Tension in Ile-Ife over selection of Ooni’s deputy

Posted by News Express | 4 January 2016 | 4,628 times

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There was palpable tension in Ile-Ife, Osun State, yesterday in the ongoing screening of candidates for the selection of Obalufe of Ife as deputy to Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye, Enitan Ogunwusi.

The position became vacant after the demise of the late Obalufe, Oba Solomon Omisakin in 2015.

Obalufe is the traditional ruler of Iremo, in Ile-Ife; head of Ife kingmakers and next in command to the Ooni in hierarchy according to the tradi­tion of the town.

The process of selecting a new Obalufe started with the inauguration of a committee under the chairmanship of Ayoola Olafiranye.

It was gathered that the committee was saddled with the responsibility of screening all the 10 contenders from the Aga Ruling House for the stool and report its findings to the house.

The committee reportedly invited all the aspirants and screened them but, before it could submit its reports, majority of the contenders accused it of planning to an­nounce the name of an aspirant, Elu Abayomi, from the female lineage. They insisted Abayomi is not qualified to contest.

This led to rancour by the supporters of the contenders who threatened to shut down the town if Abayomi, allegedly preferred by the committee, was announced as planned.

A traditional chief in Ife, Atimi Bada, the Logun Apata of Ile-Ife said that the contenders for the vacant stool must come from a male lineage and that those from the female lineage could only contest only if there was no competent candidate from the male lineage.

A lawyer, who hails from the same ruling family, Barrister Alaba Awoseemo, also faulted the committee for allegedly favouring the con­tender (Abayomi) from the female lineage when there are many contenders from the male lineage and cau­tioned against anything that could threaten the peace of Ife and Osun State.

Head of the ruling house, Chief Bello Adiyeloja, said since the contenders could no longer trust the committee members, it had become imperative to dissolve the committee to avoid trouble in the town.

He urged the people of the town to remain calm and assured that the will of the people would be respected.

•Sourced from Daily Sun. Photo shows Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi.

Source: News Express

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