The Princes of the Osinkola Ruling House of Ile-Ife have declared invalid, null and void the declaration purportedly credited to some members of other Ruling Houses claiming for the rotation of the stool of Ooni ascendancy after the demise of the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
This was contained in a press release made available to journalists by the Osinkola Ruling House at the press conference in Osoogbo.
The Ruling House stressed that there has been several statements credited to some princes of Ile-Ife, claiming that it is now their turn to produce the next Ooni, arguing that most of these personalities are not known to belong to the Royal Houses of Ile-Ife.
The Osinkola Ruling House maintained that most of these self-aclaimed princes did not have the requisite knowledge of the history, culture, tradition, custom and norms of the ancient city widely and properly acclaimed as the ancestral home of all the Yoruba speaking people worldwide, and the seat of Oduduwa, the Progenitor of all Royal Dynasties in South-Western Nigeria including part of Kogi, Kwara, edo, Delta and Onisha in Anambra State.
The Osinkola Ruling House stated that it has never been in the traditional royal rules to either select or elect a new monarch through rotation, arguing that no Onni has ever ruled the ancient town on rotational basis.
The Osinkola Ruling House said since the existence of Ile-Ife, rotation has never been part of the criteria or measures for the selection and enthronement of Ooni, emphasizing that there has never been recourse to rotation as each Ooni is selected from the pool of eligible Princes who are descendants of Lajodogun/ Lajamisan Royal Family which comprises of the four existing ruling houses.
While faulting the 1957 and 1980 Chieftaincy Delaration, the Osinkola Ruling House stated that neither the 1957 Declaration nor the 1980 Declaration follow the prerequisite procedures in which a declaration of a recognized Chieftaincy like Ooni of Ife Chieftaincy shall be made.
The Ruling House said the Declaration was not made in accordance with the recommendation of the appropriate Chieftaincy Committee, saying no matter the fate of the 1957 Declaration it cannot stand the test of time and as such it was invalid, null and void because it was in breach of the legislation.
The Osinkola Ruling House stressed that the 1957 legislation purports to have been made pursuant to powers delegated by the then Governor which according to them there was no evidence of such delegation or indeed the proper person to whom the power to delegate is given, reiterating that the only version which exists has been tampered with and altered in ink without the alteration being initialled, thus rendering the document itself a nudity.
The Ruling House posited that if such declaration must be made, the process must follow due process by involving the Chieftaincy Committee.
The Osinkola Ruling House noted that the 1957 Declaration which stipulated that the Giesi ruling house should be the next after Osinkola ruling house was not followed in 1980 when Ooni Sijuwade from Ogbooru was selected, affirming that since such rules have been breached there was no reason to reverse it for the next selection of the new monarch.
The Osinkola Ruling House further stated that the 1980 Declaration was beset with difficulties as there was no statement as to why the Declaration was made, given that the 1957 Declaration purportedly existed.
“There is nothing to show that the Declaration followed due process either in compliance with the procedure for making a declaration or for amending or making a new one. The criteria to be satisfied in amending pr making a new rotation which appears to be the only reason for the declaration was not stated, therefore the declaration is very bare and is accordingly null and void and of no effect.
“The 1980 Declaration was also a nullity because there is no evidence that the Chieftaincy Committee met to consider the Declaration as required by law before it was signed by the Chairman of the Committee, the Late Ooni, Oba Adesoji Aderemi.
“Failure of the Declaration to comply with law and due process, it is legally clear that the Declaration was a nullity and of no legal effect because there was no evidence of a notice of meeting in 1979 for this purpose or of the minutes of the meeting to that effect, given the disquiet that has accompanied the signature of this document, and the lack of any cogent explanation for the Declaration rendered it mere speculation.
Therefore, the Osinkola Ruling House said the best candidate from all the eligible princes has always been chosen, saying to unlawfully deprive candidates from the ruling houses on the basis of an illegal rotation policy would be to desecrate the position of Ooni.
However, the available records shown that the coveted position had been occupied by several Monarch as far back as unknown centuries but the information gathered has it that Oba Akinmoyero of Lafogido ruling house ruled between 1770-1800, Oba gbanlare of Ogboru ruling house ruled between 1800-1823, Oba Gbegbaje of Giesi ruling house ruled between 1823-1835, Oba Wunmonije of Lafogido ruling house reigned between 1835-1839, Oba Abewela of Lafogido reigned between 1839-1849, Oba Degbinsokun of Giesi ruling house reigned between 1849-1878.
Others are Oba Orayigba of Giesi ruling house ruled between 1878-1880, Oba Derin of Giesi ruling house ruled between 1880-1893, Oba Adelekan of Ogboru ruling house reigned between 1894-1910, Oba Adekola reigned for 2months.
Others are Oba Ademiluyi of Lafogido ruling house reigned between 1910-1930, Oba Aderemi of Osinkola ruled between 1930-1980, while the immediate passed Oba Sijuwade reigned between 1980-2015.
The Osinkola ruling house therefore urged the Ife Kingmakers and High chiefs to thrown the vacant seat of Ooni open to all the ruling houses in accordance with the traditions and customs of the land so as to avert undue violence and chaos.