Kingmakers, known as the “Afobajes” in Ijare, have justified their stance that only four candidates have been divinely selected through the traditional Ifa Divination rites, which is a one-time process customary to the people of the Kingdom. They urge the state government to take appropriate steps to avert deepening crises in the community.
Speaking to journalists today, High Chief Ajisafe Oladimeji, the Elejoka of Ijare Kingdom, stated that a total of 13 names were submitted by the ruling house. After going through the divination rites, only six candidates passed the process.
High Chief Oladimeji emphasized the need to maintain the sanctity of the custom and proceed with the selection process for the four candidates still alive out of the selected six. He urged Barr. Wemimo Olaniran, the Sapetu of Ijare Kingdom, alleged to be at the center of the lingering crises, to embrace peace, bow to the will of the people, and uphold the tradition of the land.
High Chief Olujola Kehinde Joshua, the Balou of Ijare Kingdom, reiterated the dangers of thwarting the customary way of selection. He alleged that the Sapetu has been withholding information and acting alone where there is a need for joint decision-making.
Hon. Alex Oladimeji, the former LG chairman, clarified the issues with the approval process, highlighting the importance of resolving the disaffection between Sapetu and other kingmakers for a peaceful transition.
“I initially didn’t want to pay attention to the matter until the Area Commander invited all of us and it was there we got to understand that Ifa divination picked 6 and rejected 7. Also that it was while opening the envelopes that Chief Sapetu discovered his candidate was not picked and to cover up for his candidate, he quickly used his power to gather both the rejected and the divinely accepted candidates and single handedly sent those names without the consent of others since they did not agree to voting on the initial 13 aspirants”.
“Even those Chiefs he has with him confirmed to everybody there that Ifa divination picked those 6 candidates and we have it on record. They said it to his face and it was there and then, we all knew that it was Chief Sapetu that has been manipulating the process”
“The argument then was if he knew he was not going to obey the divination of Ifa, why did he do it?, Hon. Oladimeji further queried.
Mr. Ajidahun Abraham, speaking on behalf of the youths, called for concerted efforts and cautioned kingmakers to adhere strictly to the ancient community’s customs to avoid the imposition of a wrong candidate.
“We don’t want election when the proper thing has not been done. If not for our timely intervention last year, we would have been celebrating a year in office for a wrong candidate by now”, he added.
The press briefing also included inputs from High Chief Olowookere Josiah, the Emila of Ijare, High Chief Elemo Oladapo Babtunde, and High Chief Ojumu Adelugba, all unanimous in their decision to obey the customs and tradition of Ijare Kingdom on Obaship.