A day after Ife kingmakers announced Giesi as the only ruling house eligible to produce the next Ooni, the leadership of the house has inaugurated a committee to screen intending contestants.
An informed source said no fewer than 17 princes from the nine compounds of the ruling house have shown interest.
The source, who pleaded for anonymity, said the screening committee supersedes the one earlier set up by the house to collate the names of contestants.
Investigation revealed that more than 30 members of the Giesi have come out to signify intention to contest before the figure was reduced to 17.
The authorities of Ife Central and Ife East local governments have written to the ruling house to send the names of its candidates within 14 days.
A contestant from Moniki compound, Prince Sikiru Adetona Ayedun, a former Commissioner for Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism, praised the government and Ife kingmakers to stand for the truth by limiting the contest to only Giesi ruling house.
Prince Ayedun maintained that the 1980 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration is a reliable document for the selection and installation of the Ooni stool, assuring that his emergence as the next Ooni will bring development and progress to the ancient city.
Speaking with reporters in Osogbo, the former commissioner said if he becomes the next Ooni, he would strategically position Ile-Ife for all time development.