FACT CHECK: Has the Ogbomoso head of kingmakers, the Areago, fled

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Yinka ADETUNJI
Some online news outlets have claimed that the head of the kingmakers in Ogbomoso, the Areago, High Chief Sobalaje Otolorin, has vamoosed following the inglorious role he allegedly played in the emergence of Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye as Soun-designate.
The rumour has gained traction fueling the contentment of those opposed to the choice of Prince Ghandi and pointing accusing fingers at the head of the kingmakers.
The Areago is claimed to have sold his soul to the devil by taking bribes running into millions of naira from Ghandi as well as collecting a posh car as gratification to wangle the selection of the US-based cleric.
One of the concocted stories, with the headline, ‘Soun Ogbomoso Stool : Areago Allegedly Goes Into Hiding,” reads,
“The Areago of Ogbomosoland, Chief Amos Otolorin Sobalaje who is the head of the Kingmakers conducting the process of selecting the next Soun for the ancient town has reportedly gone into hiding.
This followed allegations of bribery levelled against him by some candidates
(Princes) from the Olaoye ruling house whose turn it is to produce the next Soun
and some groups in Ogbomoso in the wake of the selection process.
The Areago was accused of receiving huge sum of money and even a brand new car from one of the Princes whose name was said to have been nominated as the next Soun of Ogbomosoland.
Reports say, the Areago has left his GB Ojaigbo Ogbomoso residence for an
unknown destination.
Some concerned indigenes and high profile personalities in the town who
reportedly visited his residence apparently to discuss the soun stool and the news making the rounds with him were surprised to learn that he has travelled and will take a little while for him to return.
Another source said the Areago claimed he has been inundated with calls accusing him of hanky panky hence he decided to leave the town.
The Areago was said to have equally earned the wrath of some people for voting as the Chairman of the Ogbomoso Kingmakers.
It was said that one of the candidates, a Colonel was leading with two votes before the Areago decided to cast his vote for the pastor who until then was having just one vote.
This then led to a tie hence the aggrieved princes are still at sea as to how the Kingmakers came up with the name of a nominee they allegedly forwarded to the Oyo State Government as Soun’s designated.”
VERDICT: ogbomosoinsightonline.com visited the residence of the Areago yesterday evening at GB area in Ogbomoso to verify the veracity or otherwise of the news. Lo and behold Baba was at his residence observing his siesta. He was woken up on request.
He came out to a waiting room in jalamia dress, charming and cheerful in his characteristic manner, as he received ogbomosoinsightonline.com and other guests who came at the time.
Told that rumour is making the rounds that he had fled he beamed with a hearty smile disclosing he had read the news in which his name was even wrongly written.
He continued, “Why would l run away when l had done nothing wrong? We followed due process in the selection of Ghandi. We did nothing nefarious that would warrant my running away.”
He stressed Ghandi never stepped into his house and added that he had bought the new car they are referring to before the selection process began.
He then dropped the clincher, “There is no Soun on the throne, l am the next in line, how can I flee the town.”
The Areago also asserted, “Thank God our vote was two apiece, if the kingmakers were bribed as claimed, it won’t have resulted in a tie, Ghandi would have won at first vote but it was a tie. However, as chairman l have the casting vote to break the tie which means casting the deciding vote, and so l did a second voting. But many are ignorant of the laws.”

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