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How The New OONI Will Emerge

Days after the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade's remains was interred at the Palace, the succession battle to fill the void has began in earnest. And this is because major contenders to the throne are beginning to emerge. City People gathered that powerful sons and daughters of Ile-Ife have started putting heads together with one thing in mind… who becomes the next King? Our correspondent gathered that the kingmakers, through the Ifa Oracle will be relied upon to supply the name of the new Ooni, as tradition demands. City People reliably gathered that the battle for succession has been narrowed down to the Ademiluyi Royal Family in the town regarded as the cradle of humanity by the Yoruba. There are four ruling houses in Ile-Ife, namely Lafogido, Giesi, Ogbooru and Osinkola. The Ademiluyis are the main branch of the Osinkola dynasty. While Oba Okunade Sijuwade is from the Ogboru ruling house, his predecessor, Oba Adesoji Aderemi, was from Giesi ruling house.

Oba Sijuwade's death has thrown up at least five members of the Ademiluyi family as top contenders. The names currently on the lips of the family include those of Princes Ademola Ademiluyi, an octogenarian, lawyer and a close confidant of Chief Rasaq Okoya (chairman, Eleganza Group); Yinka Ademiluyi, a septuagenarian socialite, and Gboyega Ademiluyi, said to be in his late sixties, but suave, cultured and a highly successful oil magnate Others are Prince Adebambo Ademiluyi, in his mid-sixties, ex-Kings College graduate, and Prince Kanmi Ademiluyi who is in his late 50s. It was learnt that, Kanmi, the maternal scion of the Lagos Peregrino family and former Editor of The Punch may be difficult to discountenance in the selection of a new Ooni.

He is said to have close affinity with the All Progressives Congress and is extremely close to both the Osun State Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Other major contenders include Prince E.O.C Eludoyin, a Lagos-based prominent businessman and close associate of APC leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Eludoyin is the Chairman of Paragon Holdings, which owns the popular Ikeja Mall in Lagos. Another likely successor is Prince Ade Adefuye, an Executive Director at Wema Bank Plc and is a close confidant of Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola

Others include Prince Akin Adewuyi, who is a Deputy Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Prince Adebambo Ademiluyi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). Another likely contender is Prince Adedamola Aderemi, a lawyer and the grandson of the 49th Ooni of Ife, Oba Adesoji Aderemi. Prince Aderemi is said to have a very enviable pedigree, as in addition to being the grandson to the predecessor of Oba Sijuwade. Another likely contender is Prince Adeyeye Ogunwusi, a big property player who owns the Inagbe Grand Resort, a hospitality haven nestled between the Lagos Lagoon and the Atlantic. In the same vein, the Chief Priest of Ile Ife, Chief Olajide Farotimi Faloba, has stated how the next paramount traditional ruler of the ancient Ile-ife would be chosen. This because the next Ooni would emerge out of the four ruling houses that could be crowned Ooni after the chief priest might have consulted the Ifa oracle.

According to the Obadio Agbaye of Ile-Ife, the chief priest, Chief Olajide Farotimi Faloba, "I am the Chief Priest and the king-maker to the Ooni stool because, I am the mouthpiece of the gods. So, if there should be coronation, I will be the one that will pronounce it." "There are 401 Yoruba deities and temples scattered worldwide, 201 of them are in Ife. Among these deities, the only speaking one is the legendary living Ooni.""If it happens that an Ooni dies, there are sacrifices and signs that will be performed. Part of them is the closing of the palace main gate. Also, the messenger will go around the town with a gong to announce the demise, while the trees in the ancient town will be cut down, markets will remain shut to customers and the entire Ife city will be thrown into mourning." "There will not be any form of ceremony of burial while other traditional rites and rituals will take place as the oracle reveals.
"Also, if an Ooni dies, the 201 deities temples will be duly informed."

"On the selection processes of the next Ooni, the chief priest said the kingmakers would pick one person from all Ife Princes that show interest in the stool and Ifa oracle would be consulted on the choice before the final ratification by the chief priest."

It was gathered that there are four ruling houses that could be enthroned as the Ooni of Ife and they are: Osinkola, Ogboru, Lafogido and Giesi. He added that before presenting to the public, the new Ooni may have to spend some days in Ile Oduduwa which housed the first Ooni and other past Ooni with the priests when other rituals would be performed."

"When ever there is a demise of Ooni, the kingmaker and the Ifa Oracle will pick the next Ooni. 10 or 20 princes may contest after they might have been presented by their families, but the Ifa priest will consult the oracle that will choose while myself as the kingmaker will perform the necessary rituals that will certify him to mount the throne of Ooni; without this rituals, such potential monarch would not be Ooni," the priest said."
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