The family of Justice Mofoye Oyetunde of Ile Aremo, Ogbomoso has described the alleged exclusion of Dr Oyebode Oyetunde from contesting to become the next Soun of Ogbomoso as unfair.
Dr Usman Akano, who described himself as Oyetunde’s cousin, said the 45-year-old prince, who is an Executive Director of the African Development Bank is qualified to succeed Oba Oladunni Oyewumi, who died on December 12, 2021 at the age of 95 after reigning for almost 48 years.
Speaking in an interview with our correspondent on Sunday, Akano called on Governor Seyi Makinde and the local government authority to ensure that the law guiding the selection of new Soun is followed and none of the qualified princes should be excluded.
Akano said the governor should order that a fresh selection should be done and should ensure that the law is strictly followed to avoid rancour.
He said, “Dr Oyebode Oyetunde is a prince from the Ile Aremo which is a ruling family in the Laoye Ruling House. But he was prevented from contesting despite that it is the turn of Ile Aremo to produce the next Soun of Ogbomoso.
“By the time Dr Oyebode Oyetunde asked for the form, they told him it was over. That is unfair.”
He said the Head of Laoye Ruling House, Alhaji Wahab Oyetunde, told the AfDB director that the forms have been exhausted but alleged that the same forms were sold to some contestants who applied after him.
He added, “The Redeemed Christian of God Pastor, Ghandi, is not even from Ile Aremo whose turn it is to produce the next Soun.
“What we are contesting now is the improper way the selection has been done. They (the family and the kingmakers) did not follow what the law says.
“What the law says is that just one name should be sent by the ruling house to the kingmakers but that is not what they did.
“Although, we are not interested in court case, we don’t want it to get to that. We want to resolve it internally.
“The local government and the state government must ensure that the law is followed and nobody should be excluded.”
Another relative supporting the AfDB boss, Dr Aliu Akano, also faulted the selection process, saying the law was not followed and Oyetunde should not be excluded.
He said the Chiefs Law, 1957 of the Customary Law regulating the selection to the Soun Chieftaincy states that one candidate should be sent to the kingmakers at a time for screening and if the candidate is rejected, another will be sent until the kingmakers find a suitable candidate.
Quoting the law, he said, “The kingmakers shall call on the family whose turn it is to produce a candidate; if the candidate is suitable they install him by native custom.
“If the candidate is not suitable, they send back to the family to produce another candidate and so on until a suitable candidate is produced.
“In case of dispute among the kingmakers, decision shall be made by majority of votes and in case of a tie, the chairman shall have a casting vote.”