Ife kingmakers, who play a crucial role in choosing the next Ooni of Ife, have officially asked the Giesi Ruling House to present qualified candidate(s) from the family to considered for the revered position.
The announcement by the kingmakers at a Monday press conference has already been kicked against by one of the other ruling houses, Osinkola, which has signalled its intention to challenge the decision in court.
The kingmakers, comprising of the 16 traditional ruler of Ife, said at the press conference which held at Ile Oodua that they used the 1980 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration to arrive at the decision.
The Obalufe of Ife, Oba Solomon Omisakin, read the address of the kingmakers which was signed by six of the kingmakers: Obalufe; Lowa Adimula of Ife, Oba Joseph Ijaodola; Obajio of Moore Quarters, Ife, Oba Yaya Elugbaju; Jaran of Ife, Adekola Adeyeye; Obaloran of Ilode, Oba Sakariya Olawusi and Arode of Ife, Oba J.A. Awe.
Omisakin stated that the new Ooni would emerge within the next 40 days.
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 subsection a (3) that 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 turns. 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 members of the four ruling houses, people of the town, religious bodies, men and women of 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.”
But other ruling houses are not accepting the process. The Osinkola Ruling House, has said the family will challenge the decision of the kingmakers in court.
The Chairman, Publicity Committee of Osinkola Ruling House, Prince Olakunle Aderemi, spoke to the Vanguard newspaper saying: ”We will be in court tomorrow. We will challenge it in court. The instrument which the kingmakers used is corrupted. That instrument cannot stand the test of law, it will crumble.”
On its part, the Lafogido Ruling House had on Sunday rejected the 1977 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration describing it as harsh and unfair to the family.
The family, in a statement signed by the Sooko Walomo of Ile Ife, Prince Adeleke Adewoyin, Lafogido had been constantly marginalised in chieftaincy reviews in Ife since 1957.
“We regard the 1977 gazette as harsh and unfair to the Lafogido Ruling House. The clear-cut preponderance of 14 Oonis have been enthroned from Lajodogun and only 8 from Lafogido ruling house,” the family said.