoman, tasked the kingmakers on integrity and fairness. She said this just as she expressed hope that Ile-Ife will not be thrown into turmoil over who ascends the throne.

 

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