The process for the selection of new Ooni of Ife has commenced in earnest if feelers emerging from Osun State are anything to go by.
According to several sources, the Osun State government was set to formally write the Giesi Ruling House to present candidates for the stool recently vacated by the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade, the Olubuse II.
Sijuwade joined his ancestors on July 28, 2015 at the Saint Mary Hospital, United Kingdom after a brief illness.
Towards this end, reliable sources said that a crucial meeting was held last Friday at the Oke-Fia Government House, Osogbo, with Ife kingmakers in attendance.
A source, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, revealed that the kingmakers and government officials at the meeting resolved to formally write the Giesi Ruling House to present candidates in accordance with the succession order established by government declaration on the Ooni chieftaincy title of 1977, which allows for rotational ascendancy of the throne among the four ruling houses – Lafogido, Giesi, Ogboru, and Oshikola.
Oba Sijuwade, who sat on the throne of his forefathers from 1980 to 2015, is of the Ogboru royal lineage while the Giesi ruling house, tipped to produce the late Sijuwade’s successor, last produced an occupant to the position – Ooni Derin Ologbenla – between 1880 and 1894.
But the clan in the Ogboru royal family is also jostling for the position, arguing that the Giesi ruling lineage should blame itself for conceding its turn to produce an Ooni to the late Oba Sijuwade, saying the concession to the late king was to him as an individual and not to the Ogboru clan as a whole.
However, it was further disclosed that the state government might have closed the door on the other ruling houses as the meeting resolved not to entertain or consider candidates outside the Giesi ruling house.