The Ogbomoso kingmakers on Friday began the process of performing the traditional rites on Prince Afolabi Olaoye as the new Soun of Ogbomoso.
Olaoye, a pastor and international businessman, arrived in Ogbomoso in the early hours of Friday to begin the process that will lead to his official installation.
Leading the kingmakers to perform the installation was the Areago of Ogbomoso, High Chief Sobalaje Otolorin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Otolorin proclaimed Olaoye as His Imperial Majesty Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye, the Orumogege III and the 30th Soun of Ogbomoso.
The position of Soun of Ogbomoso became vacant following the demise of Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III, in December 2021 at the age of 95 after reigning for 48 years.
Speaking on the development, the Mogaji of Laoye family, Prince Amos Olawole-Olaoye, said the new Soun is a recognised son of the family and entitled to the throne.
This pronouncement is however running against the argument of some that the new traditional ruler is not part of the process from the beginning.
NAN reports that the selection of a new Soun had since become a court issue.
The Chairman, Screening Committee for Laoye Ruling House in Ogbomoso, Abdulwahab Laoye, had said the family had not selected anybody to fill the vacant stool of Soun of Ogbomoso.
He dismissed as mere insinuations certain reports that someone had been selected.
Laoye said the ruling house had been dazed with the news that Ghandi Afolabi, who is a Pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), had been selected.
“We did not select Ghandi and he is not among the 11 the screening committee selected out of 23 applicants.
“We do not want the matter to degenerate to the level of litigations. We scheduled a meeting for Feb. 23 and invited the council to observe.
“The council, however, hijacked the process from us and added another seven people based on the claims that they equally obtained the expression of interest form, thereby raising the number of the applicants to 18.”
However, a statement by the Oyo State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Olusegun Olayiwola, in Ibadan on Saturday had said the announcement followed the long-drawn processes specified under the law.
Olayiwola said: “His Excellency congratulates the new Soun-elect on his ascension to the throne of his forebears.”
The commissioner said the position has placed the traditional ruler-elect in the position to facilitate harmony, understanding and tolerance amongst his people.
He urged all sons and daughters of the ancient city of Ogbomoso to work with the new Soun of Ogbomoso to consolidate the successes of his forefathers.
Meanwhile, Olawole-Olaoye, who spoke on behalf of the kingmakers, said they did not receive any court injunction restraining them from installing Olaoye as Soun of Ogbomoso.
NAN reports that the Oyo State High Court in Ogbomoso had on Thursday issued an injunction.
It restrained the Governor, the Attorney General of the State and the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters from installing Olaoye as Soun.
The court injunction also restrained government agents or officials from presenting any instrument of office in any form of ceremony or issuance of certificate of installation to Olaoye.
This, it said, should be until the final determination of the mandatory injunction already filed before the court.