Traditional rulers under the aegis of the Osun State Council of Obas may boycott Monday’s coronation of the 51st Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi.
The decision to stay away from the highly publicized event was taken yesterday after a meeting of the Council of Obas at the Finance Building in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
The Owa Obokun of Ijeshaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran, who spoke with reporters, said that he and other monarchs, whose names he did not disclose, would not attend the event, unless they receive a formal invitation from the coronation’s central planning committee.
He said: “If we are invited with invitation card or letter, we would go there after consulting with the governor. As at the time we concluded the meeting of Osun Council of Obas, we had not received any invitation from Ile-Ife. We don’t just go to where we have not been invited”.
The Owa Obokun also maintained that despite the ascension of Oba Ogunwusi to the throne as Ooni of Ife, his position as chairman of the Osun State Council of Obas was not threatened.
Speaking in response to a question of what would be the status of the new Ooni now that he (Aromolaran) had been adopted as the substantive chairman of the council, he said: “It is the Obas who can answer that question because they made me their chairman”.
He went on: “Yesterday, we held a meeting of the Council of Obas. During our discussion, we deliberated on the chairmanship of the council. The Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, moved the motion that since I had been acting as the chairman, I should continue in that capacity as the substantive chairman and other monarchs supported the motion.
“I have been acting as chairman of the council even when the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, was alive. I usually presided over the meetings in his palace because of his old age.”
Oba Aromolaran also promised not to disappoint his colleagues.
“Now that Osun Obas have unanimously adopted me as their substantive chairman, I will work for the growth of Osun State and also collaborate with Governor Rauf Aregbesola in moving the state forward socially and economically”, he said.
In a swift response, the chairman, Media and Publicity of the Ooni’s Coronation Planning Committee, Mr Biyi Odunlade, said the committee had sent out invitations to all the state’s traditional rulers.
“I can tell you authoritatively that we have sent out invitations individually to all the monarchs in Osun State. We believe that they are one and are united. But we have to treat them individually with respect and that is why we sent the invitation cards individually”, he said.