Indigenes of Orile Owu under the auspices of Concerned Owu Elites have dispelled an alleged rotational arrangement to selecting traditional rulers in the ancient town, calling on government of Osun State to do a thorough screening for leading three candidates in the tussle.
The group has also thrown its weight behind the candidacy of Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Prince Muyiwa Adejobi, adding that he remained the only “sacrifice” for the development and tranquillity for the city.
In a statement dated December 5, 2012, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent in Abeokuta, the group described as unacceptable and non-admissible, an acclaimed chieftaincy declaration into the stool of Orile Owu kingdom.
It will be recalled that the stool has remained vacant for more than a year owing to the death of the immediate past monarch of the town, Oba Moses Olayioye Adedosu Adejobi occasioned by a ghastly motor accident at Gbongan junction on March 15, 2011.
Since the death of Oba Adejobi, different groups, including religious based organisations, have lamented the unnatural death of the monarch which they described as a taboo in Yoruba culture and tradition.
It is believed in Yorubaland that an Oba is the next to the gods, a commander who is next to the gods and thus unthinkable and unaccepted that an Oba can suffer from a spell or die of an accident.
According to the group, the spiritual consultation has revealed that the death of the late Oba was unnatural in Yoruba tradition and that the ‘abnormal’ circumstances surrounding the death of the late Oba Adejobi required ‘abnormal’ solution for the safety of Orile Owu township.
“The application of the biological son of the immediate past Oba, Prince Olumuyiwa Adejobi, has raised mixed reactions as many perceived it as an impossible and uncalled for. However, the young prince, who is a senior police officer, was invited and supported by many quarters and groups, particularly the youths and women fold in Owu, to replace his father since the death of his father was unnatural, a taboo in Yoruba culture and traditions; and that all spiritual consultations made selected him as the only ‘messiah’ or ‘sacrifice’ for development and tranquillity in the ancient city.
“The Youth Forum had been at the forefront of the candidature and/or appointment of the young and vibrant Prince Olumuyiwa Adejobi insists on appointing him being the only chosen, preferred and efficient Prince that remains a prerequisite for liberation and development of Orile-Owu”, the statement read in part.
Almost 15 applicants have shown interest to occupy the throne from three ruling houses in the town, which has led to some litigation before the state government to wage into the crises for possible resolution.
One of the issues of the litigations was the claim from some quarters that a 1957 declaration which listed six ruling houses on the arrangement for filling the Orile-Owu stool but that declaration was acknowledged as an ordinary memo which does not conform to the present reality.
According to the statement, “There is no substantive or consensus or gazette declaration in Owu. The Orile Owu people have never used any declaration to select their Obas in the past rather it has always been contested amongst the ruling houses and very important personalities,” it stated.
The paper hinted that Afelele ruling house was number two on the said declaration and that it was number six on physical arrangement adding that ‘this is an indication that the declaration had never been used.
“And the 1979 declaration or paper states that there are six ruling houses in Orile Owu, no more, no less, but failed to indicate any order of rotation. So these assertions reiterate that Owu people had never had or used any gazette declaration, because the so-called papers tendered as Orile-Owu declaration had never been gazetted.
“None of the previous Oba in Orile-Owu was issued appointment letter or staff of office aside the late Oba Adejobi. In other words, the previous five Obas before him were part three Obas, i.e. Baales (chiefs) and declaration is not for Baales but second or first class Obas. Since they (Baales) had no locus standi to make declaration, it is out of point and fallacious to tender any memo as our declaration. So no declarations for Orile-Owu up till now,” the statement declared.
The group had, however, called on government of Osun State to carry out thorough screening on the three candidates considered at the last meeting in the Osun State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Osogbo.
It said that the government should put into consideration the academic status, acceptability by the populace, charisma and connection with the royal blood as many of them “have diluted royal blood aside the preferred and chosen Prince Olumuyiwa Adejobi.”
“The Osun State government should help to choose the best candidate not minding any rotational system because of ‘abnormal’ circumstances surrounding the death of the late Oba Adejobi, of the present Orile-Owu requires ‘abnormal’ solution for now to save Orile-Owu and help/liberate the ancient city.
“It is also not a strange scenario to have a son becoming an Oba after his father’s death. This has occurred in several towns in Yorubaland, even in Osun State. We are interested in having a young, vibrant and productive Oba, not a retrogressive one,” it said.