Prince Ramon Adegoke Adedoyin has been endorsed by Adesogba family, an arm of Giesi ruling house of Ile Ife, Osun state as its sole candidate for the race to succeed the late Ooni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
This was disclosed on Thursday, August 27, in a statement jointly signed by eight princes and two princesses on behalf of the family.
According to them, Adedoyin from the Agbedegbede lineage of the dynasty and founder of Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu was eminently qualified to succeed the late Oba by virtue of his pedigree, stature, investments, philanthropic activities and immense contributions to the human, physical and industrial development of Ile Ife.
The Ooni stool had become vacant following the demise of late Oba Sijuwade on July 28.
The listed Adedoyin’s investments to include; First Access Microfinance Bank Ltd; Hilton Hotels; Odududwa University and The Polytechnic, Ife – all located within the four local governments areas of Ifeland, as well as Oduduwa Polytechnic, Idimu, Lagos State and Our Saviour’s University, Delaware, USA.
Adesogba family said Adedoyin was “a bonafide son of the Agbedegbede compound and possessed the required knowledge and skills needed to make a success of the office of the Ooni.
The statement was signed by Princess Kehinde Sijuwade Elugbaju (Nee Adewole); Princess Adekanmi Adelugba; Princeess Olufunmilayo Busayo; Princess Adedokun Adedoyin; Prince Gabriel Adedire Adewole.
Others are Prince Adebolu Adewole; Prince Adekola Adewole; Prince Adekunmi Adewole and Prince Tilewa Bimbo Adewole.
There are four ruling houses to contend for the vacant stool, Osinkola House, Ogboru House, Giesi House and Lafogido House.
Prince Adesoji Isaac Fadehan, a journalist with Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC), recently joined the race for the Ooni stool. He was the first contestant from the Giesi royal family to indicate his intention to contest for the vacant stool.
The Giesi royal family had declared that the rotation of the stool among the ruling houses indicated that it was its turn to produce the next monarch for the ancient town.
Interestingly, the Ile-Ife kingmakers have put to rest the conflict regarding the appropriate ruling house to produce the next Ooni of Ife, disclosing that the new paramount ruler would emerge from the Giesi ruling house.
The Obalufe noted that it was the turn of the Giesi to produce the Ooni, urging the other ruling houses to wait for their turn.
“We, the 16 traditional rulers making up kingmakers according to Ife traditional rules and customs, hereby unanimously declare and affirm and confirm that 1980 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration is the one in existence now and we affirm as follows.
“Section 19, Sub section a (3) [says] that it is the turn of the Giesi Ruling House to present a candidate/candidates for the vacant stool of the Ooni of Ife Chieftaincy.”
Mr. Omisakin pleaded with the people of the town, as well as all religious bodies to maintain peace.
The other ruling houses are Osinkola, Ogboru, and Lafogido families who had at different times in the past produced the Ooni of Ife.
The declaration of the Kingmakers was long awaited after candidates from other ruling houses, including Ogboru ruling house, which produced the immediate-past Ooni, began to agitate for the stool.
The Giesi ruling house last produced an occupant to the position – Ooni Derin Ologbenla – between 1880 and 1894.
The other royal houses have also taken turns to produce Obas for the ancient town at various times.
The Ogboru lineage produced Oba Adelekan Olubuse I, who reigned between 1894 and 1910, with the Lafogido ruling house producing his successor, Oba Ademuluyi Ajagu (1910-1930).
Oba Sijuwade’s predecessor, Adesoji Aderemi, who reigned between 1930 and 1980, came from the Oshikola ruling house.
But the Adetipe family from the Amodo clan of the Ogboru ruling house curiously said it had already submitted an expression of interest for the Ooni stool, saying Oba Sijuwade’s time on the throne should not be counted for the Ogboru ruling house.
The development had raised the tempo of the contest for the traditional stool, with fears that getting a new traditional ruler for the ancient town might not be tension and crisis-free after all.