Nine royal families in Oyo have voiced their objections to being excluded from the selection process of a new Alaafin, following the death of the 45th Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Atanda Olayiwola Adeyemi III.
Despite 119 aspirants being shortlisted, only 57 were interviewed, with 62 people disqualified – including 28 candidates from the nine royal families.
The families have called on the state governor, Seyi Makinde, to withhold approval of the appointment of a new monarch until the pending court case challenging the selection process is resolved.
They urged Governor Makinde to respect the autonomy of the traditional institution and uphold the rule of law, promoting justice and equity in the state.
At a recent press conference, representatives of the nine royal families also requested that the governor make history by selecting the new king from among the marginalized Atiba children and setting a precedent for future selection processes.
Prince Adesina Afolabi, one of the members of the nine royal families, revealed that they have approached the court to declare the 1976 report as the only legal instrument in the selection of a new Alaafin and to declare the Atiba Ruling House as the only ruling house in Oyo.
The nine royal families are the Adeitan family, Olanite family, Tella Agbojulogun, Tella Okitipapa family, Adediran Ese Apata family, Adesokan Baba Idode family, Adesiyan family, Abidekun family and Adelabu Baba Ibadan family.
They were represented by Prince Adesina Afolabi (Adeitan family), Prince Lamola Olanite (Olanite family), Prince Nureni Taiwo (Tella Agbojulogun family), Prince Remi Azeez (Tella Okitipapa family), Prince Raji Adediran (Adediran Ese Apata family), Prince Muftau Adejare Adesokan (Adesokan Baba Idode family), Prince Adesiyan (Adesiyan family) Prince Bello Rasheed (Abidekun family) and Prince Agboin Adelabu Adelabu Baba Ibadan family.
Their statement states, “It is essential that Governor Makinde prioritises the resolution of the court case before any action is taken with regard to the appointment of a new Alaafin. This will ensure that the process is transparent, fair and just as required by the law.
“Gentlemen of the press, it is time to put an end to the years of discrimination that have plagued the selection of the Alaafin of Oyo in the past.
“The nine Atiba children have been marginalised for too long, and it is only fair that they are given a chance to ascend the throne. We urge the Governor to make history by selecting the new king from among the nine Atiba children.
“The Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs has been found to have a defective process and it is crucial that equity and justice are upheld in the selection of the new Alaafin. We cannot afford to have a flawed process that will only perpetuate the marginalisation of nine out of the children of Alaafin Atiba.”
By Enioluwa Adeniyi