Soun: Again, Laoye family petitions Makinde over Ghandi’s nomination, slams CAN, MURIC, as Mogaji denies knowledge
The Laoye ruling house of Ogbomoso has written another petition to the Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, to reiterate its objection to the nomination of Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye as new Soun of Ogbomosoland by the kingmakers.
This is in spite of the extant court case on the matter for which judgement is already slated for October 3.
The two-page petition dated August 15 and signed by nine of the Baales (family heads) of the ten sub-sections of the ruling house including Ile Aremo, Kapelaye, Bayewuwon, Daodu Olateju, Farayola, Bode Eni-Afe, Ajiteru, Alatipo and Aribaba (with the Baale of Bolanta sub-section not appending his signature) and the secretary of the ruling house, Saka Olabode Olaoye, is titled, “Our opposition to interference of religious bodies and the imposition of an unacceptable candidate as Soun of Ogbomosoland.”
Congratulating Governor Makinde on his re-election, the family heads regretted that the succession process to the throne of Soun following the demise of the last occupant Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III on December 12, 2021, has been marred with intrigues, financial inducements and religious infiltration.
“The process of deciding the successor of the late Soun has been encumbered by intrigues, insincerity and lack of transparency as well as the wide use of bribery, undue influence and unnecessary financial and material gratifications.The crux of the encumbrance was the tacit introduction of religious interference in the succession equation.”
Asserting the family is capable of choosing the next Oba without interference from any quarters it warned religious bodies such as Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Muslims Right Concern (MURIC) and others with intent on imposing an unpopular candidate to steer clear.
“We, the Laoye Ruling House hereby wish to formally state categorically that we can select a candidate among the contestants without any undue interference; and we wish to express our opposition to the involvement of bodies like Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Muslims Right Concern (MURIC), Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), METHODIST CHURCH and other religious bodies lobbying and interfering in the selection process with the intent to imposing a generally unacceptable candidate as Soun of Ogbomosoland.”
It lamented many vested interests poke nosed and hijacked the process for their selfish end which it noted is at variance with the general good of the people of Ogbomoso.
“Your Excellency Sir, from 12th of December, 2021, what has been exhibited by parties with vested interest in the succession process had been selfishness, insincerity, peddling of falsehood, character assassination, undue interference by religious bodies and incredible greed and utter corruption. Individuals saddled with responsibility demanding total commitment to the goodness of all and sundry have been found to pursue self- aggrandizement. Those who are supposed to be custodians of our tradition and culture have been found to be self-centered, self-serving and pursuing interests inimical to the peace, security and progress of Ogbomosoland.”
It alleged Prince Ghandi Olaoye and the kingmakers of subverting the process via large scale bribery, therefore appealing to the governor to cancel the process that produced Ghandi and order a fresh one that would unfold under transparent and credible atmosphere.
“A case in perspective is that of Pastor Ghandi Olaoye, who is known to have financially induced the Afobajes and the screening committee. Based on his action, many of the other candidates were also approached by both the Afobajes and the Committee for financial and material inducements but their overture were generally rebuffed because of the candidates honour and deep respect for the revered stool of Soun of Ogbomosoland.
“The next Soun should emerge through a transparent and corrupt-free process. Based on the foregoing therefore, we, the undersigned, as Baales of the different branches of the Laoye Ruling House wish to appeal to your good conscience Sir, that you should not allow yourself to be used to further the nefarious interest of any person or group of persons whose stake in the whole process is questionable, tainted and unholy; more so as the process that births the current controversy is controversial, conspiratorial and lacks credibility. Your Excellency Sir, it is our ardent hope therefore that you will call for a fresh beginning of the process on a clean, transparent and fair slate; following due process and in accordance to the dictate of our tradition.”
But reacting to the development when ogbomosoinsightonline.com reached out to him the Mogaji (overall head) of Laoye ruling house, Prince Olawole Olaoye dismissed the petition stating that the family did not hold any general meeting where a decision to write petition against the process that produced Ghandi was taken.
Prince Olawole Olaoye justified his position by remarking that the letter lacked his imprimatur, stressing further that the matter already being in a court of competent jurisdiction precluded any meeting by the family in regards of the issue so wondering how such gathering was held to take the decision to oppose the succession process.
The Mogaji averred the letter ought to be torn on the ground that it lacked his signature as the overall head of the family, advising it should be disregarded in its entirety.
He also alleged the signees of the letter do not represent the ruling house but themselves pointing out most of those who signed were impostors who were randomly picked.
“I don’t know anything about the petition. I did not append my signature to any letter which indicates they did not show it to me and that invalidates the letter. I am the overall head as Mogaji of Laoye ruling house and my signature not appearing in the letter makes it invalid. The letter should automatically be torn, indeed, it must not reach the governor’s table.
“When the process to pick candidate(s) for a new Soun started the whole family was involved in choosing the screening committee and power was delegated to the committee. Each sub-house had representative in the screening committee, and so, if such decision is to be taken the whole family has to sit again to take an unanimous decision to raise opposition to any issue.
“I suspect they just went around the sub-families to pick people randomly, people of the same mind, to take the decision. It is not as if the whole family sat to make the decision. So, it is not the decision of the ruling house. Even in Kape compound (where I come from) the Baale couldn’t have signed unless the signature is forged, likewise Oyediji house and in many other subsections. Consequently, their purported decision did not emanate from popular wish.
“Moreover, there is a court injunction restraining the family from holding any meeting on the matter until the final judgement. As a result, the family could not have held any meeting to take such a decision. Also, the Mogaji’s signature not there did not authenticate the letter,” he said.
“We will abide by whatever is the judgment of the court which has picked a date, October 3 for judgment. We will comply by the court decision and so, we advise them to face their work, whosoever feels his/her destiny is attached to Soun chieftaincy for survival should begin to work hard. We all believe God will do what is good for us in Ogbomoso,” the Mogaji said.
Laoye ruling house is one of the five recognized ruling houses in Ogbomoso that occupies the stool of Soun and it’s the turn of the family to produce the next Oba.
The ruling house which has ten sub-sections or houses as stated began the process by constituting a screening committee for the interested princes; forms were sold at N250, 000 (two hundred and fifty thousand naira) each to the candidates which it was learnt was obtained by over twenty.
In the long run, the kingmakers considered the names that got to them which they reduced to two after their own screening/interview before casting vote for the two. Eventually, Prince Afolabi Ghandi Laoye was selected and his name forwarded to the state government for ratification in March 2022.
But some in the family raised objections over the process and on other sundry issues and so wrote series of petitions to urge the state governor against granting approval citing various subversive actions to undermine the process. The governor vacillated and ultimately some aggrieved parties instituted legal actions to challenge the emergence of Ghandi.
In one of the suits, the one by Prince Mohammed Kabir Olaoye, from Kape house like Ghandi, whose prayer earlier that the status quo ante be maintained was granted, October 3 had been set aside as day judgment will be delivered.
See the petition