Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The crisis in Ipetumodu community in Ife North Local Government Area of Osun State over selection of the town new monarch has been resolved amicably by the kingmakers.
Head of the kingmakers and Asalu of Ipetumodu, Chief Sunday Afolabi, said the kingmakers followed due process in selecting the new Apetumodu of Ipetumodu, Prince Joseph Gbenga Oloyede.
Afolabi was reacting to the allegations leveled against him and two other kingmakers in the town by some princes who expressed dissatisfaction over the selection process of the new monarch.
Addressing a press conference in Osogbo, the state capital, the Asalu said contrary to the claimed by the “disgruntled princes led by Prince Taiwo Ayoola,” the kingmakers took necessary steps to ensure that the process was devoid of flaws.
THISDAY recalled that Prince Taiwo Ayoola, who is the National Leader of Aribile Ruling House, in company of representatives of other ruling houses, had called on the state government to intervene and prevent the kingmakers from going ahead with the installation process to forestall full-fledged violence.
It is still fresh in the memory that last year, there was violence in the community over the selection of a new monarch for the town.
According to him, rather than allowing age-long tradition and norm of selecting a new monarch for the community to hold sway, the kingmakers opted for an unconventional method of selection.
But the head of the kingmakers, who led two other kingmakers and members of Ipetumodu Progressive Union (IPU) to the press conference, debunked the allegations, describing Prince Ayoola and his supporters as blackmailers “who resorted to vilification of their personalities having failed in their efforts to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere of the town.”
He said the nomination of Prince Joseph Oloyede followed due process and without any manipulation whatsoever as alleged.
“We followed the tradition and age-long process of selecting a new king in the town. There was no monetary inducement as being claimed by those elements led by Prince Ayoola.
“Few days after the completion of burial rites of our late king, I was called upon by the local government authorities as the chief kingmakers to commence the process. The next ruling house (Aribile lineage) was contacted by the kingmakers through the local government to submit names of interested persons for the throne, in which 13 candidates expressed interests to contest for the vacant stool.
“We were three in number then, but when one of the kingmakers died, we agreed to elevate Chief Kehinde Orosanya ( Lofidi) as warrant chief, and the fourth kingmaker.
“On July 26, 2018, out of the four kingmakers, three of us voted for Prince Joseph Oloyede while the other kingmaker voted for another candidate.
“We continued with the selection process after the injunction Ayoola’s got in court was vacated,” he said.
Expressing displeasure over the allegations that the chairman of Ife North Local Government Area, Hon. Taiwo Orosanya, connived with the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, to impose the candidature of Oloyede, Chief Asalu said the Ooni gave his consent because he knew there was no subsisting injunction against the process.
He said the Ooni acted in accordance with statutory provision that put him in the position to recommend a new king for the government as a statutory authority and not as a result of pressure from any quarter as claimed.
Asalu also debunked the allegations that he and two other kingmakers who voted in favour of Prince Oloyede exploited candidates, saying money paid for intention forms were voluntary.
In his reaction after the press conference, the President of Ipetumodu Progressive Union (IPU), Dr. Sunday Oyebowale, said there was no tension or commotion in the town.
He however urged the aggrieved members of the ruling house to take the popular decision with regards to the kingship selection in their stride without blemish.
Oyebowale urged residents of the sleepy community to be peaceful and come together as one, saying there wouldn’t be development in the absence of peace.