The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), on Wednesday tasked Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to follow due process in the selection of the next Alaafin of Oyo.
Prof. Ishaq Akintola, Executive Director, MURIC, said this in a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday.
“There has been prolonged controversy over the right candidate to become the next Alaafin of Oyo since the demise of Oba Lamidi Adeyemi on April 22, 2022 at the age of 83.
“The authentic kingmakers of Oyo who are known as Oyomesi have kicked against the nomination of Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu who is 85 years old for lack of due process.
“A document published in various newspapers two days ago and signed by the seven Oyomesi revealed that the candidate duly selected by the rightful kingmakers of the ancient town is Prince Lukman Adelodun Gbadegesin.
“The Oyomesi group affirmed that it had forwarded the name of Prince Gbadegesin to the governor since Oct.4, 2022,” he said.
Akintola added: ”According to them, the Bashorun of Oyo, High Chief Yusuf Akinade Ayoola wrongfully picked another candidate, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu and filed a suit against them in court but he lost the case.
“This implies that the Alaafin throne has been vacant for almost one and a half years. We urge Makinde to make hay while the sun shines. It is now time to announce the name of the candidate picked by the Oyomesi and backed by the court’s pronouncement.
“Archbishop Ladigbolu’s attempt to come through the backdoor to the throne of the Alaafin of Oyo is illegal, illegitimate, unlawful and unconstitutional.
”Communal clashes which claim hundreds of lives and destroy properties worth billions of naira will be avoided if state governors respect the rule of law and follow due process. Vested interest from official circles in matters relating to tradition often end in tragedies.
“Tongues are wagging, not only in Oyo town but in the whole state as well as in the whole South West. This time around, Makinde has to prove that the label given to him as the governor who likes to install Christians only as Yoruba kings is unsuitable for him.”
“This year alone, it happened in Ogbomosho where a Redeemed Church pastor, Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye, was crowned as king and in Iseyin where another pastor, David Olawale Oyebola has emerged the Aseyin.
“As a peace-loving and dialogue-inclined human rights organization, MURIC urges the state governor to allow the choice of the authentic kingmakers of Oyo town to prevail by announcing Prince Lukman Adelodun Gbadegesin as the next Alaafin of Oyo without any delay.”