By Gbenga Olarinoye, Osogbo
The Ife Kingmakers announced Monday that a new Ooni of Ife would emerge within the next forty days according to the tradition and customs of the town.
They also said that the Giesi ruling house out of the four ruling houses in Ife has been selected to present candidates for the vacant stool of Ooni.
Addressing a press conference in Ile-Ife, one of the two highest ranked kingmakers of Ife, Obalufe of Ife, Oba Folorunsho Omisakin, said the new monarch for the town should possess relative ability for the throne, should have good character and have the support of the people of the community.
Reading the position of the 16 Ife kingmakers in Ile Oodua, the Ooni’s palace, Obalufe, who is the Prime Minister of the town, Oba Folorunsho Omisakin, who was flagged by Lowa of Ife, Oba Joseph Ijaodola and other kingmakers, explained that the 1980 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration will be relied upon in choosing next monarch.
He said only Giesi Ruling House will be allowed to contest the throne, explaining that the concerned ruling house will be expected to present candidates upon receipt of letter from Ife East local government area.
Obalufe added: “When the candidates are presented to us the kingmakers, we will sit upon the names and within 14 days, we must come out with our findings. After that, in another 14 days, new monarch must emerge.
The statement read in part: “we the 16 traditional rulers making up kingmakers by Ife tradition, rules and customs hereby unanimously declare and confirm that 1980 Ife chieftaincy declaration is the one in existence now and we affirm as follows.
“Section 19 subsections a (3) that it is the turn of Giesi Ruling House to present a candidate/ candidates for the vacant stool of Ooni of Ife Chieftaincy, other 3 ruling houses, that is, Osinkola, Ogboru, and Lafogido should wait for their turn.
“No ruling house should restricted to a particular quarter or areas of the town because members of the ruling house live in different parts of the town.
“Finally, we hereby enjoin the members of the ruling houses, the town’s people, all religious bodies, men and women in Ife environs, to please maintain absolute peace. By doing this, the kingmakers would be able to select the best candidate for the vacant stool of Ooni of Ife.”
Also speaking, the executive secretary of Ife East and Ife Central local government areas, Messers Tajudeen Lawal and Taiwo Olaiya, said it would not be the first time 1980 Chieftaincy Declaration would be used to select Ooni.
Lawal specifically mentioned that 1980 Chieftaincy Declaration was relied upon to pick immediate past Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade.
Commenting further, he said part of the requirements of law for whoever will become Ooni of Ife is that he must have relative ability, character and the support of the people of Ife land.