A prince of Ile-Ife, who is aspiring to emerge as the next Ooni, Adetayo Oladele, has emphasized that the new Ooni of Ife must be a man who is truly desirous of bringing developments to the town, not one who is seeking the throne only for the privileges it brings.
Prince Oladele, who hails from Adagba royal compound in the Lafogido Ruling House, said in a statement yesterday that the throne became vacant at a time Ile-Ife needs an Ooni that is able to reposition the town to the level of bringing pride not only to Ife sons and daughters but to all the Yoruba in the entire world.
He emphasized that the new Ooni should be a man who sees the throne in terms of responsibility and service rather than power, privilege and prestige.
The Ooni hopeful, therefore, appealed to all aspirants to the revered throne as well as the kingmakers to allow the interest of Ile-Ife take topmost priority in all their considerations.
“Ile-Ife is a uniquely great town. It is not only symbolic in Yoruba land but in the whole world for its historical importance. Our town has also been blessed with great kings in the past. But at this critical time in our history, Ile-Ife deserves only an Ooni that is truly dissatisfied with the town’s current state and has genuine interest in harnessing all its potentials to move it to its rightful place economically, traditionally and socially.
“Ife is blessed with great potentials. The new Ooni must be a man of vision with deep interest of the town in heart and who is ready to sacrifice personal gains for Ile-Ife’s overall well-being.
“All the past Oonis did their best to keep Ife on top. The new Ooni must be a man of honour, integrity and strong-will who is determined to see Ife rise to a new level of prominence in development with positive impacts on local residents and the Yoruba at large. This is my vision.” Prince Oladele declared in the statement.
The United States (US)-based real estate expert aligned himself with the position of the Lafogido Ruling House that it was its turn to produce the next Ooni having seen the larger Lajodoogun line produce the last two Oonis in persons of the late obas Adesoji Aderemi and Okunade Sijuwade who hailed from Osinkola and Ogboru respectively. The ruling house also insisted that going by the 1957 gazette, Lafogido is the next house to produce the Ooni after Giesi conceded its turn to Ogboru in 1980.
Prince Oladele said that the trio of Osinkola, Ogboru and Giesi belong to the Lajodoogun ruling line, leaving Lafogido, which is the second ruling house, deprived.
He appealed to kingmakers and other stakeholders to be fair and just in their decision as they make the overall interest of Ife the overriding guide in selecting the new Ooni.
The immediate past Ooni, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, joined his ancestors on July 28, 2015.
Since then, over 45 princes from the four ruling houses have indicated their interest in succeeding him.