New Soun: There can’t be U-turn on a successful process

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Khalid ABRAHAM
Those calling for a fresh selection process in the appointment of a new Soun of Ogbomosoland should realize that it is against natural law to abort a successful process.
High Chief Sobaloju Otolorin, who is the head of kingmakers of Ogbomoso, has stated recently that the process that produced Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye was transparent and fair and unfolded under due process.
I also want to emphasize that natural justice abhors such.
Ogbomoso is at a crossroad in view of the appointment of a new monarch as a result of the transition of the last Soun, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, JP, CON, CFR. The process to appoint a new prince to be the custodian of the Ogbo, that is the spectre of power is thus underway.
This expectedly has generated a lot of hoax. The last Oba did a yeoman’s job taking the throne to the highest pinnacle of prestige and so it is certain that the position would be coveted. No one is therefore surprised the intense furor it has elicited. But I am sure it will subside and we will move forward.
We are all stakeholders in the Ogbomoso project and l feel we should all make known our views if it can help assuagethe matter on ground. In recent times l have read online about certain individuals and groups calling for the nullification of the exercise on the ground it was riddled with flaws and exclusion of some princes.
The family of Justice Mofoye Oyetunde of Ile Aremo, Ogbomoso was credited with a news item yesterday in which a fresh selection exercise was demanded asserting the choice of the kingmakers, Prince Ghandi, was ineligible..
“The Redeemed Christian Church of God Pastor, Ghandi, is not even from Ile Aremo whose turn it is to produce the next Soun, as such he is not fit to contest for the seat,” adding that their candidate, Dr. Oyebode Oyetunde, was unlawfully excluded from contesting to become the next Soun of Ogbomoso.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Dr. Usman Akano, therefore called on Governor Seyi Makinde and the Local Government authority to ensure that the law guiding the selection of a new Soun is followed and that none of the qualified princes should be excluded.
He argued Oyetunde was told there was no form when he requested for it but that it was sold to others after his request was turned down.
Akano appealed to the governor to order a fresh election and ensure that the law is strictly followed to avoid rancorous aftermath.
Also, a socio-cultural group, Ogbomoso Zone Peoples Front (OZPF), which however is hitherto unknown, appealed to Governor Seyi Makinde to intervene and order a fresh selection process.
The group led by Alhaji Musibau Mutiu, and Secretary, Mr Benjamin Adegboyega, said the appeal “becomes imperative in the interest of justice, fairness, transparency, and unity of the ruling families and the community at large”
But from my understanding of the Areago Declaration last week, the process of electing a new Soun had been concluded at their level, with Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye’s name having been forwarded to the Oyo State Government as required by the Chiefs Law, through the Local Government.
High Chief Sobaloju Otolorin, the Areago, who is the head of the kingmakers, insisted that due process in accordance with both the Chiefs Law and the Soun Chieftaincy Declaration, was followed, swearing the kingmakers did not act outside the law, “the process was transparent and fair. When we could not decide by consensus the kingmakers resorted to voting and when this resulted in a tie, as the chairman, l cast the deciding vote, as stipulated by the law.’
It could also be inferred from the Areago Declaration that the kingmakers did not exclude any candidate as alleged.
A source close to the palace in fact observed, “Natural justice holds in abhorrence aborting a process that has turned out successful. The kingmakers did not exclude any candidate in the process as far as l.know, they holistically considered all the names submitted to them by the Olaoye Ruling House, through the Local Government, the total of which is 23.”
I can indeed see a pattern of muddling of facts in the submission by those holding brief for Dr. Oyebode Oyetunde; they claimed it is the turn of Aremo Ruling House to produce the next Soun, and they also referred to Alhaji Abdulwahab Oyetunde as the head of Olaoye Ruling House.
From what is in the public domain, these aren’t so, Aremo House is a clan in the Olaoye Ruling House and there are nine other clans in the family and any prince of the male line from any of the ten can contest. Also, Prince Olawole Olaoye is the Mogaji of the ruling house and not Alhaji Abdulwahab Oyetunde as stated. Or perhaps l did not adequately grasp their message.
In addition, the law does not mandate that only one name be sent to the kingmakers by the family at a time for consideration. The kingmakers have seven days to decide after they received nomination (s) from the family via the Local Government and so sending one name at a time is not feasible in view of the time frame. I think what the law says is that if as an instance, ten names are sent and the kingmakers did not find any suitable, they can reject the names. It is not that only one is sent at a time.
The palace source added, “There won’t be U-turn on a successful process. The two Oyetundes were at the interview at the Ogunlola Hall with the family and Local Government representatives. At the same time, Oyebode Oyetunde was interviewed/screened by the kingmakers, at the Ogbomoso Palace. Their argument is muddled and there is no substance in it. The process has been concluded and you don’t repeat a successful exercise. It is improper. We cannot ground a wheel that is successfully in motion on account of such frivolous matter.”
Our fathers do say it is God that takes one to the throne and whichever pate will wear the crown will not be denied. History is replete with such. Over twenty princes are contending for a throne, which only one person will occupy. It is thus a game of luck, in which destiny will play a major role. If the exercise is undertaken many times, those who lost out will still express discontent. In as much as Prince Ghandi is a true born of Olaoye family as attested to by the Mogaji of the family and he went through the selection process right from the stage of purchasing the expression of interest form, methink people should rally round him if the governor finds him suitable too. The boat should not be rocked because someone else emerged victorious. Nevertheless, what will be will be!


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