The Oyo kingmakers, also known as Oyomesi, have clarified why Governor Seyi Makinde rejected the nominated candidate for the vacant Alaafin of Oyo stool, attributing it to a lack of adherence to due process.
A segment of the kingmakers stated that the Governor’s decision to disapprove the nominee was based on the nominee’s failure to comply with due process.
The aggrieved kingmakers asserted that, in blatant disregard of the governor’s directive, Basorun of Oyo town and Chairman of the Kingmakers Council, High Chief Akinade Ayoola, refused to convene the meeting.
However, in a telephone interview with the Nigerian Tribune on Monday, High Chief Akinade Ayoola insisted that the nominee’s name for the vacant stool had been forwarded to the Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde.
The kingmakers, including High Chief Agbaakin of Oyo, High Chief Asimiyu Atanda, High Chief Samu of Oyo, High Chief Alhaji Lamidi Oyewale, Baale Ajagba, and Chief Odurinde Olusegun, released a statement available to the Nigerian Tribune, expressing that the selection process leading to a particular nominee was riddled with irregularities.
They accused Basorun of disregarding the Oyo town chieftaincy process by nominating a warrant chief without following the established procedure.
The aggrieved kingmakers criticised High Chief Ayoola for unilaterally incorporating warrant officers into the council without the consent of other lawmakers and approval from the local government authority and the governor.
The statement read, “There are five living members of the Oyomesi, and there are two warrant Chiefs eligible to nominate or recommend a candidate to the governor of Oyo State for appointment as the Alaafin.
“The kingmakers met only once in 2022, with the following members in attendance: Basorun, Agbaakin, Samu, Akinniku, and Lagunna (Oyomesi), joined by Aare Ago Basorun and Alapo (both warrant Chiefs unilaterally selected by Basorun without the knowledge or consent of the Oyomesi).
“As a matter of fact, one of the contestants wrote a letter of protest questioning the inclusion of the warrant Chiefs in the kingmakers’ council.
“It was at the meeting of this improperly constituted 7-member kingmakers’ first meeting that a nominee for the office of the Alaafin was sent to the government for endorsement.
“Immediately after submitting our nomination, we received a government response stating that our nomination could not be accepted because we did not follow due process in arriving at our resolution. The government directed that we go back and conduct our work properly in accordance with the declaration.
“It was also discovered that one of the warrant Chiefs (handpicked by Basorun) who participated in our earlier resolution was replaced with Alajagba.
“We were directed to meet and follow due process. Unfortunately, Basorun, who is the chairman and convener of our meetings, decided not to convene any meeting of the Oyomesi since late last year up to the present moment.
“The new member of the kingmakers (Alajagba) has been denied the opportunity to participate in or contribute to the resolutions of the kingmakers since his official appointment in 2022 due to Basorun’s refusal to comply with the government’s directive for due process in our task of recommending a candidate to the government.
“About seven months ago, during an official visit to Oyo, the Governor held a meeting with the Oyomesi and specifically told us of the Government’s decision that due process must be followed in the nomination of a candidate for the Alaafin stool. He instructed us to perform our duty freely because the Government is only interested in what is best for Oyo and Yorubaland.
“Regrettably, Basorun remained adamant, and no meeting of the kingmakers was convened to deliberate on the major issue of the nomination or selection of a candidate for the Alaafin stool.
“Recently, the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs invited the kingmakers to a meeting in his office. Some of us honoured the invitation, but Basorun and others refused to attend the Commissioner’s invitation.
“We are opposed to Basorun’s utter disregard for due process and his continued imposition of one of his handpicked chiefs (Aare Ago Basorun) as a Warrant Chief whose letter of appointment is questionable. We are ready to meet with other kingmakers to perform our legitimate duties in accordance with our tradition, custom, and the law of the land.
In a related development, the deprived Atiba ruling houses have vowed to resist any attempt to exclude them from the selection process for the new Alaafin of Oyo.
This is in response to the statement attributed to the Basorun of Oyo town, High Chief Ayoola, claiming that the selection process for the new Alaafin has been completed.
In a statement by Prince Sina Afolabi, the aggrieved families alleged that the kingmakers did not follow due process in nominating a candidate for the vacant stool.
The statement read, “We, the members of the tbà 9 royal families, feel compelled to respond to your recent publication claiming that a king has been chosen since 2022. We want to make it clear that your claim is completely untrue, baseless, and unfounded.
“We acknowledge that there were some improper arrangements made in the past, which have since been recognised and declined by the government. These arrangements did not represent a due process that reflects the genuine selection of a new Alaafin. We fully support the government’s decision on this matter.
“We firmly believe that any process that excludes the nine royal families cannot be considered valid. It is essential that justice, fairness, and equity are upheld in the selection processes. To ensure this, we urge Governor Seyi Makinde to implement the 1976 Adekunle Ladeinde reports.
“By allowing the nine ruling houses, including Olawoyin, to participate in the selection processes, it is the duty of the government to promote peace and harmony within the community. We sincerely hope that our plea for justice and fairness will be heard and acted upon.”
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