Saturday , April 22 makes it a year Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi III passed on. The monarch passed on at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital in Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State.
The news of the Monarch’s death broke barely two days after he passed on from complications of prostate enlargement.
The kingmakers in Oyo who are popularly known as Oyo Mesi are now saddled with the responsibilities of choosing another Alaafin for the ancient Yoruba town.
Whether the oracle, Ifa, will pick the next Alaafin or the ruling house will reach consensus, the Oyo Mesi will decide that and forward resolutions to the state government for confirmation.
But, the kingmakers are currently divided following alleged different interests in the choice of the selection of the new Alaafin.
While a faction of the kingmakers was comfortable with the choice so far made, the other faction alleged of being sidelined in the selection process.
The kingmakers in Oyo are mostly referred to as Oyo Mesi. They were seven individuals but two recently passed on. The Oyo Mesi are currently being led by the Basorun of Oyo, Yussuf Ayoola.
The tradition of the ancient Oyo town is that a new Alaafin cannot be chosen without the kingmakers completing seven in their numbers.
PLATFORM TIMES gathered that this, however, prompted the head of the Oyo Mesi to request for the approval of two warrant chiefs from the state government to continue with the selection process.
Sources within the ministry of local government and chieftaincy affairs in the state said the warrant chiefs were lesser chiefs.
Independent findings by PLATFORM TIMES however indicated that three among the kingmakers kicked against appointment of the warrant chiefs on the fact that they were lesser chiefs.
The three aggrieved kingmakers also accused the other faction of sidelining them in the selection process.
The kingmakers are: Basorun of Oyo, Yussuf Ayoola; Agbakin of Oyo, Asimiyu Alaka; Samu of Oyo, Lamidi Jimoh; Lagunna of Oyo, Wakeel Oyedepo and Akinniku of Oyo Amusat Olayiwola.
The two other members of the Oyo Mesi who had passed on were Alapini and Ashipa.
The Agunloye and Alowolodu ruling houses are eligible to produce candidates for the Alaafin stool.
Further findings by PLATFORM TIMES showed that the late Alaafin Adeyemi III was from Alowolodu ruling house. Many speculated that it is the turn of Agunloye Ruling House to produce the next Alaafin.
Sources close to the kingmakers said 119 princes from the Agunloye ruling house showed interest in the stool but only 62 were screened by the Oyo Mesi.
After the screening, the head of the kingmakers issued a statement, announcing that 10 out of the screened contestants have been shortlisted.
He, however, assured that kingmakers will consult the oracle (Ifa) to choose one out of the ten shortlisted contestants.
But, an insider told our reporter that the name of one of the contestants, Lukman Gbadegesin had been submitted to the state Governor, Seyi Makinde for approval as the next Alaafin.
Gbadegesin and Ayo Ladigbolu, a retired Methodist Archbishop of Ilesa and Ibadan are the major contenders of the Alaafin stool.
The two contestants are from the Agunloye Ruling House.
A source within the palace hinted that Gbadegesin is the preferred choice of head of the kingmakers but the other aggrieved kingmakers insisted that he is not the right person on the allegation that the oracle didn’t choose him.Gbadegesin is a grandson of the late Alaafin Bello Gbadegesin popularly called Oba Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II.
Ladigbolu is 84 year-old and appears to be the oldest among the contestants. He is assumed to be more closer to the governor which predicted him to be the governor’s choice.The governor had also allegedly rejected Gbadegesin’s name with the instruction that the kingmakers should consult the oracle before choosing the next Alaafin.
PLATFORM TIMES had reported that one of the kingmakers who is the Laguna of Oyo, High Chief Akindele Oyedepo disclosed that the kingmakers had made recommendations to Oyo state government on the Alaafin stool since October, 2022.
However, the Oluwo Alaafin of Oyo land, Ikushanu Ifaleye while speaking with our reporter hinted that the kingmakers had not consulted the oracle.
He urged the kingmakers to ensure that the oracle is consulted in order to avoid negative effects on the entire Yoruba land.
The Ona Mongba of Oyo, Waheed Adeleke also alleged that Oyo chiefs were sidelined in the selection process of the new Alaafin of Oyo.
When contacted, the Agbakin of Oyo, Asimiyu Alaka who is one of the kingmakers confirmed that they are divided as a result of different interests on who the next Alaafin will be.
Alaka also confirmed that the kingmakers have chosen the next Alaafin without consulting the oracle.
“Initially, we ought to consult the oracle (Ifa) before choosing the Alaafin but some of us are insisting that there won’t be anything like that. When the head of the kingmakers submitted a name to the governor, we were surprised that some people had already approached the governor before our leader, informing the governor that the selection process was not right to the extent that people were filling and submitting a series of petitions against the person we choose.
“For the past four months, we ought to have sat down and had dialogue over it but we have not as I speak to you. Maybe the governor will still invite us because our leader did not believe that the governor would not accept the person we chose.
“We have appointed warrant chiefs but there is misunderstanding over their appointment, even the person we chose as the new Alaafin is being attacked with a series of petitions and the governor has rejected the selection process. We have told the governor that if he won’t accept then we will remove the warrant chiefs. I hope the governor will call us back soon for a dialogue over the issue. If we’ll need to choose another Alaafin, we will have to dialogue over it.
“Although, we are divided over appointment of the warrant chiefs because not all of us wanted it but because some of us are hypocrites, they went ahead without our knowledge to appoint the warrant chiefs despite our division over the issue.
“It was the head of the kingmakers that appointed the warrant chiefs and we later accept but all that the governor is telling us in summary is that the selection process which we adopted to choose the person we submitted to him is not right . We cannot just choose one person out of 62 contestants.”
Head of the kingmakers did not respond to calls and messages sent his phone.
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