Ooni: 1979 Declaration May Determine Successor | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ooni: 1979 Declaration May Determine Successor

Posted: Aug 3, 2015 at 12:21 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Gbenga Faturoti OSOGBO

There are still conjectures surrounding the reported demise of Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II, yet there are loud hints that the royal families in Ile-Ife may have begun the search for his successor.

A source close to one of the ruling houses has passionately appealed to the Obalufe and Lowa of Ife, Oba Solomon Omisakin and Oba Joseph Ijaodola to consult with kingmakers to formally invite the next ruling house(s) to begin selection process on successor.

This is coming even as the traditional chiefs denied the report that the corpse of the Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II had arrived Ile-Ife at the weekend.

An impeccable source maintained that some traditionalists had gone to London for the necessary traditional rites before the remains of the monarch arrives the country.

Nonetheless, the Chief Priest of Ile-Ife, Oba Olajide Farotimi Faloba, described the news that the corpse of Oba Sijuwade had arrived Ile-Ife as untrue.

The source revealed that even if the corpse arrive, nobody except the traditionalists can have access to it, adding that the monarch’s corpse is of no use to anybody again, including his wives and children, as well as relations.

Another source revealed that official pronouncement would soon be made by the traditional chiefs through the state government, and noted that the process for the commencement of selection of new traditional ruler would not be delayed at all since there are laid down procedures for this.

The ruling houses are Osinkola Ruling House which produced late Oba Adesoji Aderemi; Ogboru Ruling House which produced Oba Sijuwade Okunade; Giesi Ruling House and Lafogido Ruling House.

Meanwhile, a group which describes itself as the Cradle Youths has appealed to the Obalufe, Oba Solomon Omisakin and Lowa of Ife, Oba Joseph Ijaodola to consult with kingmakers on the selection process to comply with the 1979 declaration by asking the family whose turn it is to provide a candidate or candidates from among whom the kingmakers shall select the most suitable person.

The group in a statement issued had urged indigenes of Ile-Ife not to be over anxious over the circumstances surrounding the reported demise of Oba Okunade Sijuwade, saying that the Traditional Council knows the right thing to do.

The Co-ordinator of the group, Mr. Kunle Elusayo, who commended the Traditional Council for their role, explained that there are guidelines and traditions to be followed when issues like this occur.

He explained that only information circulated by the traditional council should be followed, arguing that they have a customary law regulating the selection of who becomes the next Ooni, if the need arises.

Elusayo added: “The traditional council is in the right position to say anything concerning the status of the Ooni. People should wait and respect the position of our tradition, history will not forgive anyone that betrays our tradition and law.

“If at all anything happens to the king, God forbid, the declaration made under section 4 (2) of the Chief Law 1957 of Customary Law, Regulating the selection of the Ooni of Ife, should be followed strictly.”

He said the declaration was made on 14th day of September, 1979; approved on the 20th day of January 1980, and registered 26th day of January, 1980.

The group further urged the two persons entitled to select the Ooni title, Obalufe and Lowa, through consultations with right and left Chiefs, should preferably allow the declaration to reign.

The declaration read in part: “There are four ruling houses, which have the right to provide candidate for the Ooni chieftaincy, and the identity of each of such ruling houses and order of rotation is as follows: Osinkola House –  which produced late Oba Aderemi; Ogboru House – Oba Sijuwade Okunade II; Giesi House, and Lafogido House.

“The family whose turn it is to provide a candidate shall be invited in writing to present their candidate or candidates from among whom the kingmakers shall select the most suitable person.”