Three members of the Oyomesi, the traditional kingmakers in the ancient Yoruba kingdom of Oyo, have accused their leader of delaying the process for the appointment of a new king, the Alaafin.
The basorun of Oyo, Yusuf Akinlade, is the head of the Oyomesi, which is also the highest legislative council in the kingdom.
Oba Lamidi Adeyemi was the longest serving Alaafin in the history of Oyo Kingdom when he died in April 2022.
But his throne remains vacant almost 18 months after his death, despite the Oyomesi unanimously recommending Lukman Gbadegesin Governor Seyi Makinde for last year’s appointment.
It has since emerged that the governor had rejected Gbadegesin’s election on the grounds that those in power did not follow due process.
Under a new law on chieftaincy matters in the state, kingmakers must recommend three names to the governor for consideration for the appointment of traditional rulers.
The Oyomesi had chosen only one name, according to the ancient law that was in force when they chose between 82 contending princes.
However, at a press conference in Oyo on Monday, three of the kingmakers said the basorun, Mr Akinlade, had ignored the state government’s directive to convene another traditional council conclave for fresh nomination, insisting that His work was already done. .
The three members of the Oyomesi who were at the event are the Agbakin of Oyo, the Samu of Oyo and the Alajagba of Oyo.
They said the kingmakers who initially selected Gbadegesin were not properly constituted and their recommendation has since been rejected by the state government.
In their speech at the press conference that they all signed, they said that one of the seven kingmakers who participated in the selection exercise last year was not qualified to participate because he did so as a non-commissioned officer, but was later found to be ineligible. to be. a chief of order.
“The government had ordered us to meet and follow due process. Unfortunately, the Basorun, who is the president and coordinator of our meetings, decided not to convene any Oyomesi meetings from the end of last year until now.
“The new member of the kingmakers (ALAJAGBA) has been denied the opportunity to participate or contribute to the Kingmakers Resolutions since his official appointment in 2022 due to the Basorun’s outright refusal to comply with the directive of the government 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 met with the Oyomesi and specifically told us about the government’s decision that due process must be followed in the nomination of the candidate for the position of Alaafin. He ordered us to do our duty freely because the government only cares about the best for Oyo and Yorubaland.
“Unfortunately, Basorun stood his ground and no meeting of the kingmakers was called to deliberate on the main issue of nomination or selection of the candidate for the office of Alaafin.”
The three kingmakers said the Basorun and some other kingmakers refused to attend a peace meeting called by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mikail Lawal.
“We oppose the Basorun’s complete disregard for the government’s directive on due process and its continued imposition of one of its hand-picked chiefs (Are ago Basorun) as a military chief whose appointment letter is questionable. “We are ready to join other kingmakers to perform our legitimate duties in accordance with our tradition, custom and the law of the land.”
However, when contacted over phone, the Basorun told Newslodge that due diligence had been done and the kingmakers had nominated a new Alaafin.
The leader of the kingmakers also described his accusers as “liars who work for pecuniary gain.”
“At my age I no longer need to tell lies, you can ask them to present the document with which the government rejected our previous nomination. In fact, these two people who were out there now also signed supporting our unified decision on who was elected.
“They have taken us to court and they have lost because what they tell is a lot of lies. Let the people continue so much and God is watching them and all of us.”
Newslodge had reported how documents and court documents showed that Mr. Gbadegesin, a prince of the ruling house of Agunloye, was the choice of the Oyomesi for appointment as the next Alaafin of Oyo.
The kingmakers had said that they had received a list of 82 prince aspirants from Baba Iyaji of Oyo, the chief of the princes, Mukaila Afonja, who according to Oyo tradition and the Declaration of Chief Alaafin, is authorized to compile the names of the would-be princes of the next ruling house and transmit them to the Basorun, the chief of Oyomesi from whom one was chosen.