Ooni: Lafogido rejects 1977 gazette, demands stakeholders’ meeting
Following the commencement of the selection process of the new Ooni of Ife, one of the ruling houses in the ancient town- the Lafogido Ruling House, has faulted the Chieftaincy Declaration of 1976 by the Justice Ademola Commission, claiming it erred in its conclusion on many issues regarding the true royal families.
The said declaration, which was a review of the 1957 declaration, was gazetted in 1977 by the government of the old Oyo State.
In a statement issued by the ruling house, and signed by its Head, the Sooko Walomo of Ile-Ife, Prince Adeleke Adewoyin and six other princes from the ruling house, they faulted the gazette’s position on the history of the kings that ruled Ile-Ife from the time of Ooni Lajamisan, the sequence of rotation, insisting that the ruling house has been marginalised in all the chieftaincy reviews since 1957.
According to the ruling house, the modern rotational kingship system in Ile-Ife was established during the reign of Ooni Lajemisan, who it claimed had had two children of Lajodogun and Lafigido.
However, they claimed that the Lajodogun Ruling House was further split into three at the instance of his children of Ogbooru, Osinkola, and Princess Moropo whose son, Giesi stands for. And that despite Lafogido’s eight children, it remained a single family tree.
The family insisted that Giesi as a maternal grandchild of Ogbooru, who it claimed was enthroned after her father, Ooni Ogboru, was banished to Ife-Odan following his prolonged reign, cannot be recognised as a ruling house.
They added that the death of about six Oonis-designate before their enthronement after Ogbooru’s banishment had informed the consideration of Giesi, whose mother had rejected the throne being a woman.
The statement reads in part; “Tracing the genealogy, a descendant of Ogbooru from Lajodogun Ruling House, Ooni Adelekan Olubuse reigned from 1894 to 1910, and Adekola, who was appointed as his successive-designate was also from Lajodogun but he died before enthronement. His death paved way for Ooni Ademiluyi Ajagun Lawarikan from Lafogido ruling House who reigned from 1910 to 1930.
“Ooni Aderemi, who ruled from 1930 to 1980 also hailed from Osinkola in Lajodogun and was succeeded by Olubuse II who was also from Ogbooru of Lajodogun Ruling House. It is on record that candidates from Giesi family who contested against Sijuwade were denied based on the fact that they are from the same ruling house.”
The ruling house, therefore, says it regards the1977 gazette as harsh and unfair to the Lafogido Ruling House, saying the “clear-cut preponderance of 14 Oonis have been enthroned from Lajodogun and only 8 from Lafogido ruling house.”
The family has, therefore, prayed stakeholders including the Osun State Government and the leadership of both the Ife East and Ife Central Local Government Areas and all the king makers to as a matter of urgency call a meeting of all the ruling houses to once again discuss the true lineage of Ile-Ife royal families. It claimed the process will ensure a rancour-free process.
“In view of all the researches that have been carried out into Ile-Ife history since 1957 when the first declaration in respect of Ooni of Ife chieftaincy was made, there would appear to be an urgent need for all the ruling houses in Ile-Ife to meet, discuss and agree on the number of Lajamisan’s children,” they suggested.