Ife traditional council limits choice of new Ooni to Giesi Ruling House

The palace gate in Ile-Ife

The palace gate in Ile-Ife

THE Ife Traditional Council has broken its silence on the succession tussle to the stool of the Ooni of Ife declaring that the next Ooni would be picked from the Giesi Ruling House in line with the 1980 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration.

Hitherto, contestants from all the four ruling houses in the ancient town have been showing interest to occupy the exalted stool following the transition of Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II, who joined his ancestors in July.

Addressing a press conference at the palace of the Ooni of Ife yesterday, the Obalufe of Ife, who is also the Prime Minister of Ife and Second-in-Command to Ooni, Oba Solomon Folorunso Omisakin, said the council had decided to stick to the 1980 chieftaincy declaration, which upholds rotational arrangement in line with the declaration.

He said the clarification became more imperative to engender peace, harmony and good relationship among Ife indigenes.

Oba Omisakin, who said the traditional chiefs would not let the people of Ife and the Yoruba ethnic nationality down in the selection process of the Ooni, noted that chieftaincy laws and tradition would be adhered to strictly to pave the way for the emergence of a new Ooni of Ife.

Obalufe of Ife, who was accompanied to the venue of the conference by other kingmakers, also hinted that a new Ooni may emerge in about 40 days time.

He said: “We the 16 traditional rulers making up kingmakers by Ife traditional rules and customs hereby unanimously declare and affirm and confirm that 1980 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration is the one in existence now and we affirm as follows:

• “Section 19 sub-section (3) states that it is the turn of Giesi Ruling House to present a candidate/candidates for the vacant stool of Ooni of Ife chieftaincy.
• “Other three ruling houses, that is Osinkola, Ogboru and Lafogido, should wait for their turn.
• “No ruling house should be restricted to a particular quarter or areas of the town because members of the ruling houses live in different parts of the town.
• “Finally, we hereby enjoin the members of the four ruling houses, the town’s people, all religious bodies, men and women in Ife environs to please maintain absolute peace. By doing this, the kingmakers would be able to select the best candidate for the vacant stool of Ooni of Ife.

Oba Omisakin denied the claims by some contestants that their names had been forwarded to the kingmakers for consideration.

He said: “Contrary to claims by some people, we have not received any name from any of the ruling houses because the selection process to the stool of the Ooni has just started.”

The Second-in-Command said that a letter would soon be written to the royal family of Giesi Ruling House to present their candidates to facilitate the selection process,

He explained that the kingmakers would act in accordance to the laws, stressing that the 1980 chieftaincy declaration used for the installation of the late Oba Sijuwade would be used in order to avoid undue crisis.

Both the council chairmen of Ife East and Ife Central local councils, Mr. Tajudeen Olaniyi Lawal and Mr. Taiwo Olaiya also confirmed that it was the turn of the Giesi Ruling House to produce the next Ooni of Ofe in line with the 1980 declaration.

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