A faction of the Oyo kingmakers, Oyo Mesi, on Monday, said Governor Seyi Makinde had not approved the nominee forwarded as the next Alaafin of Oyo over failure to comply with due process.
The kingmakers comprised of High Chief Agbaakin of Oyo, Asimiyu Atanda, High Chief Samu of Oyo, Lamidi Oyewale and Baale Ajagba, Odurinde Olusegun, who addressed journalists in Oyo town, said the process that led to the selection of a particular nominee was fraught with irregularities.
PUNCH reports that a faction of the traditional kingmakers in Oyo town, led by the Basorun of Oyo, High Chief Yusuf Akinade, said that they are waiting on the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, for the inauguration of the new Alaafin.
The Basorun stated this in an exclusive interview with our correspondent, noting that the name of the nominated prince had been forwarded to Governor Seyi Makinde who had yet to announce the kingmakers’ choice.
However, the faction led by High Chief Ayoola said it was wrong for Basorun to unilaterally co-opt warrant officers into the council without the consent of other lawmakers and the approval of the Local Government authority and the state governor
They said, “There are five living members of the Oyo Mesi and there are two warrant Chiefs eligible to nominate/recommend a nominee to the Governor of the state for appointment as the Alaafin. The kingmakers met only once in 2022 with the following members of the kingmakers in attendance, Basorun, Agbaakin, Samu, Akinniku, Lagunna (Oyomesi) joined by Aare Ago Basorun and Alapo (both warrant Chiefs unilaterally selected by Basorun without knowledge or consent of the Oyo Mesi).
“As a matter of fact, one of the contestants wrote a letter of protest questioning the inclusion of the warrant Chiefs in the kingmaker’s council. 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.
“Immediately after submitting our nomination, we got the government 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 accordance with the declaration. It was also discovered that one of the warrant Chiefs (handpicked by Basorun) (who participated in our earlier resolution was replaced with Alajagba)
“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 of a nominee to the government
“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 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 candidate for the stool of the Alaafin. Recently, the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs 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.”
They, 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 accordance with our tradition, custom, and law of the land,” they declared.
Meanwhile, the deprived Atiba ruling houses have vowed to resist any attempt to scheme them out of the selection process of the new Alaafin of Oyo.
This was in response to the statement credited to Basorun of Oyo town, High Chief Ayoola that the selection process for the new Alaafin has been completed.
A statement by the aggrieved families alleged that kingmakers did not follow due process in their nomination of a candidate for the vacant stool.
The statement authorised by Prince Sina Afolabi said, “We, the members of Àtìbà nine royal families, feel compelled to respond to your recent publication claiming that a king has been chosen since 2022. We want to make it clear that your claim is completely untrue, baseless, and unfounded.
“We acknowledge that there were some improper arrangements made in the past, which have since been recognized and declined by the government. These arrangements did not represent a due process that reflects the genuine selection of a new Alafin. We fully support the government’s decision on this matter.
“We firmly believe that any process that excludes the nine royal families cannot be considered valid. It is essential that justice, fairness, and equity are upheld in the selection processes. To ensure this, we urge Governor Seyi Makinde to implement the 1976 Adekunle Ladeinde reports.
“By allowing the nine ruling houses including Olawoyin to participate in the selection processes, it is the duty of the government to promote peace and harmony within the community. We sincerely hope that our plea for justice and fairness will be heard and acted upon.”