In a bid to nip in the bud the crisis that may engulf the selection process for the vacant stool of Alaafin of Oyo, the retired Archbishop of Ilesa Methodist Church, Nigeria, Rev’d Ayo Ladigbolu, who is also one of the princes contesting for the throne from Agunloye Ruling House, has sought clarifications on some issues that if not well treated may render the screening exercise illegal and invalid.
Prince Ladigbolu, in a petition written in Yoruba and addressed to the Oyomesi, raised some questions which he said needed to be answered for the whole selection process to be valid.
The first challenge, according to him, is the inclusion of a non-Oyomesi as a member of the screening committee.
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In the petition, the retired Archbishop alleged that one Areago Basorun, “who is not a member of Oyomesi was drafted to be part of the screening committee.”
He wrote: “The whole Oyo is aware that Oyomesi as presently constituted is made up of six members- Basorun, Agbaakin, Samu, Akinniku, Alapinni and Lagunna and we are all aware that one of the Oyomesi, Alapinni, was indisposed which made him not to be available to join his colleagues for the screening exercise and in his place, one man was drafted to join the committee.
“But the question now is, does the 1961 Declaration allow the indisposed Alapinni to appoint a proxy? Does Oyomesi, as a group, have the prerogative to appoint a person to make up the number or whether the present five Oyomesi available presently cannot conclude the exercise? Or who is legally authorised to appoint members into Oyomesi?”
These questions, he said, must be answered so as not to run foul of the law which may eventually render the exercise null and void.
He added, “On the day of the inauguration of the screening committee, I was at the palace like other princes contesting for the throne. And as a thoroughbred prince, l observed that there was a stranger among the screening committee members and l later learnt that the person was drafted to make up the number. So, all the questions raised will shed light on the whole process.”
Another issue, according to Prince Ladigbolu, is how the committee is going to resolve the difference in number of contestants (46) presented by the Aguloye Ruling House, and the 86 contestants presented to the Oyomesi by Babayaji.
“Who are the 37 people included and what is going to happen to the N200,000 (Two hundred Thousand Naira) levy collected from each of them?”
He said Oyomesi must provide answers to all the questions raised to make the process of selecting the new Alaafin rancour-free.
Alaafin stool: Ladigbolu faults composition of screening committee