Why we challenged Ooni’s selection process in court, by Lafogido Ruling House

The palace gate in Ile-Ife

The palace gate in Ile-Ife

THE Lafogido Ruling House of Ile-Ife has explained why it resorted to legal action over the selection process of the new Ooni of Ife, saying the process limiting contest to a ruling house and the 1980 chieftaincy instrument being used are strange developments.

Head of Sooko of Lafogido Ruling House, Sookoo Adeleke Adewoyin, told reporters yesterday that the process being used by Osun State government and the kingmakers in approving only Giesi Ruling House to present candidates to fill the vacant stool is strange to Lafogido and entire Ife people.

Adewoyin, a former Deputy Governor in Osun State under the administration of Chief Adebisi Akande, noted that the ruling house is confident and does not expect serious challenge in its quest to produce the next Ooni of Ife.

It would be recalled that the State Government and Ife Traditional Chiefs had affirmed and confirmed that Giesi is the next ruling house to present candidates to fill the vacant stool of Ooni.

The government and the kingmakers in their resolution said they would not entertain any other candidates from other ruling houses, adding that they based their decision on the 1980 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration, which was also the instrument used to install the immediate past occupant of Ooni’s Stool, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II, who joined his ancestors in July this year.

Adewoyin alleged the 1980 declaration the kingmakers intend to use in selecting the next Ooni is fraudulent and completely outside Ife customs and tradition. He called for immediate review of the declaration in the interest of peace, fair-play and justice.

He said the Lafogido is seeking review of the 1980 Chieftaincy Declaration because the ruling house had since been allegedly marginalised in all the chieftaincy reviews that had taken place in Ile-Ife.

His words: “All the new Ife chieftaincy declarations are alien to the ruling houses. The edict being used was done in a manner we don’t understand. The declaration used cannot hold water in Ife and Ife people are completely against it.

“We believe that the state government will not do anything against the court. It is our prayers too that the kingmakers will not disobey the court in the interest of peace for all and progress. This is because we don’t expect that there should be any competition at all for Lafogido Ruling House.”

It would be recalled that Lafogido Ruling House had been granted injunction by an Osogbo High Court following the formal announcement by the kingmakers, which restricted presentation of candidates for Ooni’s Stool to the Giesi Ruling House.

The injunction, which was granted by Justice Adeyinka Aderibigbe of the Osun State High Court, is sequel to a suit filed by the Lafogido Ruling House seeking an order restraining the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola; the Obalufe of Ife, Oba Solomon Omisakin and the Lowa of Ile-Ife, Oba Joseph Ijaodola, from taking further action on the Ooni’s Stool pending the determination of the matter before the court.

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