Oyomesi Faction Tackles Basorun Over Claim on New Aláàfin

Kingmakers in Òyó are sharply divided over the selection of a new Alaafin.

A faction of three members on Monday washed their hands clean off Basorun High Chief Yusuf Ayoola’s claim that there was no going back on the selection of a particular candidate.

Ayoola, in a media interview, stated that a candidate had been selected, adding that his name had been forwarded to Governor Seyi Makinde.

He said the Oyomesi had been waiting for Makinde to announce the new Alaafin since October last year.

But three of the seven kingmakers – High Chiefs Asimiyu Atanda (Agbaakin), Lamidi Oyewole (Iba Samu) and Chief Odurinde Olusegun (Baale Ajagba)- distanced themselves from Ayoola’s claim, saying they stood for the decision of the governor that kingmakers should follow due process in selecting the new Alaafin.

The trio in a joint statement said Ayoola did not follow due process in selecting the said candidate.

The statement read: “There are five living members of the Oyomesi, and there are two warrant chiefs eligible to nominate/recommend a nominee to the governor of Oyo State for appointment as the Alaafin.

“The kingmakers met only once in 2022 with the following members of the kingmakers in attendance – Basorun, Agbakin, Samu, Akinniku, Lagunna (Oyomesi) joined by Areago Basorun and Alapo (both warrant chiefs unilaterally selected by Basorun without the knowledge or consent of the Oyomesi).

As a matter of fact, one of the contestants also wrote a letter of protest questioning the inclusion of one of the warrant chiefs in the kingmakers council.

“It was at the meeting of this ill-constituted seven-member kingmakers first meeting that a nominee for the office of the Alaafin was sent to the government for endorsement

“Immediately after submitting our nomination, we got the government’s response that our nomination could not be accepted because we did not follow DUE PROCESS in coming to our resolution. The government directed that we should go back and do our work properly in accordance with the declaration.

“It was also discovered that one of the warrant chiefs (handpicked by Basorun) who participated in our earlier resolution was ineligible to be a warrant chief. He was, therefore, removed and replaced with another chief. Thus the ALAPO handpicked by Basorun who participated in our carlier resolution was replaced with Baale Ajagba.

“We were directed to meet and follow due process. Unfortunately, the Basorun who is chairman and convener of our meetings decided not to convene any meeting of the Oyomesi since late last year till the present moment.

“The new member of the kingmakers (Baale Ajagba) has been denied the opportunity of participating in or contributing to the resolutions of the kingmakers since his official appointment in 2022 on account of the blunt refusal of the Basorun to comply with the directive of government for due process in our task of recommending a nominee to the government

“About seven months ago, during an official visit to Oyo, the governor held a meeting with the Oyomesi and specifically told us of government decision that due process must be followed in the nomination of candidate for the Alaafin stool. He instructed us to do our duty freely because the government is only interested in the best for Oyo and Yorubaland.

“Regrettably, Basorun remained adamant, and no meeting of the kingmakers was convened to deliberate on the major issue of
nomination or selection of candidate for the stool of the Aláàfin.

“Recently, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs invited the kingmakers to a meeting in his office. Some of us honoured the invitation, but Basorun and others refused to honour the invitation from the commissioner.

“We are opposed to the Basorun’s utter disregard for government directive on due process and his continuing imposition of one of his handpicked chiefs (Areago Basorun) as a warrant chief whose letter of appointment is questionable. We are ready to meet with other kingmakers to perform our legitimate duties in accordance with our tradition, custom and the law of the land.”