Vanguard met the Chief Priest of Ile Ife, Chief Olajide Farotimi Faloba, who gave stated how the next paramount traditional ruler of the ancient Ile-ife would be chosen, peradventure Oba Olubuse has joined his ancestors.“
Vanguard investigations have revealed that the next Ooni would emerge out of the four ruling houses that could be crowned Ooni after the chief priest might have consulted the Ifa oracle.“
According to the Obadio Agbaye of Ile-Ife, the chief priest, Chief Olajide Farotimi Faloba, “I am the Chief priest and the king-maker to the Ooni stool because I am the mouthpiece of the gods. So, if there should be coronation, I will be the one that will pronounce it.“
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“There are 401 Yoruba deities and temples scattered worldwide, 201 of them are in Ife. Among these deities, the only speaking one is the legendary living Ooni.“”If it happens that an Ooni dies, there are sacrifices and signs that will be performed. Part of them is the closing of the palace main gate. Also, the messenger will go around the town with a gong to announce the demise, while the trees in the ancient town will be cut down, markets will remain shut to customers and the entire Ife city will be thrown into mourning.“
“There will not be any form of ceremony of burial while other traditional rites and rituals will take place as the oracle reveals.
”Also, if an Ooni dies, the 201 deities temples will be duly informed.”“On the selection processes of the next Ooni , the chief priest said the kingmakers would pick one person from all Ife Princes that show interest in the stool and Ifa oracle would be consulted on the choice before the final ratification by the chief priest.“It was gathered that there are four ruling houses that could be enthroned as the Ooni of Ife and they are: Osinkola, Ogboru, Lafogido and Giesi.“
He added that before presenting to the public, the new Ooni may have to spend some days in Ile Oduduwa which housed the first Ooni and other past Ooni with the priests when other rituals would be performed.“
“When ever there is a demise of Ooni, the kingmaker and the Ifa Oracle will pick the next Ooni. 10 or 20 princes may contest after they might have been presented by their families, but the Ifa priest will consult the oracle that will choose while myself as the kingmaker will perform the necessary rituals that will certify him to mount the throne of Ooni; without this rituals, such potential monarch would not be Ooni,” the priest said.“
Yoruba has a rich tradition. The age-long culture gives form, content and predictability to the beliefs of its people. The custom has been inherited from generation to generation. The symbol of the unity of the race is kingship. Its cradle is Ile-Ife, the cherished sacred abode of its progenitor, Oduduwa.“
Whenever any Owooni (Ooni) Adimula joins his ancestors, the news is not broken without following the due process of culture. Ooni is the property of Yoruba race. He is the custodian of the household of Oduduwa, its shrine and the protector of its legacies.
Therefore, it is absolutely a taboo for any prince, royal family and palace chiefs to break the news without clearance or approval from the appropriate traditional quarters.“
After ascertaining that the Ooni has waja (died), the palace chiefs are expected to inform the other Oduduwa children, especially the Alaafin, the descendant of Oranmiyan Akinorun, the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, the Oba of Benin, the Onipopo of Popo, the Onisabe of Sabe, and the Owa Obokun Adimula.“
The news would also be broken to other towns and vassal towns. Days of mourning will be declared. The attention of the towns and villages will focus on Ile-Ife, the Orirun, where their kings obtained their legitimate crowns.“In ancient times, a celebration will be proclaimed, with its characteristic visitation to the cradle by monarchs, accompanied by their chiefs and families. The palace chiefs will play dominant roles during the burial ceremony. They will also play dominant roles during the selection of a new prince for the prestigious throne.“After the new Ooni is crowned, Yoruba monarchs will accord him automatic recognition and respect. He may visit selected palaces of his brother obas in the spirit of brotherhood. As a prince, the history of the race must be on his lip. He is expected to be factual. In the days of yore, the Ooni was the custodian of knowledge.
Thus, during the early days of colonial era, Owooni Derin Ologbenla, the Ooni of Ife, who doubled as the Baale of Oke-Igbo, was the only son of Oduduwa, whose testimony could be trusted when the foreigners were trying to resolve the rift between the Awujale of Ijebuland and the Epe monarch over land.
The Ooni declared that Epe and Ikorodu were extension of Ijebuland. His evidence was upheld by the British.“