Down from the 119 applications from various families, 86 princes all from the Agunloye ruling house of Oyo have been shortlisted for the vacant stool of the Alaafin of Oyo.
The shortlist of only princes of Agunloye ruling house is in apparent compliance with a letter written by Director, Administration and General Services, Atiba local government area, Mr Ayoola A. A. to the head of princes in Oyo town, High Chief Mukaila Afonja.
The letter, dated August 9, 2022, had conveyed the approval of the state government for the commencement of administrative processes to fill the vacant stool.
Citing the existing chief laws of Oyo State and the Alaafin chieftaincy declaration, the letter directed the head of princes in Oyo to liaise with the Agunloye ruling house whereby crown princes shall emerge and dispatch the names to the Oyo Mesi, via the Basorun of Oyo, to screen and prune down the number of candidates.
Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, the head of Oyo princes, Afonja, affirmed that the names of the 86 princes, all from Agunloye family, had been forwarded to the Oyomesi for screening.
Afonja said this move was in alignment with the directive of the state government.
Afonja said the 86 princes will be continuously pruned down by the Oyomesi to a small number when the Ifa oracle will then be consulted to help in recommending the final choice for the Alaafin stool.
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A statement by the director of media and publicity to the Alaafin of Oyo Bode Durojaiye said the screening of the shortlisted princes will begin on Monday.
The statement said the princes will be screened 10 per day and would run till the 15th of September.
Prior to the commencement of screening, next Monday, the shortlisted princes are scheduled to attend a peace meeting at the Agbala Ogun Hall, in the Palace, on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Olawoyin family of Oyo has filed a suit at the High Court of Oyo State seeking an interim injunction restraining the defendants: state government, state governor, attorney general, commissioner for local government, head of Oyo princes, Basorun of Oyo and Oyomesi from taking further action towards filling the vacant Alaafin stool.
In the suit with number HOY/22/2022, the Olawoyin Atiba family is seeking an order of the court restraining the defendants from selecting/approving/installing any candidates from the two male lines of Alowolodu and Agunloye.
The Olawoyin Atiba family is arguing that Alaafin had alternated between the Alowolodu and Agunloye families to the exclusion of other male children of Alaafin Abiodun Atiba.