Indications emerged yesterday that following the demise of Oba Okunade Sijuwade, a new Ooni of Ife in Osun State may emerge in 40 days.
Addressing newsmen at Ile Oodua, Ile-Ife, the traditional prime minister of Ile-Ife and leader of the kingmakers, the Obalufe of Ife, Oba Folorunsho Omisakin, declared that it is the turn of Giesi Ruling House to produce the next Ooni.
Reading the position of the 16 Ife kingmakers, Oba Folorunsho Omisakin, who was flanked by the Lowa of Ife, Oba Joseph Ijaodola and other kingmakers, explained that the 1980 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration will be relied upon in choosing the next monarch.
He said that only the Giesi Ruling House will be allowed to contest the throne, explaining that the concerned ruling house will be expected to present candidates upon the receipt of a letter from Ife East local government.
The Obalufe stated: “When the candidates are presented to us the kingmakers, we will sit upon the names and within 14 days, we must come out with our findings. After that, in another 14 days, a new monarch must emerge.
“Section 19 subsection a (3) indicates that it is the turn of Giesi Ruling House to present a candidate/ candidates for the vacant stool of Ooni of Ife Chieftaincy; the other three ruling houses, that is, Osinkola, Ogboru, and Lafogido should wait for their turns.
“Finally, we hereby enjoin the members of the ruling houses, the people of the town, all religious bodies, men and women in Ife and environs, to please maintain absolute peace. By doing this, the kingmakers would be able to select the best candidate for the vacant stool of Ooni of Ife.”
Also speaking, the executive secretaries of Ife East and Ife Central local governments, Messrs Tajudeen Lawal and Taiwo Olaiya, said it would not be the first time the 1980 Chieftaincy Declaration would be used to select an Ooni.Lawal specifically mentioned that the 1980 Chieftaincy Declaration was relied upon to pick the immediate past Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
Commenting further, he said that as part of the requirements of the law for whoever will become the Ooni of Ife, he must have the ability, character and the support of the people of Ife land.