The selection of a new Alaafin has taken another dimension as the Iba Samu of Oyo, High Chief Lamidi Olayanju and three other chiefs have distanced themselves from the 10 persons shortlisted for the vacant stool, saying they knew nothing about it.
Recall that 10 contestants were said to have been shortlisted two days ago by the Oyomesi, who are the kingmakers in the town.
The Head of Oyomesi, who is also the Basorun of Oyo, High Chief Yussuf Ayoola, had in a statement issued on Friday by the Director of Media and Publicity to the Alaafin of Oyo, Bode Durojaiye, said 10 contestants have been shortlisted for the stool.
Ayoola, who is also the acting Regent stated that members of the Oyomesi would soon meet to deliberate on the next step, which he said would be an Ifa consultation to pick the next Alaafin among the shortlisted contestants.
He had said: “Whoever emerges among the shortlisted aspirants will be the candidate and the next Alaafin of Oyo.
“The state government is not only aware but carried along in all our proceedings before, during, and after the interview period. The state government was ably represented by the chairperson of the Atiba Local Government Area and some officials of the council.
“On the Alapinni matter, he is a member of the Oyo Mesi but presently indisposed. To follow the due process, he needs to be represented in order to keep him abreast of development. He cannot be left out in the scheme of things. Hence, we request his representative. Health is wealth. We wish him a quick recovery.
“People should watch their utterances and refrain from reckless comments capable of causing an implosion.
“People entrusted with the peace and tranquility of the town should not just rush to the press with the peace and tranquility of the town should not just rush to the press for mischief. It is better for one to find out about what he or she doesn’t know from the authentic source, than going to the press to cause disaffection,” the statement read.
In another twist, the sick Oyomesi member, Alapinni of Oyoland, High Chief, Alh Abdul-Rasheed Shehu, died early this morning and would be buried later on Sunday evening.
Meanwhile, the Iba Samu of Oyo, High Chief Lamidi Olayanju has disclaimed the statement released by the other chiefs, saying it was Basorun that authored the news, adding that four high chiefs were not part of the decision.
“I called Basorun and he told me that he was the one behind the news that 10 persons had been shortlisted. Four of us know nothing about it. When we completed the interview on Thursday, we all agreed that we would meet next Tuesday to do that but hearing that 10 persons had been shortlisted on the radio is news to me. I called Basorun and he told me he authored the news.
“I heard it on the radio that we had shortlisted 10 but I am telling you I am not part of that and I called four of us and they said they did not know anything about it. Agbaakin (High Chief Asinmiyu) told me he was not part of the decision to pick 10 contestants; Akinniku (High Chief Amusa Yusuf) also told me that he was not part of it; Alapini (High Chief Rasheed Sheu) is indisposed,” he said.
When asked if the rest of the kingmakers would abide by the shortlisted contestants, he said: “Can you, yourself, abide by such a decision? We don’t know anything about it, we didn’t know when he picked them, so, we can’t abide by such.
“If we agree with him and the remaining contestants drag all of us to court, how are we going to defend what we were not part of?”, he queried.