Alaafin: Neglect Earlier Selection With Irregularities And Allow Ifá Oracle To Choose – Oyo Mesi Faction Urges Gov. Makinde, Oyo Indigenes
A faction of the Oyo kingmakers, Oyo Mesi, has confirmed that the earlier process that led to the selection of a particular nominee was fraught with irregularities, so the need for consultation with the Ifá oracle to pick a nominee in line with Oyo customs and tradition as well as law of the land.
The kingmakers who comprised of Agbaakin of Oyo, High Chief Asimiyu Atanda, and Iba Samu of Oyo, High Chief Alhaji Lamidi Oyewale disclosed this to a journalist in an exclusive interaction with them on Friday, September 22, in Oyo town.
While speaking during the interview, the Agbaakin of Oyo town, High Chief Asimiyu Atanda said the earlier process that led to the selection of a particular nominee had no consultation with Ifá Oracle and it was fraught with irregularities and fake arrangements.
He, therefore, called on Governor Seyi Makinde, the entire indigenes of Oyo town, and Nigerians as a whole to appeal to Basorun of Oyo, High Chief Yusuf Akinade Ayoola to as a matter of urgency summon a meeting of all kingmakers(Òyó Mèsì) to enable the Kingmakers do their job in line with Oyo customs and tradition as well as law of the land in the selection of a new Alaafin
There are five living members of Oyomesi namely: Basorun, Agbaakin, Iba Samu, Lagunna, and Akinniku. Two warrant chiefs are to be appointed by the State Government to stand in for the two(2) vacant stools of late Ashipa and Alapinni of Oyo.
High Chief Agbaakin maintained that The kingmakers met only once in September 2022 with the following members of the kingmakers in attendance, Basorun, Agbaakin, Iba Samu, Akinniku, Laguna (Oyomesi) joined by Aare Ago Basorun and Alapo (both warrant Chiefs unilaterally selected by Basorun with neither knowledge nor consent of the Oyo Mesi).
In his submission, Iba Samu of Oyo, High Chief Alhaji Lamidi Oyewale Olayanju said, when he and other kingmakers met around September 2022 with about Hundred Nineteen(119) princes who showed interest in the stool of Alaafin, the Basorun who is also the chairman of all kingmakers asked all princes over consultation with Ifa Oracle for the selection of a new Alaafin and all consented to it.
He maintained that they began with an interviewing process with the princes to know their indigeneship, educational qualifications, experience in cultural leadership, and other considered factors.
Iba Samu said while they were through with this interview, the government had audience with Baba Iyaji that the process should be limited to Agunloye Ruling House and that was why the princes were reduced to eighty-two (82) contestants for a single stool of Alaafin.
He said to his surprise, he got a news release that Basorun had unilaterally reduced the number of contestants to ten(10) and he called him immediately on how he arrived at that resolution and should however called a press conference to debunk the statement which he did after he, Iba Samu had done his.
To his surprise, he said Basorun suddenly called a meeting of all kingmakers and disclosed that a nominee for the stool of Alaafin would be selected on that day.
In his furtherance, one of the contestant’s names was withheld, coincidentally met them during the process, and thereafter wrote a letter of protest questioning and challenging the inclusion of two warrant Chiefs unilaterally hand-picked by Basorun in the kingmakers’ council.
He maintained that It was at the meeting of this ill-constituted seven-member kingmakers’ first meeting that, a nominee for the office of the Alaafin was sent to the government for endorsement but had no consultation with Ifa oracle nor ancestors.
He said, “Immediately after submitting our nomination, we got the government’s response that our nomination could not be accepted because we did not follow due process in coming to our resolution. The government directed that we should go back and do our work properly in line with Oyo custom and tradition and Alaafin Chieftaincy declaration
” It was also discovered that one of the warrant Chiefs (handpicked by Basorun) (who participated in our earlier resolution was replaced with Baale Ajagba”.
“We were directed to meet and follow Due Process. Unfortunately, the Basorun who is chairman and convener of our meetings decided not to convene any meeting of the Oyo Mesi since late last year to the present moment. The new member of the kingmakers (Alajagba) has been denied the opportunity to participate in or contribute to the resolutions of the kingmakers since his official appointment in 2022 on account of the blunt refusal of the Basorun to comply with the directive of Government for Due Process in our task of recommending a nominee to the government”.
Iba Samu said “About seven months ago, during an official visit to Oyo, the Governor held a meeting with the Oyo Mesi and specifically told us of the Government’s decision that Due Process must be followed in the nomination of a candidate for the Alaafin stool. He instructed us to do our duty freely because the government is only interested in the best for Oyo and Yorubaland”.
“Regrettably, Basorun remained adamant and no meeting of the kingmakers was convened to deliberate on the major issue of nomination or selection of a candidate for the stool of the Alaafin”.
Recently, the new Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy matters, Barrister Segun Olaleye invited the kingmakers to a meeting in his office. Some of us honoured the invitation but Basorun and others refused to honour the invitation from the Commissioner.”
We members of Oyomesi, therefore, opposed Basorun’s “disregard for due process” and his continuing imposition of one of his handpicked chiefs (Aare Ago Basorun) as a Warrant Chief whose letter of appointment was questionable.
“We are ready to meet with other kingmakers to perform our legitimate duties in line with our tradition, customs, and law of the land”.
He said that the new Alaafin can’t be picked anyhow as there are seven notable shrines that he needs to visit before ascension to the throne.
Iba Samu called on Governor Seyi Makinde, the people of Oyo town, and entire Nigerians to appeal to Basorun to call a meeting of the kingmakers to begin the new process in line with traditional procedures.
At the time of filing this report, a concerted effort was made to reach out to Basorun to get his side of the story but eventually proved abortive.