… We’ll fight for it – Gboleru ruling house
…Court directed us to Obaara ruling house—Kingmakers
…Throne tears Obaara apart
By Shina Abubakar
Confusion has greeted the processes to select a monarch for Ikirun, headquarters of Ifelodun Local Government Area of Osun State.
Government officials have claimed that a court judgement ruled that in-fighting within the Gboleru house should not stop Ikirun from having a monarch, ruling that if Gboleru failed to present a candidate within 14 days, the government should ask the next ruling house for a candidate to the stool.
Oba Abdulrauf Adedeji, the Akirun of Ikirun, joined his ancestors in February this year after which the search for a new Akirun began. According to the Akirun Chieftaincy Declaration, three ruling houses take turns to produce the monarch to the throne, Obaara, Adedeji and Gboleru. Obaara and Adedeji have taken their turn, leaving Gboleru as the sole house to present candidate(s) as the case may be.
How it began
Following the demise of the immediate past Akirun, the Gboleru family searched for a successor within the various compounds amidst disagreement.
While the family battled with who to present, the Adedeji ruling house approached an Osun State High Court, seeking it to nullify the reign of Oba Adedeji on the ground that he was from a female lineage. While the matter was ongoing, the Gboleru family decided to join the suit to monitor the development.
However, Justice Babajide Folola in a judgement declined the prayers of the Adedeji ruling house.
He went further to rule that Gboleru should, within 14 days, present a candidate, else the state government should move to the next ruling house.
It’s our turn – Gboleru
Following the election of Prince Yunusa Akadiri of Obaara ruling house as Akinrun-elect by the kingmakers, many residents were confused as to how the title jumped Gboleru.
The family and its supporters thronged roads in both Ikirun and Osogbo, the state capital, protesting what they described as injustice.
The family also approached a court to restrain the state government from accepting the nomination of candidates from either Adedeji or Obaara ruling houses.
It also sought the court to restrain the two houses from participating in the process pending the determination of a substantive suit before the court and the court granted their prayers.
However, speaking with Vanguard, the head of the Gboleru family, Prince Mudasiru Olatunji said the decision to sideline them is nothing but injustice, adding that government did not even wait for the 14 days to lapse before it moved to Obaara.
Olatunji said: “It is strange that a court will give what people did not ask for, the case before the court was instituted by Adedeji ruling house to nullify the reign of the last Akinrun, only for it to dabble into the Gboleru issue that we are fighting within the family.
“Apart from the fact that we were not fighting, that it is a mere issue of the contest, the state government did not wait for the 14 days to lapse when we suddenly heard that they have ordered kingmakers to select an Akinrun-designate.
“We will not let go of our right, we are already in court to challenge the process. We have also appealed to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to look into the matter dispassionately and ensure justice is done.”
Also a Prince within the Gboleru family, Mr. Tajudeen Adesegun noted that the decision of the kingmakers cum government cannot stand.
He said: “What they did was wrong; they said we cannot produce a candidate and when they went to Gboleru against the Chieftaincy law, there were 21 candidates and they went ahead to vote, it is an indication of foul play within the system. Presently, we are ready to present a candidate and the family has resolved its differences.”
Crisis tears Obaara family, kingmakers apart
Meanwhile, the election of Prince Akadiri from the Obaara ruling house by kingmakers has led to a crisis between the family and also among the kingmakers.
While a section of the family disclosed that Akadiri lacked the wherewithal to represent them, the head of the kingmakers alleged that other chiefs were bribed to vote the way they did.
The Eesa of Ikirun, Chief Lawal Adetoyese Kareem, alleged that the other six kingmakers allegedly disappeared a few days before electing a new monarch-designate.
“They were given N2.5million each and brought to the local government secretariat, venue of the election in the same vehicle. To the best of my knowledge, they did not consult Ifa, neither did they communicate such a move to me.”
However, the Odofin of Ikirun, Chief Rasheed Diekola fired back, saying no one bribed the kingmakers but they voted based on their conviction and outcome of spiritual consultations.
Diekola said: “The kingmakers followed due process in electing the new monarch for the community. Seven kingmakers in the community voted and one of us observed the process based on the demand of all the contenders.
“The Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs wrote to the local government and they responded by calling the appropriate ruling house and also informed the kingmakers.
“The LG directed them (interested candidates) to pick a form at the secretariat, over 30 aspirants showed interest but only 21 got the form to contest. When they were to be screened at the local government secretariat, we(kingmakers) were there with CAN, Muslim representatives and security operatives.
“The chairman of the local government inquired from them if they will present a consensus candidate to the kingmakers and they all disagreed. Based on that, we (kingmakers) have to get involved by selecting one out of the 21 and they agreed with the process.
“The Eesa was the first kingmaker that voted followed by the other six except one of us who observed the election.
“They counted the votes, one candidate got one vote and another got six. After the exercise, all of them hugged each other and signed the election sheet one by one. All the Obaara contestants signed.
“It is a lie that we were coerced or bribed to elect the king-designate. We have spoken on behalf of the community. They wanted a youth monarch and we have given them what they asked for,” he said.