ONE of the contenders for the vacant stool of the Ooni of Ife and prominent member of Giesi, the next ruling house reportedly slated to produce the next Ooni, Larooka of Ife, Oba Adewale Ojutalayo, has rubbished the tale of internal wrangling in the family over the likely successor of the late Ooni, Oba Okunade Sijuwade (Olubuse II). He added that it’s nothing but scurrilous and unfounded.
He further described the tale as an attempt calculated at causing disunity among the law abiding princes of Giesi.
He, therefore, called on the entire people of Ife kingdom and the general public to disregard the tale totally as there is no iota of truth in it.
“There is nothing like confusion and there is no cause for it in our family. Giesi is a law abiding family. We’re all educated and have the love of Ife at heart. There is nothing that can bring disunity among us because of Ooni’s stool. Whoever is saying there is disunity or confusion in our family because of who emerges the next Ooni didn’t get it right at all.
“We’re all law abiding individuals and we’re going to do everything according to the law of the land. I am using this medium to enjoin the public to follow the trend of things as events unfold instead of listening to unnecessary rumour.”
Asked to comment on the outcome of the screening of the eligible princes who are jostling for the revered throne, he reacted, “That has not been done yet. But things are taking shape now. We heard that the much awaited letter from the state government has arrived and has been delivered to the Giesi ruling house which is what has been delaying the process all this while. We had to wait because our family can’t do anything concerning the stool without following due process. And once the family elders announce the receipt of the invitation letter, the screening of the eligible princes begins immediately.
“The screening at this level will be conducted by select family elders who are matured, experienced, reliable, transparent and trustworthy. And after completing the exercise, the elders will forward the names of the most eligible ones to the kingmakers who will consult the oracle. It’s after then that a successor would emerge.
“So, there is nothing like confusion at all. We’re just being orderly.”
On how soon that will be concluded, “The law says 14 days and that begins right from the day the letter is received. So, that means the process has started already. And within two weeks, the names of the most eligible princes might have been forwarded to the kingmakers. So, everything is still in order.”
Meanwhile, Ife kingmakers were said to have directed Giesi to produce the next Ooni.
In a statement credited to one of the kingmakers, Obalufe of Ife, Oba Solomon Omisakin in one of the dailies, the kingmakers had affirmed and confirmed that it’s the turn of Giesi to produce the next Ooni in accordance with the 1980 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration.
Omisakin reportedly stated that the new Ooni would emerge within the next 40 days.
“We the 16 traditional rulers making up kingmakers by Ife traditional rules and customs hereby unanimously declare, affirm and confirm that 1980 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration is the one in existence now and we affirm as follows: Section 19 sub-section a (3) that it is the turn of the Giesi Ruling House to present a candidate or candidates for the vacant stool of the Ooni of Ife chieftaincy.
“We hereby urge the other ruling houses to wait until it’s their turn to rule which we also plead to the people of Ife to maintain peace,” he was quoted to have said.
On Tuesday, July 21, 2015, Oba Okunade Sijuwade joined his ancestors but that was greeted by a lot of controversies until he was pronounced dead by the palace chiefs who earlier insisted that the late Paramount Ruler of Ife Kingdom was alive, hale and hearty. He was buried on Saturday, August 8, 2015.
Since then, many princes from different royal families have been laying claim to the exalted throne. Now, the argument on which family should produce the next Ooni has been laid to rest with the letter of invitation from Osun State Government to the Giesi family whose turn it is to produce the next Ooni based on 1977 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration.
– TADE ASIFAT