To streamline the number of aspirants for the stool of the Ooni of Ife, the kingmakers have allegedly hiked the cost of the Interest Form from N100,000 to N250,000.
A source close to the kingmakers attributed the hike in the fee to the “unprecedented” declaration of intention to succeed the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade, who joined his ancestors on July 28.
Although, the hike in the fee was designed to discourage many people from participating in the contest, he told Nigerian Pilot that aspirants will have enough time to obtain mandatory intention forms when the race begins.
Traditionally, it is forbidden for would-be occupants to the stool to indicate their interest during the period of mourning, but the battle for who succeeds the late Sijuwade commenced in earnest, even before the Royal Traditional Council formally announced the “ascension to the loft” of Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse 11 penultimate Wednesday.
Contrary to the age-long belief, at least 12 princes from three of the four ruling houses of Ile-Ife considered as the homestead of the Yoruba race, have been holding consultations with influential politicians, elder statesmen and the inner caucus of the Royal Traditional Council, besides the elders of their respective houses.
The four ruling houses in Ile-Ife are Lafogido, Giesi, Ogboru and Osinkola. Only the Ogboru Ruling House that produced the late Oba Sijuwade is not openly considering fielding candidates for the throne.
The stool of the Ooni of Ife became vacant following the transition of Oba Sijuwade in a London hospital.
Traditionally, all male members of these houses are entitled to aspire to succeed the Ooni.
The final choice is also made by Ifa divination.
Meanwhile, members of Giesi Royal Family of Ile-Ife at a press briefing yesterday at the state Nigeria Union Journalists, NUJ Council, said it is the turn of their house to produce the next Ooni.
The spokesperson of the ruling house, Prince ‘Kunle Adelowo, said “the members of Giesi Ruling House, Moore in Ile- Ife are set to submit the name for the next Ooni of Ife.
He said: “We are appealing to both government and people of the state including stakeholders in Ile-Ife to put all necessary machinery into motion to expedite action concerning our request.”
The Giesi family vowed to resist any attempt by the Royal Traditional Council, RTC, to jump the normal procedure to prevent it from producing the Ooni of Ife.
According to a government declaration captioned, “The Ooni of Ife Chieftaincy Declaration” reference no CB141/7/1/540 dated 22nd August, 1977 and addressed to the then Executive Secretary of Oranmiyan Local Government Area from the office of Military Governor of the Old Oyo State, stated that the order of rotation among the ruling houses should be Osinkola, Ogboru, Giesi and Lafogido.”
The Giesi family added that, “it was Osinkola that produced the late Oba Adesoji Aderemi who ruled for 50 years, while Ogboru produced the immediate past Ooni, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.”
“Automatically, it is now the turn of Giesi Royal Family based on the rotational arrangements by the government,” Adelowo said.

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