Obalufe: Protest Mar Ooni’s Honeymoon

By Moses Bamidele

The honeymoon of Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi who got wedded last weekend, was yesterday disrupted by members of Aga Orunto Ruling Family protesting over the appointment of Comrade Idowu Olaniyi Adediwura as new Obalufe of Ife.

It would be recalled that the foremost tradtional ruler got wedded to Olori Wuraola last Saturday while the royal thankgiving service took place at Ooni palace on Sunday.

Angry over the appointment of Adediwura as the new Obalufe, members of Aga Orunto Ruling Family staged protest to the palace to expressed their displeasure on the choice of Adediwura.

The protesters alleged that Adediwura was not the right choice for the position describing his appointment of being imposed.

Armed with placards and chanting anti-imposition songs, the family alleged that the Ooni has been ill-informed by some traditional rulers and chiefs to have appointed “wrongly”.

According to them, the Ooni made a wrong decision not to have appointed someone from Aga Orunto ruling family the new Obalufe of Ife Kingdom to replace late Oba Folorunso Omisakinwho died in October 2015.

They highlighted the order for the appointment of Obalufe as – Ajagbusi, Ado Gbodo, Aga and Jaojo.

The last Obalufe, our correspondent gathered, hailed from the Ado Gbodo ruling house.

Among the demands of the protesters was that the candidate that emerged victorious during the screening conducted for candidates of the Obalufe position from the Aga Orunto family should be appointed.

It was learnt that a screening exercise was conducted for ten candidates who showed interest in the position on December 31, 2015 by members of a committee saddled with the responsibility to appoint traditional rulers in Ile-Ife.

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Some of the protesters also lamented that despite their efforts to ensure that the new Ooni was chosen from Giesi family as stipulated by the gazette, Oba Ogunwusi after emergence neglected the gazette and trampled on their right.

One of them, Prince Oluwasegun Olayade from Aga family said, “We are protesting today because my family has been deprived of the Obalufe position that we are entitled to based on the order of the gazette.

Four ruling houses are entitled to it (Obalufe position) based on that existing arrangement and there was no disorder until it is our turn now.

“When the issue was getting hot, the Ooni called us to present candidates that can occupy the throne and that if we do not present the names on time, he will choose for us. We submitted the names as at when due but he refused to call us back as we agreed. Suddenly, we heard that the Ooni has appointed some one that is not from our Aga ruling house, which is the next house to be appointed Obalufe.

“This has never happened before; the position of Obalufe is a prominent one that cannot be bathed with injustice. Ooni can’t just over rule our choices when it is not the case that we are fighting dirty within the family. The previous method has always been peaceful using the gazette; this one may result to crisis. The Ooni should return the position to the Aga Orunto family for peace to reign.”

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Also, another protester identified as Elizabeth Oladimeji wondered why the Ooni would impose a candidate on the ruling house, describing that as a sbotage, cheat and deprivation of right.

She added, “We are the next to produce the next Obalufe. They only want to rob us of our right because the family that is appointed by Ooni produced the Obalufe before Omisakin (the last Obalufe died). So, Aga should be the next.

“We have seen instances and cases where it takes two to three years before a candidate is produced us and depriving us of our right. For instance Akinlalu demised before Obalufe and the post is still vacant.

“We appeal to the Ooni to give us our right. When it was the turn of Giesi that the Ooni came from, no one deprived them of getting their right; it is our turn too to produce Obalufe and we should be given.”