JUST IN: Soun five ruling families meet to find way forward
The race for the filling of the vacant stool of Soun of Ogbomosoland has picked up again after months of lull as the five ruling houses of the Soun dynasty have begun a series of meetings to resolve the logjam over the nomination of a new monarch.
Ogbomosoinsightonline.com recalls that the process was stalled over opposition to the nominee of the kingmakers Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye by sections of the ruling house – Olaoye – whose turn it is to produce the next Soun.
Protest letters to the governor of the state Engr Seyi Makinde, petitions, name callings, litigation and threat of violence dogged the nomination of Prince Ghandi Olaoye by the Areago Sobalaje Otolorin-led kingmakers on March 22 2022.
The process that produced him was described as flawed just as it was opposed on the basis that the Soun Chieftaincy Declaration as well as the Chiefs Law were subverted and so an outright cancellation was demanded. In addition, officials of Ogbomoso North local government were accused to have been active participants in the process instead of being “mere observers” and that the family did not nominate Ghandi in the list sent to the kingmakers. There were also those that rejected his nomination and made the same known to the governor on the basis of his religious inclination.
Riding on the crest of this the governor who is the approving authority withheld assent asserting that unless the court cases are withdrawn or the family acrimony mitigated he would not approve the nomination even as one of the contestants Prince Engr Kabir Olaoye secured a court injunction restraining the approval of Ghandi.
The last Soun of Ogbomoso His Imperial Majesty Oba (Dr) Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III JP CON CFR joined his ancestors on December 12, 2021 at the age of 95 after over 48 years on the throne thus the vacancy has lasted some 20 months.
It is generally believed that this has come with consequences with many pointing out that the absence of the Soun has robbed the community of a rallying point and an arrow head of development.
“The non installation of a new Soun has made Ogbomoso poorer,” Oyetunde Oyeleke a Lagos based Ogbomoso indigene told ogbomosoinsightonline.com on phone.
“A new dispensation has unfolded, Ogbomoso lacks a rallying point for development, we need someone who will interface with governments at both the state and federal levels whose voice and presence will be respected and whose influence will open doors for developments. With no Soun on the throne we suffer in that aspect.”
Oyetunde went ahead to plead with all the dramatis personnel in the matter to find a way to resolve the logjam, “we cannot forever be without an Oba. The spirit of give and take should be imbibed. Only one person can sit on the throne at a time. Only God chooses a king through the authorities vested with the duty,” he said.
However, ogbomosoinsightonline.com can authoritatively inform that the process to iron out the differences and mitigate the divergence has been initiated by not only Olaoye but all the five recognized ruling houses of Soun – Abuirumaku, Gbagun, Olaoye, Bolanta and Odunaro.
On Sunday August 6 an expanded meeting was said to have been held at the palace attended by representatives of the five ruling houses including the Mogajis (family heads).
The discussion was a heated one it was noted with members of the other ruling houses allegedly blaming Olaoye ruling house as unnecessarily causing the delay in the enthronement of a new monarch with a particular Mogaji (name withheld) said to have told Mogaji Olaoye ruling house, Prince Olawole Olaoye, that “Your history with the filling of Soun vacancy has always unfolded under undue acrimony which causes a lingering crisis,” to which Prince Olawole Olaoye reportedly fired back, “Ask those who introduced religious consideration into this, they are the cause.”
Meanwhile the meeting was said to have been fruitful as appeals were made even as it is observed that “many of those who opposed bitterly and fiercely are beginning to mellow and are now tending towards soft-pedaling,” a source privy to the meeting informed ogbomosonsightonline.com.
In another development one of the kingmakers who initially opposed his colleagues over claim of denial of participation in the voting that produced Ghandi and consequently instituted legal cases and also demanded nullification of the process was said to have retraced his steps in the spirit of reconciliation.
“The matter will be resolved soon, some leaders and elders in the community have also been charged by Governor Makinde to wade into the logjam so the community can move forward,” an informed person who however pleaded anonymity revealed to Ogbomoso Insight.
Meanwhile, it is learnt further meetings have been scheduled.