The mandatory seven-day mourning period for the late Ooni Okunade Sijuwade ends today ending the burial formalities of the immediate past Ooni of Ife.
Attention therefore has shifted to the succession formalities which has kicked off in Ile-Ife.
An insider in the Ife ruling house expected to fill the vacant stool was quoted as saying a selection process was already under-way and that those desirous of the revered position have been asked to formally indicate interest.
There are four ruling houses in Ile-Ife – Lafogido, Giesi, Ogboru, and Oshikola.
Oba Sijuwade, who reigned between 1980 and 2015, is of the Ogboru royal lineage.
The next Ooni will most likely emerge from the Giesi ruling house which last produced an occupant to the position – Ooni Derin Ologbenla – between 1880 and 1894.
The other royal houses have also taken turns to produce Obas for the ancient town at various times.
Believing that it is their right to produce the next Ooni, members of the Giesi ruling house have begun a flurry of activities they expect would culminate in one of them succeeding Mr. Sijuwade.
They were said to have met last Saturday, at the Akodi Agbedegbede family house in Ile-Ife, by a source who craved anonymity.
The legal process and content of the law that guides the selection of the Ooni followed areas follows:
-First it will be established that a ruling house is set to produce the next Ooni of Ile-Ife.
-Secondly, it will becommunicated as stated in the law, that 14 days from when the vacancy occurred, the ruling house is obliged to make a presentation of candidate(s) to the local government.
“Thirdly, it will be communicated that the basis of the selection will be from male children who are offspring of both male and female children of a ruling house.
Then, interested princes of Giesi ruling house to obtain and complete the prescribed form, return the form to the family within the next couple of days after which they will be screened. Elders then screen and select as many as they feel comfortable with.
Post screening: The names will be submitted to the kingmakers within a period of 14 days from the vacancy of the stool. The kingmakers then make consultations with the oracle before forwarding their approved list to the local government.
The emergence of the Ooni will depend on how quickly the oracle selects the appropriate occupier to the throne of Ife.
“This is the correct process and procedure and nobody is precluded.” The source said.
Meanwhile, the Ademiluyi Royal Family of the Ile-Ife Ruling House of Lafogido under the leadership of Prof. Adetunji Ademiluyi has prayed for divine guidance on the part of the King makers and the state government in the selection of Oba Okunade Sijuade’s successor and that equity will make the process a whole lot easier in addition to the hope that adherence to the strict traditional norms should be followed.
Written by Leke Adeseri for Vanguard
Hopefully politics will be played down.