The Lafogido Ruling House in Ile-Ife, Osun State, has said it is its turn to produce the next Ooni of Ife to succeed the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
The leaders of the Abewela Ruling Family, which is a branch of the Lafogido Ruling House, said this at a press conference they addressed in Ile-Ife on Wednesday.
The Head of the Abewela Family, Justice David Adeniji, a retired justice of the Court of Appeal, said the Giesi Ruling House which was now claiming to be the one to produce the next Ooni was wrong.
He stated that the Giesi descendants conceded their chance to the Ogboru in 1980, which led to the emergence of Oba Sijuwade.
The family also presented a lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Adewoyin, as their sole candidate to occupy the stool of Ooni.
Adeniji said, “Abewela Royal Family is not oblivious of the order of rotation of the ruling houses, as set out in various chieftaincy declarations regarding the method of selection of the Ooni of Ife.
“By virtue of the 1957 Declaration registered on the 7th day of June, Giesi Ruling House conceded her turn in favour of the Ogboru Ruling House ( which consequently produced the late Ooni Okunade Sijuwade in 1980).
“This also led to the emergence of the 1977 Declaration with the order of rotation, aside from being incorrect, misleading and tended to pave the way for rotational manipulation, it openly negates the well-accepted rotation and flagrantly offends the tradition.
“However, this has been abrogated by 1980 Declaration, as registered on 28th January, 1980 which has left the room of contest open to the four ruling houses aside that it technically tilts production of the new Ooni of Ife in favour of Lafogido Ruling Dynasty (as Giesi had already conceded her own turn to Ogboru Ruling House in 1980). “
Adeniji said Ife originally had two ruling houses: Lajodogun and Lafogido, both who were the two children of the Ooni Lajamisan. He said Ooni Oranmiyan gave birth to Lajamisan.
He added that while Lajodogun had been split into three separate ruling houses: Ogboru, Osinkola and Giesi, Lafogido had remained only one. He stated that several efforts to redress this imbalance had been politically-thwarted.
The family called on the Ife kingmakers to allow justice, equity and fairness prevail in their process of selecting the new Ooni.