The traditional kingmakers in Oyo town, Oyo Mesi, have said they are awaiting the inauguration of the new Alaafin, by the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, through an official announcement.
The Basorun of Oyo, High Chief Yusuf Akinade, disclosed this in an interview.
An unconfirmed report showed that a new Alaafin was selected in October 2022, and the nominated prince’s name was submitted to Seyi Makinde. However, the Governor has not yet made the kingmakers’ choice public.
The Alaafin Chieftaincy Declaration outlines that within 21 days, a petition can be submitted to the government if there are objections to the selection. Report says as of now, no such petition has been received, and nearly a year has passed since the selection process was finalized and conveyed to the government.
Akinade stated that the selection process had been completed and that the government was aware. He also alleged that the government was trying to frustrate their decision.
“We concluded the selection process for the new Alaafin on October 4, 2022, and we informed the state government of our decision immediately. As the law of the land demands, we didn’t get any petitions against our decision, but a suit was filed against us.
“We got our own lawyer, and we won the case, with the court throwing away the case and stating that the initial decision that Oyo Mesi made was right, and since then, we have expected the governor to make an announcement, but he didn’t. We will continue to wait for him to do that.”
Responding to speculations that the Governor might intend to restart the selection process, the Basorun expressed confidence that this wouldn’t happen, emphasizing their commitment to the existing decision made by the Oyo Mesi.
“We will never do that. God will not allow us to see such a setback. The complete Oyo Mesi has conducted a process that has been completed, and we have all signed it. We will wait till the governor is satisfied to announce the candidate we have selected.”
The State’s Commissioner for Information, Dotun Oyelade, confirmed that the government was aware of the Oyo Mesi’s decision but explained that the Governor is taking time to ensure a thorough review to prevent potential issues or legal disputes.
“The Oyo Mesi has all the rights in the world to do its job; however, the statute allows His Excellency to take a look as the final authority on the issue as provided for by the law to take a canal look and ensure that no misdemeanor or mistake is made that will lead to subsequent embarrassment or litigation as we had with the former Eleruwa of Eruwa.”
Regarding the court’s ruling in favor of the Oyo Mesi’s selection process, he indicated that due process would be followed, and the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General would address the matter more comprehensively in due course.
“As for the legal aspect of it, we will follow the due process without flouting the law. In due course, the Honourable Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General will address the issue even more succinctly.”
The late Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi, reigned for nearly 52 years and passed away on April 22, 2022, at the age of 83.