There has been controversial news in some quarters that a Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Afolabi Olaoye, was selected by the Ifa oracle as the new Soun of Ogbomosoland in Oyo State.
As an ordained pastor of RCCG, based in the United States, Olaoye, resigned his position to become the traditional ruler of Ogbomosoland.
Having widely practiced as a Christian leader for over three decades, many questioned if Olaoye would tilt towards traditional practices required of the occupant of the royal stool.
However, as the new Soun of Ogbomoso, Olaoye who, last Friday, observed traditional rites of ascension to the throne of Ogbomoso, also learnt to adapt his faith to long-established practices associated with his kingdom.
He followed the footpath of a former pastor, Kehinde Olugbenle, who resigned from his pastoral duties to become a monarch in Ilaro, Ogun State.
The D-day came on Friday, September 8, 2023, in Ogbomoso, as kingmakers began the process of performing the traditional rites on the new Soun of Ogbomoso.
Leading the kingmakers to perform the installation was the Areago of Ogbomoso, High Chief Sobalaje Otolorin, who did not only proclaim Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye as His Imperial Majesty, but also described him as the Orumogege III and the 30th Soun of Ogbomoso.
The position of Soun became vacant following the demise of Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III, in December 2021 at the age of 95 after reigning for 48 years.
Speaking on the development, the Mogaji of Laoye family, Prince Amos Olawole-Olaoye, said the new Soun is a recognised son of the family and entitled to the throne.
However, this pronouncement runs against the argument of some that the new traditional ruler was not part of the process from the beginning.
The rancour that trailed the selection of the new Soun then became a court issue. The Chairman, Screening Committee for Laoye Ruling House in Ogbomoso, Abdulwahab Laoye, had said the family did not select anybody to fill the vacant stool of Soun of Ogbomoso.
He earlier dismissed as mere insinuations, certain reports that someone had been selected.
He said: “We did not select Ghandi and he is not among the 11 the screening committee selected out of 23 applicants. We do not want the matter to degenerate to the level of litigations. We scheduled a meeting for Feb. 23 and invited the council to observe. “The council, however, hijacked the process from us and added another seven people based on the claims that they equally obtained the expression of interest form, thereby raising the number of the applicants to 18.”
Meanwhile, a statement by the Oyo State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Olusegun Olayiwola, stated that the announcement followed the processes specified under the law.
Olayiwola said: “His Excellency congratulates the new Soun-elect on his ascension to the throne of his forebears.”
The commissioner said the position has placed the traditional ruler-elect in the position to facilitate harmony, understanding and tolerance among his people.
He urged all sons and daughters of the ancient city of Ogbomoso to work with the new Soun of Ogbomoso to consolidate the successes of his forefathers.
Meanwhile, Olawole-Olaoye, who spoke on behalf of the kingmakers, said they did not receive any court injunction restraining them from installing Olaoye as Soun of Ogbomoso.
Sunday Vanguard recalls that the Oyo State High Court in Ogbomoso had, last Thursday, issued an injunction.
It restrained the Governor, the Attorney General of the State and the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters from installing Olaoye as Soun.
The court injunction also restrained government agents or officials from presenting any instrument of office in any form of ceremony or issuance of certificate of installation to Olaoye.
This, it said, should be until the final determination of the mandatory injunction already filed before the court.
However, the state government will announce the date to officially hand the new Soun the staff of office.