By Gbenga Olarinoye
Osogbo—As efforts are in top gears to fill the vacant stool of the Ooni of Ife, the Giesi ruling house of Ile-Ife which claimed it is its turn to produce the town’s next monarch has conducted its final screening of aspirants with five princes scaling the hurdle.
The last screening which took place at the family compound at Agbedegbede lane in Ile-Ife followed the first test done to identify the true princes from the ruling house who have the right to occupy the throne.
The Screening Committee according to a competent source was headed by Prince Bayo Ologbenla with eight other people including Prince Adekunle Adelowo as Secretary, Kehinde Ogunwusi and Timothy Ademakinwa among others.
The five names will be submitted to the kingmakers.
One of the members of the screening committee who preferred anonymity said, “To get to where we are now, we had to set some criteria. One, the preferred candidate must be at least 50 years old, not an under-age.
“The person must understand the Ife people; understand Ife as a major and spiritual head of the Yoruba and the candidate must have full identity of the culture, the religion and the tradition of our people”, he said.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the state government is yet to send any letter to the kingmakers on the selection of a new Ooni of Ife as the law demands.
Another source said, “The process is straightforward, the state government through the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs will send a letter to the Local Government, the Secretary of the Local Government will forward same to the kingmakers and the kingmakers will send it to the next ruling house to forward names of their qualified princes to them.
Lafogido calls for review of chieftaincy declarations
Meantime, the Lafogido ruling house at the weekend called for immediate review of both 1957 and 1976 chieftaincy declarations, describing them as fraudulent and completely outside Ife custom and tradition.
While stating the position of the ruling house on the vacant stool of Ooni in Ile-Ife, the head of Sooko of Lafogido ruling house, Sookoo Adeleke Adewoyin said that the call for review became imperative because the ruling house has been marginalized in all the chieftaincy reviews.
Adewoyin, who was also former Deputy Governor of the state stated the readiness of the ruling house to present suitable candidate to occupy the vacant stool of Ooni, noting that there was lopsidedness in the preponderance of the Oonis at the expense of Lafogido, which is a major ruling house of the two original ruling houses.