Following the controversies surrounding the enthronement of new monarchs to occupy the obaship stool of Alaafin of Oyo and Soun of Ogbomosho, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde has reacted, stating reasons behind the delay.
Makinde stated that democratic institutions in the state which include traditional institution must be adequately strengthened through adherence to laid down processes and requisite legal frameworks which would serve as panacea for efficient development of the society.
Reacting to a viral report claiming that he was the cause of the delay in selecting successors to the highly exalted thrones of Alaafin of Oyo and Soun of Ogbomosho, Makinde stated that purveyors of such reports in the media were not being honest with the whole truth, while insisting that due process must be followed in the selection process to avert unnecessary future legal tussle.
Speaking during the swearing-in ceremony of the former Acting Chief Judge of Oyo State as a substantive Chief Judge at the Executive Chamber of the governor’s office on Tuesday, Makinde maintained that his administration will not condone any form of illegality that may result into nullity at the court of law.
Recall that Oba Adeyemi’s 51 years on the throne made him the longest reigning Alaafin before he died on 22nd April 2022 at the age of 83 years. He passed on at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti after a brief illness.
It is a stated tradition that Alaafin stool rotates between two ruling houses in Oyo Kingdom – Agunloye and Alowolodu. The late Oba Adeyemi was from the latter, this means that the Agunloye ruling house will produce the next Alaafin.
Following Alaafin Adeyemi’s death, an intense competition ensued between the Agunloye princes, who registered their aspiration to mount the throne to the Oyo Mesi through the Baba Iyaji, the leader of ruling houses.
According to Oyo tradition and the Alaafin Chieftain Declaration, the law governing the process of succession, the Baba Iyaji would present the list of the princes to the Oyo Mesi whose head, the Bashorun, would then convene a decision after some screening exercise.
The governor in his speech further recalled that an incidence of protracted legal tussle was recorded in the past in Oyo State where a monarch was dethroned by the judiciary after being on the throne for over twenty years, vowing that he would never allow a repeat of such event under his watch as the governor of the state.
“It is essential to emphasise the importance of institutions to develop our democracy. This is why we need strong institutions, and once the institutions are strong, and we follow the processes that govern the institutions then we can build a better society.
“While coming to the office this morning I saw in the news that the installation of the new Alaafin of Oyo and Soun of Ogbomosho was being delayed by me. Well, what they failed to say is that I’ve already communicated that the institutional framework should be followed in the selection of the new Alaafin and Soun of Ogbomosho.
“When we follow due process we have things generally work out well more efficiently. We’ve gone through in this state a situation where a king was removed by the judiciary after being on the throne for over 22 years, and I said to myself not under my watch will we make the same mistake.
“I’d rather delay and have due process followed, and then if anybody decides to go to court after that then, the exercise will be in nullity. I believe this is what we need in Nigeria right now, strong institutions,” Makinde stated.