Ogboru Ruling House faults Ife kingmakers over 1980 Chieftaincy Declaration

The palace gate in Ile-Ife

The palace gate in Ile-Ife

REACTIONS and criticisms have continued to greet Monday’s declaration by Ife Traditional Council that the next Ooni would be picked from the Giesi Ruling House in line with the 1980 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration.

The Ife kingmakers had at a briefing stated that going by the latest Ife Chieftaincy Declaration of 1980, which places emphasis on rotation, it was the turn of the Giesi Ruling House to produce candidates for the exalted Ooni of Ife Stool.

They also noted that the same official 1980 document, which has not been reviewed, was the one used to install Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II, whose transition in July left the Ooni’s stool vacant.

But the Ooni-Ilare Ruling House within the Ogboru Dynasty, Ilare, Ile-Ife, yesterday denounced the Ife Chieftaincy Declaration of 1980 on which the Ife kingmakers led by Obalufe of Ife, Oba Solomon Folorunso Omisakin and the Lowa of Ife, Oba Joseph Ijaodola, requested the Giesi Ruling House to submit names to fill the vacant stool of Ooni of Ife.

The spokesman of the Ooni Ilare Royal Family, Prince Adewuyi Adetogun, faulted the position, saying there was a lacuna in the 1980 Chieftaincy Declaration, which knocked off rotational arrangement established in the 1957 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration.

Adetogun, who gave a breakdown on who is qualified to ascend the throne of Ooni, said what is expected from the kingmakers is fair-play and justice by inviting all the four ruling houses to present candidates and then allow the Ifa Oracle to pick the best among them.

Adetogun gave the names and analysis of the Ooni of Ife who reigned from each house from the founder of the dynasty of Oba Lajamisan until the present time, saying that three Oonis from Giesi Ruling House ruled between 1849 and 1894 because the Ifa Oracle was consulted as it was done in the past.

According to him, Gbanlare, the last Ooni from Ooni Ilare Royal House of Ogboru Dynasty ruled between 1800 and 1823, noting that “Ife Chieftaincy Declaration of 1980 technically throws open the contest for filling the stool of Ooni and that the provision in paragraph six of 1980 Chieftaincy Declaration had cancelled the provision in paragraph five of Ife Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957 hence, the issue of rotation should not come in.”

He, therefore, enjoined the Obalufe in consultation with the chiefs of the right (known as the Outer Chiefs) and Lowa in consultation with the chiefs of the left (called the Inner Chiefs) to respect tradition in the selection of Ooni by inviting the four ruling houses to present candidates and forward their names to Ile Oodua whose duty is to transparently consult the Ifa Oracle that would through divination select one of the candidates as Ooni-elect as it was done from time immemorial.

The head of the family, Prince Lawrence Adekoyejo, said the sole contestant from the Ruling House, Prince Adetogun had submitted his letter of intention to the Ife kingmakers.

Another candidate within the Ogboru Ruling House and a United Kingdom (UK)-based oil magnate, Prince Adeagbo Adefarakan, has also said he was not deterred by the position of the kingmakers on whose house to present candidates for Ooni’s stool.
Adefarakan, who said the 1980 declaration has thrown open the race to Ooni stool, noted the declaration by the kingmakers would not go unchallenged.

He said he was still going ahead with his preparation to mount the stool of Ooni if the Ifa Oracle picked him as the Ooni-elect at the end of the day.

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