Ikeja Obaship Tussle Deepens as Two New Contenders Emerge

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Akinwumi Ambode

Kayode Fasua

A new twist has been added to the lingering obaship tussle in the Ikeja community of Lagos, as the Oshoja Ruling House, which is to produce the next Olu of Ikeja, may have opted for a fresh selection process.

However, kingmakers led by the late former deputy governor of Lagos State had four years back, selected Alhaji Samsondeen Adeleye of the Oshoja Ruling House as Oba-elect, and duly forwarded his name to the Ikeja Local Government Area.

But Adeleye, while speaking with THISDAY yesterday, raised the alarm, saying some leaders of his ruling house had come up with the idea of re-consulting the Ifa oracle on the desirability or otherwise of his choice.

Describing this as brazen injustice, Adeleye said: “How many times do they want the Ifa oracle to speak? Four years ago when the selection process was on, the Ifa oracle was consulted twice, both at Ile-Ife (Osun State), which is the source of creation, and here in Lagos. On both occasions, the oracle picked me.
“Why should some people now contemplate going to the oracle for the third time? This is unhealthy and it is such that has a backlash effect.”

Adeleye, who also responded to a buzzing rumour that he had sold out his Obaship right to one of his younger ones for N35 million, said: “This is a blatant lie formulated by my detractors to incite the people against me, and cause a denial of my legitimate claim to the Obaship of Ikeja.

“If I had wanted money, I would have got it four years ago when we were all contesting for the throne, not now that I am Oba-elect. I will never sell my birthright for a pot of porridge.” It was however gathered that two other contenders to the throne had surfaced in the Oshoja Ruling House, which reportedly stirred the fresh call for another consultation with the Ifa oracle.
Sources in the palace circles revealed that Shamsondeen Adeleye’s younger brother, Wasiu Adeleye, and nephew, Nurudeen Adeleye, recently indicated interest in the Ikeja Obaship position.
Nurudeen, a source revealed, appeared to be much keen among the two contenders, “as he has a war chest to pursue the dream.”

But the next ruling house after Oshoja, the Iyade Ruling House, is said to be capitalising on the ongoing rift, as it reportedly urged that it should be considered for the throne, “since the Oshoja Ruling House seems disunited, and as Ikeja cannot continue to operate without a royal father.”

The Iyade Ruling House was said to have danced round the community last week with its masquerade, being a native expression to its intention.

Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Ikeja Body of Kingmakers, Chief Olufemi Titi-Thomas, has sued for peace, saying stakeholders in the community were in close consultation towards finding a way out of the logjam.

Titi-Thomas, however, appealed to the state Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, to wade into the matter, adding: “We the kingmakers are always ready to cooperate with the government on necessary steps aimed at installing the next Olu of Ikeja, and in promoting peace in our community.”