The controversy surrounding the selection of the new Second-in-Command to the Ooni of Ife caused rancour among the supporters of the ten contenders from the Aga ruling house of Ile-Ife on Sunday.
It would be recalled that the position became vacant sequel to the death of the late Obalufe of Ile-Ife, Oba Solomon Omisakin.
According to tradition, the Obalufe is the traditional ruler of Iremo in Ile-Ife; head of Ife king-makers and next to the Ooni in hierarchy.
To fill the vacant post, a committee headed by Comrade Ayoola Olafiranye was inaugurated as a part of the process of selecting a new Obalufe.
Shortly after its inauguration, our correspondent gathered that the Olafinranye Committee invited all the 10 aspirants for screening.
But some of the contenders accused the Committee of planning to announce the name of an aspirant called Elu Abayomi.
According to them, Abayomi was not even qualified to contest, because he allegedly hailed from a female lineage.
In order to make their agitation known, supporters of the complaining contenders threatened to shut down the town, if Abayomi was announced as alleged.
A traditional ruler in Ife, Chief Atimi Bada, Logun Apata of Ile-Ife, explained that the contenders for the vacant stool of the Obalufe must come from male lineage.
He said, “This rancour would not have arisen had the Committee done the right thing; in a transparent manner. We all know that the female lineage can contest only if there was no competent person from the male lineage.
“But in this situation, there are nine contenders from male lineage, yet, the Committee attempts to pick the only one person that came out from the female lineage. That won’t be right.”
Olafiranye said he would prefer not to speak on the outcome of the screening of the aspirants.
“What else can I say when they have already rubbished everything we did and they have dissolved the Committee when we have not even presented the reports of our findings to the ruling family. I cannot say anything on the issue,” Olafiranye said.
Also, Head of the Ruling House, Chief Bello Adiyeloja suggested that the dissolution of the Committee to prevent avoidable trouble in the town.
“Given the current situation at the stage of the selection process of the Obalufe, I have directed that the Committee should be dissolved and we will take the appropriate step subsequently. We will ensure the emergence of our new monarch without bloodshed in Ife,” he added.