Ooni of Ife: Osun Govt turns down calls to intervene in selection imbroglio

Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola

The Osun State Government has said that it will not interfere in the selection process of the next Ooni of Ife in the face of rising controversies over who ascends the throne.

The Adetipe family within the Ogboru ruling house, which is contending for the stool, had on Monday called on the Osun State Government to assist the traditional institution in the state to ensure that the right person and ruling house produced the 51st Ooni of Ife.

The call stemmed from a brewing controversy on whose turn it is to produce a nominee for the Ooni stool.

The ruling houses from which the Ooni is selected on a rotational basis, include Osinkola, Ogboru, Giesi and Lafogido.

The late Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II came from the Ogboru ruling house and reigned between 1980 and 2015.

While it was thought that the Giesi family should produce the next Ooni, the Adetipe family, from within the Ogboru dynasty, has already submitted a expression of interest for the stool, on the grounds that the reign of Oba Sijuwade did not cover for their turn.

Reacting to the call on Wednesday, the Director of the Bureau of Communication and Strategy at the Office of the Osun State Governor, Semiu Okanlawon, told PREMIUM TIMES that the government viewed the situation as very sensitive and that which should be left to the traditional council to handle.

He noted that even with the current distance the government is keeping, there were already insinuations in the media that Rauf Aregbesola could be interfering.

“The Osun State Government is committed to the sincere and transparent process of producing the next Ooni of Ife,” he said.

“The government will not interfere in any manner, no matter the controversies involved.”

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