Afaction of the Oyo kingmakers, Oyo Mesi, has stated that Governor Seyi Makinde had not approved the nominee forwarded as the next Alaafin of Oyo town, citing failure to comply with due process.
The faction stated this in a release sent to SaharaReporters on Tuesday, which was jointly signed by High Chief Agbaakin of Oyo, Asimiyu Atanda, High Chief Samu of Oyo, Lamidi Oyewale and Baale Ajagba, Odurinde Olusegun.
They also addressed journalists in Oyo town, saying the process that led to the selection of a particular nominee was fraught with irregularities.
Titled: “Statement Issued By A Section Of The Oyomesi/Kingmakers. Response To The Statement Credited To The Basorun Of Oyo,” the Kingmakers stated that it was wrong for Basorun to unilaterally co-opt warrant officers into the council without the consent of other lawmakers and the approval of the Local Government authority and the state governor.
They said, “There are five living members of the Oyo Mesi and there are two warrant Chiefs eligible to nominate/recommend a nominee to the Governor of the state for appointment as the Alaafin. The kingmakers met only once in 2022 with the following members of the kingmakers in attendance, Basorun, Agbaakin, Samu, Akinniku, Lagunna (Oyomesi) joined by Aare Ago Basorun and Alapo (both warrant Chiefs unilaterally selected by Basorun without knowledge or consent of the Oyo Mesi).
“As a matter of fact, one of the contestants wrote a letter of protest questioning the inclusion of the warrant Chiefs in the kingmaker’s council. It was at the meeting of this ill constituted seven-member kingmakers first meeting that, a nominee for the office of the Alaafin was sent to the government for endorsement.
“Immediately after submitting our nomination, we got the government response that our nomination could not be accepted because we did not follow due process in coming to our resolution. The government directed that we should go back and do our work properly in accordance with the declaration. It was also discovered that one of the warrant Chiefs (handpicked by Basorun) (who participated in our earlier resolution was replaced with Alajagba)
“We were directed to meet and follow Due Process. Unfortunately, the Basorun who is chairman and convener of our meetings decided not to convene any meeting of the Oyo Mesi since late last year to the present moment. The new member of the kingmakers (Alajagba) has been denied the opportunity to participate in or contribute to the resolutions of the kingmakers since his official appointment in 2022 on account of the blunt refusal of the Basorun to comply with the directive of Government for Due Process in our task of recommending of a nominee to the government
“About seven months ago, during an official visit to Oyo, the Governor held a meeting with the Oyo Mesi and specifically told us of the Government decision that Due Process must be followed in the nomination of a candidate for the Alaafin stool. He instructed us to do our duty freely because the government is only interested in the best for Oyo and Yorubaland
“Regrettably, Basorun remained adamant and no meeting of the kingmakers was convened to deliberate on the major issue of nomination or selection of candidate for the stool of the Alaafin. Recently, the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs invited the kingmakers to a meeting in his office. Some of us honoured the invitation but Basorun and others refused to honour the invitation from the Commissioner.”
They, therefore, opposed Basorun’s “disregard for due process” and his continuing imposition of one of his handpicked chiefs (Aare Ago Basorun) as a Warrant Chief whose letter of appointment was questionable.
“We are ready to meet with other kingmakers to perform our legitimate duties in accordance with our tradition, custom, and law of the land,” they declared.