The selection process of the new Ooni of Ife may have been stalled following the intervention of prominent Ife indigenes urging the kingmakers to ensure that a credible candidate is picked to fill the vacant stool.
Our correspondent gathered that the kingmakers had concluded arrangements to announce one of the candidates presented by the Giesi Ruling House but were prevailed upon to stop on the grounds that the announcement might be subjudice and the candidate might be rejected by a large number of Ife people.
To resolve the legal battles which have bogged down the selection process, representatives of the Giesi, Osinkola, Lafogido and Ogboru Ruling Houses had met and suggested a way forward.
The heads of the four ruling houses in Ile-Ife suggested that all the ruling houses should present four candidates each to the kingmakers for consideration as the next Ooni.
The document containing the suggestion of the heads of the ruling houses was signed on Friday by the representatives of the four ruling houses known as Sooko. They are Adeleke Adewoyin from Lafogido; Mrs. O.A. Orafidiya from Osinkola; Aratunde Adeyoju from Ogboru; and Adewoyin Owoyomi from Giesi.
The suggestion was made by the representatives of the ruling houses after their meeting on how to fast-track the selection process which had been slowed down by a series of litigations.
They said, “ The Traditional Council of Sooko met, discussed and resolved as follows: There must be a middle of the road solution to prevent gridlock and we made these suggestions for the consideration of the kingmakers and all the stakeholders:
“All ruling houses: Giesi, Lafogido, Ogboru and Osinkola Ruling Houses should present three to four candidates to a pool of candidates for the consideration of the kingmakers at the same time.
“That preference should be given to Giesi Ruling House in that the candidates from there should be considered first.
“That if there is no suitable candidate within the Giesi Ruling House, the next ruling house should be considered.”
The representatives of the ruling houses called on the Osun State Government to facilitate the meeting of all the ruling houses in Ife to discuss and agree on the sons of Lajamisan, as recommended by the Babalakin Commission of Inquiry.
They, however, said this should be done after the installation of the next Ooni because such should not be done during an interregnum.
The Traditional Council of Sooko said they wanted peace and progress in Ife and also a quick selection of the next Ooni to move the town forward so that Ooni’s leadership position among Yoruba monarchs would not be eroded.
It will be recalled that the kingmakers had narrowed down the selection process to the Giesi Ruling House, but Lafogido and Osinkola went to court to challenge this move.
The litigations have since slowed down the selection process and the situation was further compounded by the demise of the head of the kingmakers, who is also the Obalufe of Iremo Quarter, Oba Solomon Omisakin, on October 15.