The race to produce the successor to the departed Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II, got hotter last week, with the official announcement of his demise by the palace.
With the final burial rites for the traditional ruler concluded on Friday, the tussle for the occupation of the stool has assumed a new dimension, with seven top contenders emerging.
In 1980, when the late monarch was crowned, the contest was hot and the battle very fierce. He too weathered the storm and played the politics of succession very well.
This time around, the race to the revered stool has begun, with every contender trying to ‘outsmart’ the other clandestinely. The stool of the Ooni is so sacred that whoever emerges at the end of the day becomes the Arole Oduduwa.
He becomes the leader of the deities and the overall spiritual head of the entire Yoruba, both at home and in the Diaspora. History of succession Tradition seems to have paved way for modernism. With Wednesday’s official announcement of Sijuwade’s transition, the race to Enuwa palace, where the throne of the monarch resides, has since become a heated one, with several ruling houses laying claim to the coveted throne of Ooni.
The four ruling houses in Ile-Ife are Lafodigo, Giesi, Ogboru and Osinkola.
It seems that the council of Ife traditional chiefs might have narrowed down their choice of the new Ooni of Ife to the Lafodigo and Giesi ruling houses.
With this development, about six members of the Lafodigo family have shown interest to become the Ooni of Ife.
According to reliable family sources, those agitating and scheming to occupy the stool of Ooni are Prince Ademola Ademiluyi, an octogenarian, lawyer and astute businessman; a septuagenarian, Prince Adeyinka Ademiluyi; Prince Adegboyega Ademiluyi,an oil magnate in has late sixties; Prince Adebambo Ademiluyi; Prince Kanmi Ademiluyi; and Prince Adetayo Oladele.
Ademiluyis and Oladele are from the Lafodigo ruling house while the departed monarch was from the Ogboru ruling house. .
Out of these six contenders, it has been reliably gathered that Prince Kanmi Ademiluyi, who is asid to be a close confidant of the All Progressives Congress National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and close friend of Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, is highly favoured.
Prince Kanmi Ademiluyi, who was once an editor of a national newspaper, has age on his side as he is said to be in his 50s. But, if money would count in the selection of the next Ooni, Princes Ademola Ademiluyi; Yinka Ademiluyi and Gboyega Ademiluyi and Oladele may have to break the bank to impress the kingmakers.
For instance, Prince Ademola Ademiluyi, though an octogenarian, is very wealthy and close to many Nigerian billionaires.
The same thing goes for Gboyega Ademiluyi who is into oil and gas. Prince Ademola Ademiluyi was once the legal Secretary of the defunct National Electric Power Authority and is a member of the Yoruba Tennis Club, the Island Club and the Evergreen Board Members.
Historically, he could lay claim to both Lagosian/Ghanaian descent maternally. For Prince Yinka Ademiluyi, he is a septuagenarian, a Lagos socialite, a product of the famous Ibadan Grammar School and a prominent member of the Island Club.
For Prince Gboyega Ademiluyi, he is in his late 60s, an ex-Gregorian, a highly successful businessman, ex-executive of major oil companies and a member of the Yoruba Tennis Club. Prince Adebambo Ademiluyi is also in his mid 60s and he attended Kings College, Lagos. He is also a member of the Yoruba Tennis Club, while Prince Kanmi – who is approaching 60 – is also an ex-Gregorian and a maternal scion of the Lagos Peregrino family as well as a journalistic icon in the country. As a social and public analyst, he is indeed and undoubtedly a fanatical supporter of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu.
Also, Prince Rasheed Adetayo Oladele hails from Adagba Compound of Lafogido Ruling House of Ile-Ife. Prince Adetayo was born on March 3, 1963. He attended Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife, and The Polytechnic, Ibadan, where he bagged his HND in Marketing with Upper Credit Division in 1989. He worked as an accounts clerk at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital from 1980-84 and as a Sales Executive at Daily Times from 1990-96.
He emigrated to the United States in 1996 with his family. He is currently an entrepreneur playing in the U.S real estate market. He is also a licensed real estate broker operating under his firm, Royal Executive Realty LLC in Columbus, Ohio. The Ife prince is the current president of Ife Descendants Union, Columbus, Ohio branch.
His father, Prince Kasali Adegbowore Oladele, was Sooko until his death in 2007. (Sooko is the title given to distinguished princes in the ruling houses. They represent the ruling houses on traditional official matters and operate like minor kings in their domains).
Also from Giesi’s family is a former commissioner for Commerce in Osun State under the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Prince Sikiru Ayedun.
The former commissioner is easy going and an encyclopaedic thinker who knows his onions when it comes to administration and organisation. He is an experienced business mogul who believes in humanity and their welfare. He is known in the town and loved by all and sundry.
Among the youths and elders of the town, he is recognised and admired. Apart from this, he is well known to Tinubu and Aregbesola, who are his political godfathers. Infact, while serving under Aregbesola as a commissioner, he was once described by the governor as a committed disciple who had contributed positively to his political dream to make the state a pacesetter. With this, he is one of the contenders likely to be favoured in the selection for the throne.
Information also has it that a prominent business mogul, proprietor of both Oodua University and The Polytechnic, Ile-Ife. Abdulraheem Adedoyin, is also keen on succeeding Sijuwade.
He is also from the ruling house. He is extremely wealthy and has what it takes to become the next Ooni of Ife.
However, there are speculations in some quarters that it is his mother who hails from the ruling house and not his father. If confirmed, this could hinder his ambition. With all this, the real competition for the throne seems to be between the Lafogido and Giesi ruling houses as investigations revealed that, the two other ruling houses produced the immediate late Oba Sijuwade, and his predecessor, Oba Adesoji Aderemi.
The Tinubu/APC Factor The chances of the rumoured contenders are bright but only one of them will be chosen. There cannot be two kings in a palace. Speculations have begun to circulate the view on social media that since Aregbesola is a close associate of Prince Kanmi Ademiluyi, he may want to throw his weight behind him.
Also considering his closeness to Tinubu, Prince Kanmi Ademiluyi has both the federal and state might working for him; but one cannot be too sure of this assertion. How deft the kingmakers are in the course of their screening will be seen in the days ahead, accoding to observers. Lagos Factor Without doubt, all the rumoured contenders have some affiliation with Lagos State.
They have business and social interests in Nigeria’s melting pot just like the late Sijuwade. Other Deciding Factors These days, the choice of a king in Nigeria has gone beyond mere picking or selection.
The factors to be considered have been so modernised that not just a farmer or a prominent hunter is picked. Tradition not withstanding, education is now a key factor in the selection of any king in Yorubaland, especially first-class ones. Though, there are some towns where tradition is not considered and is quite inconsequential, those around such kings must be elites. Infact, the next Ooni must be lettered.
Another factor that the Ife kingmakers may likely consider is financial status. The late Ooni became a millionaire before 30, though this is debatable.
But history had it that he was never a pauper and he was born with a silver spoon. Sijuwade was an international businessman with a solid financial base. If not for kingship, he was a celebrated globetrotter and a first-class socialite.
In the world of billionaires, the late Sijuwade had a good position. Another factor is that whoever becomes the Ooni must not have strayed from ‘only- God-knows-where.’ He must be a member of the prominent ruling houses and of course, an embodiment of Ife tradition. He may not be based in Ife but his roots must be traceable to the town. His social life will be weighed too.
His connections here and there really matter and perhaps, he must have affiliation with the decision makers in Nigeria. Simply put, the next Ooni must have a social web of note, to show that he is not a green horn when it comes to social life because his predecessors had set the pace. The late Oba Sijuwade brought fame and opulence to the ancestral Ife dynasty.
BREAKING: ASUU meeting with FG end in deadlock, strike to continue
The meeting between the federal government and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Tuesday ended without an agreement.
As a result of this, the six-month-old strike embarked on by public university lecturers is set to continue.
The lecturers met with the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee at the National University Commission (NUC) in Abuja with high hopes of resolving the impasse.
A senior member of ASUU said that members of the Briggs renegotiation committee didn’t come with any new offer on the table.
According to him, the committee pleaded with the lecturers to suspend the ongoing strike, with promises that their concerns will be included in the 2023 budget.
The meeting started at about 12pm and lasted for about three hours.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14.
Suspected thugs destroy Tinubu’s Emilokan billboard in Lagos (PHOTO)
Some persons suspected to be political thugs have vandalized a billboard of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, in Lagos.
The billboard located on the close to the third mainland bridge was destroyed on Tuesday morning.
The action sparked tension online as some APC members have accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
EFCC recovers another 1.4bn naira for NHIS
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered an additional sum of one billion, four hundred million naira (N1.4 Billion) for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
In a statement via its official Twitter handle, the money, according to the commission, was part of the funds which some commercial banks ‘fraudulently’ refused to transmit to the Treasury Single Account, TSA, since 2015.
The statement further said the money had been released to the NHIS since August 5, 2022.
It also revealed that the Commission had in similar fashion on February 10, 2022, released a sum of N1.5bn to the scheme.
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