Division Among Kingmakers Stalling Choice of New Alaafin


82 princes jostle for seat

IBADAN—ALMOST two years after the late Oba Lamidi Adeyemi joined his ancestors, there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel on the emergence of a new Alaafin as people of Oyo town still have to wait endlessly for the new king to assume the exalted throne.


Since the curtain was drawn on the reign of Oba Olayiwola Adeyemi 111 on April 22, 2022, 51 years after he ascended the throne, it has been a ding-dong affair over who wears the crown of the 46th Alaafin of Oyo.


82 princes aspiring

No fewer than 82 princes aspired for the throne and the names were forwarded to Baba Iyaji of Oyo, the head of all princes, Mukaila Afonja.

According to Oyo tradition and the Alaafin Chieftaincy Declaration, Vanguard gathered that Baba Iyaji is empowered to collate the names of aspirants from the next ruling house for onward transmission to the Bashorun, the head of Oyomesi who then assemble seven-member kingmakers for the consultation with Ifa oracle.

Ifa oracle on whose shoulders the choice of the successor of Oba Adeyemi lies is believed to have spoken through the kingmakers. But, various discordant tunes have emanated from the candidate that the kingmakers recommended having consulted the Ifa oracle.

Kingmakers pick Prince Gbadegesin

A Prince from the Agunloye Ruling House, Prince Lukman Gbadegesin, was reportedly nominated by the kingmakers and his name was forwarded to the state government last year.

According to the kingmakers: “We hereby proclaim Prince Lukman Gbadegesin the new Alaafin,”
All the kingmakers, without any exception, as reliably informed, signed for Prince Gbadegesin.


The proclamation nominating Prince Gbadegesin was signed on September 30, 2022, and any aspirant or the ruling house who feels aggrieved is given the option of petitioning the government to challenge the selection process.


One of the kingmakers said: “We have submitted everything to the government. If you want to know anything, direct all questions to the government, but we have completed the process.”

Ever since the name was submitted to the government, all eyes have been on Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration to make an official announcement on who mounts the throne.

Expectedly, the ‘too cold for comfort’ delay by the state government is giving room for various insinuations that the voice of the oracle over the new Alaafin may be disregarded.

Disagreement among kingmakers

At one point, there was a division among the kingmakers with three of them pointing accusing fingers at the head of kingmakers for allegedly not following due process in the selection.

The three kingmakers namely: the Agbakin of Oyo, the Samu of Oyo and the Alajagba of Oyo distanced themselves from the choice of Prince Gbadegesin.

They argued that the kingmakers were not properly constituted claiming that one of the kingmakers was not a qualified warrant chief and should not have been included in the choice of the new king.

Addressing a press conference, the kingmakers said: “Seven months ago, the Governor held a meeting with the Oyomesi and specifically told us of government’s decision that due process must be followed in the nomination of a candidate for the Alaafin stool. He instructed us to do our duty freely because the government is only interested in the best for Oyo and Yorubaland.

“The new member of the kingmakers has been denied the opportunity of participating in or contributing to the Resolutions of the kingmakers since his official appointment in 2022 on account of the blunt refusal of the Basorun to comply with the directive of government for due process.”


“But, Basorun remained adamant, and no meeting of the kingmakers was convened to deliberate on the major issue of nomination or selection of a candidate for the stool of the Alaafin.

“We are opposed to Basorun’s utter disregard for government directive on due process and his continuing imposition of one of his handpicked chiefs as a warrant chief whose letter of appointment is questionable. We are ready to meet with other kingmakers to perform our legitimate duties by our tradition, custom and the law of the land.
“The government directed us to meet and follow due process. Unfortunately, Basorun, who is Chairman and Convener of our meetings, decided not to convene any meeting of the Oyomesi since late last year till the present moment.”

It’s falsehood —Head of kingmakers

Reacting to the allegations, Bashorun of Oyo said: “At my age, I don’t need to tell lies anymore; you can ask them to produce the paper with which the government rejected our earlier nomination. The two persons running around now also signed, endorsing our unified decision on who was chosen.

“They have taken us to court and lost because what they are banking on is loads of lies. Let them continue; both the people and God are watching them and all of us.”


We’re waiting for court’s decision—Prince Afonja

When Vanguard called the head of all the princes, Prince Mukaila Afonja, on the issue of the delay, he said since the matter has been taken to court, all parties do not have any other option than to wait for the court’s decision on the issue.

Afonja said: “We went to court last week and the matter was adjourned to April 16, 2024. We have to wait for the decision of the court.”

All efforts to contact Bashorun of Oyo, Chief Yusuf Akinade and one of the aspirants to the throne, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu on why the delay lingers on, were unsuccessful as neither of them picked calls put to them.


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