Emerging details have shown that family feuds, political pressure ahead of the 2023 general elections, rationalization of religion, and court cases have been identified as some of the reasons delaying the emergence of a new Soun, the traditional ruler of Ogbomoso – the second largest city in Oyo State, South West Nigeria.
The ancient city which was founded by a warrior known as Soun Ogunlola currently has no monarch following the transition of the immediate past ruler, Oba Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi JP CON, CFR, Ajagungbade III.
The death of the 95-year-old monarch, who reigned for 48 years, was announced in the early hours of the 12th of December 2022.
However, since the transition of the last occupant, the stool of Soun of Ogbomoso is still vacant.
This is despite the fact that the kingmakers in town have screened the princes who indicated interest to ascend the throne and have since picked a nominee to ascend the throne.
It was gathered that 25 princes of the town have indicated interest in the throne and they have all been screened by kingmakers. It was also scooped that the name of the choice nominee for the exalted throne has since been sent to the State government in March 2022 for approval and announcement.
According to the report, findings suggested several factors may be responsible for the delay in the announcement of the new monarch. It was informed that the delay, according to residents of the ancient city, includes family feuds, 2023 political permutations, religion and pending litigation.
An Ogbomoso indigene, who craved anonymity was quoted saying that the kingmakers concluded their work on March 22, and promptly dispatched the name of the nominee to Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, through Ogbomoso North Local Government.
The source, who is very close to the palace, hinted that various reasons were responsible for the delay. One major reason, according to him, is the feud tearing the family apart over the choice of Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye as Soun nominee.
He added that political exigency in the face of 2023 general elections, rationalization of religion and court cases were also responsible for the delay in the announcement of the new monarch.
He said, “Family feuds erupting in the selection of a new monarch is not something strange, it has always been part of the process.
“If the process is repeated hundred times, it will still be dogged by crises; so hanging on to the flare-up of rancour within the family or families as the basis for the standoff by the governor is roundly untenable; it is like the arbiter, that is the voters, holding back from voting because rivals are crying blue murder over the emergence of party candidates through rancorous processes.
“Therefore, l consider the feud as a design that suits and feeds the selfishness of the powers that be. Thus, the inevitable family feud in an enterprise as selection of a new Soun is an alibi to put the process on hold indefinitely.
“Prince Ghandi Olaoye, the Soun nominee, is a Christian but there is a strong indication that a section of the Muslim community is vehemently opposed to his choice on religious ground.
“I am aware there are no less than three suits challenging the process, two from co-contestants and one from the three families of Ologolo, Oluopo and Olukan seeking to be included in the ruling families of Soun dynasty, being from the royal families too.
“We don’t know what is causing the delay in the announcement of the new Soun”.
The Areago of Ogbomoso, High Chief Sobaloju Otolorin, was also quoted saying that no one knows what is causing the delay in the announcement of the name of the new Soun.
The Areago also confirmed that the name of the nominee had been forwarded to the State Government since March this year.
He said, “On 23rd of March, we submitted the name, we cannot say what is causing the delay, we don’t know why the government is yet to announce the name. We don’t know what is causing the delay.
“We sent one name, you know when two people are contesting, one person will win and they will write the result on it.
“23 people collected the form and two more people joined making it 25”.
Speaking on the matter, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Olasunkanmi Olaleye, when contacted on Tuesday, said that he was just posted to the office.
He said that he would check the files before making any official pronouncement.
“I have to check. I have just been posted to that ministry. I have just been posted there. I have to check and get back to you.
“You can call me back tomorrow if you did not get a response from me or you just send a message,” he was quoted to have said.