Politics

Bashorun is relying on an inconclusive, defective selection exercise —2 kingmakers

TWO members of the Oyomesi and another senior chief issued a statement a few days ago in which they tackled the Bashorun of Oyo and insisted that there had been no Alaafin-elect.

The statement, dated 19 September, 2023, a copy of which was given to Saturday Tribune on Thursday by Chief Oyewale reads was signed by High Chief Asimiyu Atanda (Agba-Akin of Oyo); High Chief Lamidi Oyewale (Saamu of Oyo) and Chief Odunrinde Olusegun (Alajagba of Oyo).

It reads: “Our attention has been drawn to the publication in the Punch Newspaper of Monday, 18th September, 2023, issued by Chief Yusuf Akinade, Bashorun of Oyo, to the effect that a candidate had been selected and the selection process concluded on October 4, 2022.

“May we state categorically and put the record straight that no candidate has been selected and the selection process for the new Alaafin of Oyo was not concluded either on the 4th October, 2022 or any other date.

“Oyomesi, which is the traditional cabinet and kingmakers of the Alaafin of Oyo, is made up of seven members, that is, Bashorun, Agbaakin, Iba-Samu, Alapinni, Iba-Laguna, Akinniku and Ashipa.

“As at the time of the demise of His Royal Majesty, Oba Laimidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, the Alaafin of Oyo, on 22nd April, 2022, there were six kingmakers who were alive with Asipa of Oyo, having died some years ago. Of the remaining six kingmakers, Alapinni of Oyo was indisposed and bedridden and incapable of performing his functions as a kingmaker. There was, therefore, the need to appoint two warrant chiefs to replace the deceased and incapacitated kingmaker.

“The function and duty of appointing warrant chiefs resides in the Executive Governor of Oyo State and not any of the kingmakers. Bashorun of Oyo, who is the head of the kingmakers, usurped the function and duty of the Governor of Oyo State by appointing two warrant chiefs without any recourse and permission of the Governor of Oyo State.

“The persons appointed by the Bashorun of Oyo were: Are Ago Bashorun who is a sub-chief under Bashorun and appointed by him to replace the deceased Ashipa of Oyo, Chief Alapo, who is by hierarchy far junior to the Alapinni of Oyo was also unilaterally appointed to replace Chief Alapinni of Oyo. The two chiefs, Alapo and Are Ago Bashorun, were appointed without the knowledge, involvement, participation and deference to other members of the Oyomesi.

“Due to the high-handedness exhibited by the Bashorun of Oyo in handpicking warrant chiefs, there were protests and complaints by the contestants on the lack of faith in the Oyomesi as constituted. One of the eminent candidates who protested was Bishop Ayo Ladigbolu who wrote a petition, complaining bitterly about the appointment process particularly the appointment of warrant chiefs.

“The complaints against the appointment of the warrant chiefs are predicated on the ineligibility of the two warrant chiefs, the first being the Are Ago Bashorun who is a sub-chief, appointee and a puppet of the Bashorun of Oyo. And with regard to Chief Alapo, he is number six in hierarchy of chiefs to the Alapinni of Oyo while number two in hierarchy is Baale Ajagba who was ignored in favour of Chief Alapo because Baale Ajagba is a man of principle who cannot be manipulated or coerced in working against the common interest of Oyo people.

“From time immemorial, the Alaafin of Oyo had been chosen by having recourse to consultation of Ifa oracle. Ifa oracle complements, guides and directs the proper candidate to be chosen for the vacant chieftaincy stool of the Alaafin of Oyo, this has not been done.

“The position of the Alaafin of Oyo is not for the richest, most educated, most popular, but to the person whose tenor and reign would bring peace, harmony and engender growth and development of Oyo town. This goes beyond the ordinary knowledge of the kingmakers but includes recourse to the supernatural in form of consultation of the Ifa oracle.

“The issue of composition of Oyomesi with regards to the eligible persons to participate in the appointment of a new Alaafin of Oyo has not been settled. The governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, as a listening, responsible and responsive governor is interested in due process and not in any particular candidate.

“Concerned about delay in the appointment of the new Alaafin of  Oyo, the governor held a meeting with the members of the Oyomesi and specifically informed them to follow due process in the nomination and appointment process and to perform their function freely without coercion or intimidation because the government of Oyo State is only interested in the best candidate for Oyo town and Yorubaland.

“The vacuum left behind by His Royal Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, the Alaafin of Oyo and his traditional shoes are too big to be left to an ordinary person but should be reserved for an extraordinary person with strong character and personality who will be a real leader that every indigene of Oyo would be proud of.

“We, therefore, proclaim that the appointment exercise relied upon by Bashorun of Oyo is inconclusive, improper, defective and cannot stand. All interested and eligible candidates to the Alaafin of Oyo chieftaincy stool will be accorded fair and equal treatment.

“We, the undersigned, are ready to meet with other interested and willing kingmakers to perform our legitimate duties in accordance with the customs and traditions of Oyo town and Chiefs Law of Oyo State.”

 

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