By Abimbola Ogunnaike
Nine royal families which were excluded from the selection process of the new Alaafin have protested their exclusion from the process.
The excluded royal families insist they are also entitled to the new seat.
The Alaafin of Oyo stool became vacant as a result of the death of the 45th Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Atanda Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, who passed a year ago.
One hundred and nineteen aspirants were shortlisted but only 57 people were interviewed, Daily Post reports.
This is despite Baba Iyaji, the head of princes in Oyo, submitting all the applications to the Bashorun of Oyo.
However, it was learned that a letter was then sent from the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in conjunction with Atiba Local Government directing the Baba Iyaji to attend to only Agunloye ruling house.
But from the current outlook, the process is encountering a major challenge as nine royal families in the town said that they had been sidelined.
They noted that there was a pending court case challenging the selection process.
The families called on the state governor, Seyi Makinde, not to approve the appointment of a new monarch until the pending court case was resolved.
The nine royal families are: Adeitan family, Olanite family, Tella Agbojulogun, Tella Okitipapa family, Adediran Ese Apata family, Adesokan Baba Idode family, Adesiyan family, Abidekun family and Adelabu Baba Ibadan family.
They were represented by: Prince Adesina Afolabi, Adeitan family; Prince Lamola Olanite, Olanite family; Prince Nureni Taiwo, Tella Agbojulogun family; Prince Remi Azeez, Tella Okitipapa family; Prince Raji Adediran, Adediran Ese Apata family; Prince Muftau Adejare Adesokan, Adesokan Baba Idode family; Prince Adesiyan, Adesiyan family; Prince Bello Rasheed, Abidekun family; and Prince Agboin Adelabu Adelabu, Baba Ibadan family, at the press conference.
They made the demand while addressing a press conference recently at Akinmorin town near Oyo.
In their statement, they said it was important for Governor Makinde to maintain the status quo and respect the autonomy of the traditional institution until the court case is resolved. This will not only ensure a smooth transition process but serve as a testament to the Governor’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and promoting justice and equity in the state.
“It is essential that Governor Makinde prioritises the resolution of the court case before any action is taken with regard to the appointment of a new Alaafin. This will ensure that the process is transparent, fair and just as required by the law.
“Gentlemen of the press, it is time to put an end to the years of discrimination that has plagued the selection of the Alaafin of Oyo in the past.
“The nine Atiba children have been marginalised for too long, and it is only fair that they are given a chance to ascend the throne. We urge the Governor to make history by selecting the new king from among the nine Atiba children.
“The Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs has been found to have a defective process and it is crucial that equity and justice are upheld in the selection of the new Alaafin. We cannot afford to have a flawed process that will only perpetuate the marginalisation of nine out of the children of Alaafin Atiba,” they said.
They also called in the governor to make history by selecting the new king from among the marginalised Atiba children and setting a precedent to future selection process.
They further asked the court to declare 1976 report as the only legal instrument to select new Alaafin- Prince Afolabi.
In a related development, one of the members of the nine royal families, Prince Adesina Afolabi, stated that the nine families have approached the court to declare the 1976 report as the only legal instrument in selection of new Alaafin.
While speaking with Daily Post, he revealed alsoadded that the nine Atiba royal families have asked the court to declare Atiba Ruling House as the only Ruling House in Oyo.
He said, “119 were shortlisted, but 57 were interviewed, while 62 people were disqualified. 28 candidates are from the nine royal families.
“In the year 2020, we asked the court to declare the Chieftaincy Declaration defective.
“Finally, an interlocutory injunction to stop the ongoing process to choose the new Alafin by Oyomesi, Atiba Local Government, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy, Attorney General of Oyo state and the Governor of Oyo state. The case is at court 1, under Justice Akintola.”
Source: The Punch