Since the completion of the burial rites of Late Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse11, prominent princes from Ile-Ife, the cradle of Yoruba race have been jostling to occupy the vacant stool. At the last count, no fewer than 35 princes from the four recognised royal families in the ancient town have shown interest in the throne. These ruling houses are: Lafogido. Giesi, Ogboru and Osinkola.
And from Giesi ruling house are: Adeniran Alani Adelowo, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Taye Ogunleye, Adegboyega Ologbenla and Gbadegesin Ologbenla. Others are Princes Adetunji Adeyemi Ogunwusi, Bankola Ojulalayo Adediwura, Adegboyega Adedira, Olajide Adejoba, Adetona Sikiru Ayedun, Ademoyowa Omomadelo and Adegoke Adeyemo.From Osinkola ruling house are six candidates from the five branches of the ruling house. They are Prince Adedamola Aderemi, great grandson of Oba Adesoji Aderemi, the 49th Ooni of Ife who ruled between 1930 and 1980, Prince Ademola Ademiluyi, Prince Yinka Ademiluyi, Dr. Gboyega Ademiluyi, Prince Kanmi Ademiluyi and Prince Adebambo Ademiluyi.
Abewela Royal House presents sole candidate
Abewela Royal House, a branch of Lafogido Ruling Dynasty, at the weekend said it has decided on a sole candidate for the Ooni Stool. He is Prince Ahmed Aderoju Adewoyin, a lawyer.
In a statement signed yesterday, by the Sooko of the Royal House, Prince, (Hon. Justice) David Adeniji; ‘’After the reign of Ooni Adegunle Abewela (1839-1849), out of the two original Ruling Dynasties (Lajodogun and Lafogido) only one section i.e. Lajodogun has so far produced seven Oonis of Ife in quick succession.
Adeniji said he was delighted to present Adewoyin as candidate to the throne, and expressed the assurance that all things being equal, the lopsidedness that has characterized ascendancy to the throne for a while now, would be addressed with the installation of the sole candidate from Abewela.
He said; “The family deemed it fit to x-ray the ascension to the throne of Oonis of Ife in recent times and intimate concerned stakeholders especially Ife High Chiefs (i.e. Ife Royal Traditional Council/ Kingmakers) in the selection processes of a new candidate for the highly revered stool of Ooni of Ife to allow the dictate of justice, equity and fairness to prevail in the final selection of a new Ooni of Ife.
“Abewela Royal Family is not oblivious of the order of rotation of the Ruling Houses as set out in various Chieftaincy Declarations regarding the method of selection of Ooni of Ife. “By virtue of the 1957 Declaration registered on 7th day of June 1979, Giesi Ruling House conceded its turn in favour of Ogboru Ruling House (which consequently produced late Ooni Okunade Sijuwade in 1980).
This also led to the emergence of the 1977 declaration with order of rotation, aside being incorrect, misleading and tending to pave way for rotational manipulation,it openly negates the well accepted rotation and flagrantly offends the tradition.
“However, this has been abrogated by 1980 declaration as registered on 28th January, 1980 which has left the room of contest open to the 4 Ruling Houses aside that it technically tilts production of the new Ooni of Ife in favour of Lafogido Ruling Dynasty (as Giesi had already conceded its own turn to Ogboru in 1980).
“Historically, Ife Ruling Houses are mainly only two (2) and not four (4). These are Lajodogun and Lafogido (both were the two children of Ooni Lajamisan). For record purpose and emphasis, Ooni Oranmiyan begat Ooni Lajamisan.
“However, it is incontrovertible to state that over time, one of the two major dynasties, that is: Lajodogun have been split into three separate Ruling Houses viz. (a) Ogboru (b) Osinkola and (c) Giesi, while the other dynasty, Lafogido, has remained only one, indivisible dynasty, on the other hand.’’