Controversy over new Soun: What Makinde should do, Mogaji’s brother, Prince Abioye Olaonipekun Olaoye, speaks
The appointment of a new Soun of Ogbomosoland is currently enmeshed in crisis in the wake of the rejection of the choice of the kingmakers, Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye, by sections of the Laoye Ruling House, whose turn it is to produce the next Soun. But after condemning the choice of Prince Gandhi, the Mogaji of the family, Prince Amos Olaoye Olawole, backed out yesterday submitting that Gandhi is afterall eligible to the throne.
Not satisfied with the position of the head of the family, that is the Mogaji, one of his brothers within their section of the Kapelaye family, Prince Usamah Abioye Olaonipekun Olaoye, who is affirmed to be a direct grandson of Oba Oke Olaonipekun Olaoye Orumogege II (the last Soun from the Olaoye Ruling House), this morning told ogbomosoinsightonline.com that his right as the only qualified prince based on the extant law guiding the appointment of a new Soun is being trampled upon. He said he nominated his son, Prince Kabir Muhammed Olaoye, to take the throne in his stead but that he was surprised he was passed over for someone “who had deserted the family from birth.” Prince Osama Abioye Olaonipekun Olaoye therefore appeals to the Oyo state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, who has the final say on the matter, to jettison the choice of the kingmakers noting it falls short of what the law stipulates.
His first child, Prince Olaoye Kazeem, also spoke on the matter. Excerpts:
I am Prince Usamah Abioye Olaonipekun Olaoye. I am a grandson of Oba Oke Olaonipekun Olaoye, who was crowned Soun in 1944. I am of Kapelaye compound, a branch of Laoye Ruling House.
What can you say about the controversy generated by the appointment of a new Soun
The last Soun, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III reigned for 48 years. During that time, l grew close to him. Then, during my grandfather’s reign, Dare Foyanmu, the late Ijala exponent, sang to praise sing my grandfather – Agboriowo kawo Baba Lawuwo, osun takaka tawo ni ipa Baba Oyewusi, ohun naa gbe ile ola kale laafin ko to teri gbaso. What this implied is that my grandfather made financial contributions to upgrade the palace of Ogbomoso; he rebuilt the palace into an upstairs, which he occupied, used by Oba Olatunji Elepo Aran after him, who spent 14 years on the throne, by Oba Emmanuel Olajide Olayode and Oba Salami Ajiboye Itabiyi till it was rebuilt by late Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III in 1978. So, my grandfather bequeathed a good legacy. And all who came after him tried their best. Now, it is the turn of our family, everybody knows it is the turn of Kapelaye family, because it is in the 1953 extant law that only a direct son or grandson can aspire to ascend to the throne. I am a direct grandson of Oba Oke Olaonipekun Olaoye, who reigned last in our ruling house, and seeing that I am old already, I nominated my son, that is Prince Muhammed Kabir Olaoye but unfortunately, we just found out some others are contesting the throne with my son even someone from nowhere, who says he is from America says he wants to be the Oba. I wondered what’s happening, where are these people from? We have paid our due in elevating the throne of Soun, I personally bought a lot of things for the palace including a water tank which made Baba Ajagungbade III to always say that it’s only Abioye (that is me) of all the four ruling houses that makes contributions to the palace. During one of his birthday ceremonies I bought 30 dishes for him, a gesture that made him happy. I gave Baba money many times and he always appreciated it. From time immemorial other
branches of Olaoye family had conceded the throne to Kapelaye branch and that is why Bode and Aremo branches see to the management of our lands. They all neglected their duties in fostering goodwill towards the family and even those within the Kapelaye lineage they don’t care about maintaining our compound, I was doing it, now that it is the time to reap the reward, you are now coming to stake a claim to the throne. Prince Gandhi never visited Ogbomoso, he was reported to have always complained about the bad road leading to Ogbomoso from Lagos and so he was always staying in Lagos. He didn’t even know the name of our compound when asked. So, how come you are now returning to overthrow us, to snatch from us what we had fostered over the years? It is not possible. Also, four Mogaji’s children including his own child, nephews and a step brother indicated interest. This is not expected. This is someone I conceded the conferment of Mogaji to, Prince Amos Olaoye Olawole, just as l bore much of the financial expenses of his installation ceremony as Mogaji.
I have supported him all along. When the vacancy opened I went to meet him to tell him l am interested in the throne and that I would nominate my son, Mohammed Kabir Olaonipekun Olaoye, he said it’s alright. But suddenly, I found out his children were also vying for the throne. It shouldn’t be like that. Even the secretary of the family presented his son, who is 28 years of age. They began intense lobbying, I was flabbergasted.
What will now be your next move?
I want my son to be enthroned. And this is not something strange; the present Ooni of Ife, his father was the next in line but he said he was old and so was allowed to present his son, who is Ooni today.
Are you the only grandson of Oba Olaonipekun Olaoye remaining? Moreover, is there any of his children alive?
Only one daughter of his is alive and she is living at Odo-Oba, she is called Eyin Oye; she was born during the reign of Oba Oke Olaonipekun Olaoye. Meanwhile, there are three grandsons includung me, but they all support my son.
What is the way out now because the kingmakers insisted they had submitted a name to the governor?
What l will say is that the kingmakers have taken a wrong
step. It is betrayal of trust on their part especially the Areago, whose father my grandfather helped to be installed Areago, which he once confirmed.
So, what do you expect the governor to do?
The governor should constitute a commitee to look into the matter to find out the truth based on what the legislation states in regards of the Soun chieftaincy. The committee should ask all the contestants to point out the grave of their father or grandfather in the palace. My grandfather was on the throne between 1944 and 1952, so, my son has the closest link to a former Soun within the Laoye Ruling House and so he is the most qualified. This Gandhi never contributed anything to promote the family. Late Baba Soun never expected all this, he didn’t expect the matter will linger this long because he had identified me as the most qualified, as the heir apparent. But they have refused to grant me my right! I leave everything to God.
Prince Olaoye Kazeem, his first son, adds his voice too.
How will you react to the controversy over the appointment of a new Soun?
We can only pray to God to let the right thing be done because only God has the power to right the wrong. It resulted in crisis because we have jettisoned the truth. If the process has been on the pedestal of truth, the elders handling the matter wouldn’t have deviated and there wouldn’t have been this stalemate. Everyone is after their parochial interest. But we appeal to the people of Ogbomoso to be patient, God will intervene and make things right. The Oyo stat government as well should constitute a committee to study the laws on the enthronement of a new Soun. They should carefully consider the 1953 legislation, this will guide them on how to choose a new king in a righteous way. What we heard from late Baba Soun Ajagungbade III is that whoever would mount the throne must be a direct son, a direct grandson or a direct great grandson in recent time. That is to ensure an ineligible person does not rise to the throne. I pray God will intervene.