By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
The Agunloye ruling house of Oyo has revealed that it will entertain only 50 aspirants from the entire ruling house in the process of producing the next Alaafin.
An elder in the ruling house, who spoke with The Nation, said that the Agunloye ruling house which will produce the next Alaafin has agreed to streamline the number of aspirants in order to make the process easier for aspirants, kingmakers and the entire town.
The elder said that the Agunloye family is made up of five branches, and the larger family has agreed that each branch should limit its aspirants to 10 in order to restrict the total number to 50. The branches are Ilaka, Akingbeyin, Gbadegesin, Agogo Ija and Owoade.
“We have agreed to limit the number of aspirants to 10 in each family branch so we won’t have an uncontrollable number. I pray it works. Aspirants are to submit letter of intent to family branch heads who will take them to the larger Agunloye family meeting which is scheduled for Saturday, May 21. The leaders of our larger Agunloye family will then take the letters to Baba Iyaji (head of princes) in Oyo. Baba Iyaji will then hand over the applications to the Oyomesi for final selection,” the elder said.
Oyomesi is the council of chiefs that rules Oyo with the Alaafin. The council is headed by Basorun, who is the Prime Minister. All of them are traditional chiefs who make up the Alaafin-in-Council.
When asked if the Oyomesi has the power to disqualify any prince, the elder said the council has no such power.
“The only way Oyomesi will choose is by consulting Ifa oracle. Oyomesi will present all applicants to Ifa who will pick the best for Oyo,” the source said.
The elder also pointed out that consultation with Ifa will be witnessed by representatives of the Agunloye family for the purpose of transparency.
It was also learnt that aspirants are already submitting letters at the five branches. The Gbadegesin family, according to the medium, will meet on Saturday to finalise decisions on aspirants.
The Alaafin stool became vacant following the demise of Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, on April 22, after 51 years on the throne.
Members of the Alowolodu and Agunloye families mount the throne as the Alaafin as both were the original male children of the Alaafin Atiba who founded the current Oyo town.