Kingmakers in the Ifon community in the Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State have told one of the contestants to the town’s vacant stool, Prince Adelanke Odogiyon, to stop parading himself as Olufon-elect contrary to their unanimous decision.
They also appealed to Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of the state to allow transparency and fairness to take due course in selecting the stool of the community that became vacant following the death of Oba Israel Adeusi, who passed away in November 2020.
Speaking with journalists at Ifon, Town Hall, and Ifon on Friday, the Secretary of the Community Council, Chief Peter Falowo, said the governor should not concede to anybody’s move to lure him into illegality in choosing the next king for the community.
He said, “It will be recalled that on the 13th of March 2022, the Ifon kingmakers were called upon to consider the nomination of Prince Adelanke Adetoyese Odigiyon, who happens to be the sole candidate of the Umuagba Ruling House that the Ondo State Government requested to nominate a candidate or candidates for the Olufon vacant stool.
“At the end of the exercise and in line with the customs and traditions of Ifon town, the nomination of Prince Adelanke Adetoyese Odogiyon was rejected by 10 out of 13 kingmakers.
“We wasted no time in making our position on the matter known to the state government through a letter. We were left with no other nominee from the Umuagba Family that had to be assessed by us as we were restricted to the assessment of a sole candidate who had no alternative from the Umuagba ruling house.
“The rejection had been going around the community boasting that the newly inaugurated governor would announce him as the Olufon-elect without a proper selection process. On this note, we want to appeal to our governor never to allow any desperate individual lure him into some illegal activities that are alone to the custom and traditions of Ifon town,” he stated.
According to him, Ifon’s Obaship matter is a sensitive one that has to be handled with caution so that the community will not be dragged into some avoidable crises due to noticeable foul plays in the selection process.
He insisted that the rejection of the sole candidate by the kingmakers was an act that was irreversible based on the customs and traditions of the town.
The secretary said that the kingmakers were waiting patiently for the state government’s directives on the next line of action, stressing that the community was determined to get the Olufon vacant stool filled without further delay.
However, Prince Odogiyon, in a reaction, denied the allegation, saying he never paraded himself as a king, but the Ruling House had already picked him as the candidate for the stool.
He said, “The ball is in their court. The government has written to the Umaugba Ruling House to present a candidate, and the Umaugba Ruling House met over one and a half years ago and picked me as a candidate.
“If the people are asking for a king and are ready, we have done our part. The government has not chosen me; it’s my family who has chosen me.”