Anxiety engulfs Kwara town, as crisis looms over royal stool


..Indigenes ask Gov Abdul Rahman to order fresh selection process

By Tunde Opalana

An appeal has gone to the governor of Kwara State, Dr. Abdulrazaq Abdul Rahman to save the people of Erin Ile in Young Local Government area of the state from imminent crisis over the kingship tussle for the Elerin royal stool.

Sunday Times gathered that there is palpable tension in the peaceful town over the process of selecting a successor to the late Elerin of Erin Ile, Oba Abdulganiy Ajibola Ibrahim, Olusokun II who died in May, 2023 after a brief illness.

The Elerin of Erin Ile, according to history, is a first class traditional monarch in Kwara State.

The battle for the new Elerin of Erin ile started immediately after the 40 days Fridau prayers for the repose of the soul of the departed Oba.

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It was gathered that 29 candidates from various royal families in the town aspired to the royal stool to which they made a financial commitment of N1.5 million in collection of nomination form.

Findings revealed that at the date of exit of the late Elerin, only two out of about 14 traditional title holders (the high Chiefs) who are Afobajes (the King makers) were available. This,bit was said, created a set back in the nomination process.

This prompted the leadership of the community under the umbrella of Erin Ile Progressive Union, (EPU) National Headquarters, led by Dr. Kolapo Usman to kick- started process of bringing on board other king makers.

The process culminated in the nomination of Chief Essa, Chief Osolo and Chief Jagun of Erin ile by their families and their names were subsequently sent to the State Government as Afobajes ( the King makers) to select the new Elerin.

This was not without controversies as few families raise alarms that they are also rightfully Afobajes of Erin ile. The first family to protest was High Chief Inurin family of Erin ile. followed by The High Chief Odofin of Erin ile. The duo reaffirmed their important roles in selection of any Elerin of Erin ile, and wonder why this particular process will exclude them.

Sunday Times was reliably informed that the EPU National President was able to appeal to the two families to allow the process while promising them that the new King shall correct all the wrongs.

After a while, the State Government recognised the five Afobajes to continue with the process. They are: Chief Lateef Busari, Chief Essa of Erin Ile, Chief Abdulazeez, Chief Osolo of Erin Ile, Chief Amusat Shittu, Chief Ojomu of Erin Ile, Chief Muraina Elemon as Chief Elemon of Erin Ile and Chief Yakeen Jagun, Chief Jagun of Erin ile.

After the disagreement to agree of the Afobajes, they call for all interested candidates to signify their intentions, by expression of interest and picking a nomination form from Aganju Essa.

With the EPU’s intervention, the deadline for picking of nomination firm was extended to enable more aspirant come on board.

A letter to that effect written by the EPU President made available to the Daily Times read “From the Office of EPU President**Important Notice

Dear All, my sincere greetings to our good people of Erin-ile.

“As you may be aware the Council of King Makers (AFOBAJE) of Erin-ile has been constituted and approved by the state government. The Committee has started the process of selecting the new ELERIN OF ERIN-ILE and will soon conclude the process. We pray to God to guide them and lead them right.

“In the spirit of not leaving any one behind and giving every eligible person equal opportunity to express their interest in vying for the position of the Elerin, the Committee has requested me to inform you all, that all bona fide (Prince of Erin-ile) that are interested in vying for the position and have not indicated their Expression of Interest (EOI) before now, today, Monday the 19th of February 2024, are given the opportunity of 14 days from today to indicate their interest before the Kingmakers and also be ready to appear physically before the Kingmakers within this same 14 days of grace given.

“For further information and actions contact the office of the Kingmakers – 08033651976 OR 08069002226 OR 08059690401

Please circulate widely within Erin-ile Community- home and the diaspora.

“Usman Maruf Kolapo

National President, Erin-ile Progressive Union


After the close of date, close to 30 candidates were interviewed. Some prominent among them are

  1. Barrister Muideen Bello, Ilorin Based Lawyer
  2. Prof. Yekeen Wale Tiamiyu, a Vetenary Professor.
  3. Prince Akinloye Omokanye, a USA based Agriculturalist.
  4. Alhaji Rauf Aroyehun, a Kano based business man.
  5. Prince ADEOLA Omorinoye, international business man.
  6. Mr. Mashood Castro security expert.
  7. Prince Yemi AbdulSalam, a Lagos business man
  8. Adewale Omorinoye, a business man
  9. Tajudeen Mohammed, a former Eko Hotel staff
  10. Jimoh Adesoye (Ferguson ) from USA
  11. Alhaji AbdulRasheed Ijandunola, Abuja based Business man
  12. Prince Wale Popoola, a USA based business man
  13. Alhaji Abdulfatai Adebisi ( Fertilizer) Erin ile based business man
  14. And about 15 others obtained forms and went for the interview.

Genesis of Crisis

It was learnt that surprisingly, an over 75 years old Mr Jimoh Adesoye (Ferguson) from the USA was alleged to have been nominated by the Afobajes in the names of shortlisted candidates sent to the State Governor.

The three names shortlisted by the Afobajes are; Mr. Jimoh Adesoye (Ferguson) a 76 year old American based, Alhaji Rauf Usman Aroyehun, a 57 year old Kano based business man and Mr Adewale Omorinoye, about 40year old business man.

Sunday Times learnt when the news of his selection filtered to the hearing of majority indigenes, there was indifference as Mr Adesoye was said to have been enjoying the support of few powerful clique in Erin Ile, two of which are retired military officers, believed to have a huge influence in government circle.

There is insinuation that Mr. Adesoye is not only unpopular, but “completely a stranger to the community” and some royal families including his own disowned him.

He was said to be.more of a Ghanaian than being from Erin ile because his mother is from Ghana and that he speak Ghanian language fluently than Yoruba, a language he was alleged to only struggle to speak.

The grouse of the community against the entire process as contained in a statement by Concerned Erin Ile Indigenes include the following; “that the shortlisted candidates are not the popular candidates in town, in terms of their integrity, acceptability and antecedents

“The royal families in Erin Ile have jointly rejected Mr. Jimoh Adesoye Ferguson as one of them, the authentic family members that has all rights to the Elerin’s throne.

“A large section of the community saw a 76 old man as too old for the job. And that the person in question, doesn’t know anything about the communities. He speaks Ghana language fluently, while always struggled to speak Erin ile language . He is more of a Ghanaian, his mother’s country home than someone from Erin ile.

“The choice is solely that of two retired Military personnel and an Ilorin based APC Chieftain. They used their relationship as in laws and cousin to Chief Essa and Osolo of Erin Ile to influence the Afobajes to doctor the list in favour of their own candidate. Mr Jimoh Adesoye Ferguson

Meanwhile, a prominent politician and senatorial aspirant from the town who do not want his name in print said “crisis is brewing as the majority of the Erin ile community are bracing up for a show down should the State Governor approve the appointment of an unpopular candidate as the new Elerin of Erin ile.

“Majority are calling on Governor Abdulrasaq to shun few individuals who are not popular in Erin ile and trying to impose another unpopular man as the new King.

A prince whose family in also laying claim to the royal stool, Prince Joel Omokanye told Daily Times in a telephone interview that the appeal of majority of the people of Erin Ile is that

Governor Abdul Rahman should save Erin ile from imminent danger ahead, by instructing the Afobajes to review their actions and come up with names of more credible and generally acceptable candidates as the new Elerin of Erin ile.

He expressed shock by claims in some quarters within the town that the King makers sabotaged the process by not consulting the oracle.

“The process is that the Omo Osu Oba, the king makers should go through the oracle in the process of selecting a new Oba but it is surprising to hear that they picked without going through the oracle.

“I am a prince as well. We have not had any crisis in Obaship selection before now and we do not pray for crisis, hence every necessary thing need to be done and property done to avert crisis.

“The Governor should look well into the matter before making any appointment that may result in chaos.”

Sunday Times spoke with another royal blood, Prince Afolabi Omorinoye who categorically stated that “the Afobajes (king makers ) want to destroy the ancient tradition of this town”

Prince Omorinoye who is from Mogudu ruling house said in Yorubaland, a stranger is not allowed to the royal stool. He added that Mr. Adesoye is not a member of the Mogudu royal family.

“History does not link us with him and his name should be dropped to avert crisis.

“Erin Ile royalty transition has been peaceful before now, and we don’t want crisis. The Governor should not allow the decision to stay.”

Another prince, Razak Taiwo said though the shortlisted name seems to be in the realm of rumour which he said should be cleared this week.

“But in the midst of rumour may lie the truth

“Clearing the rumoured shortlisting will avert crisis because there is already tension in our town,” he said.

But Prince Taiwo viewed Adesoye’s maternity linkage with Ghana as none issue. He said there is not nothing wrong in being born by a non- indigenous mother.

He said “the Erin Ile custom is that of paternal one. It is the father’s citizenship that determines where a child belongs. We are on paternal line, we from Ile Ife and it is the father that own the child not the mother”.

On the selection of Adesoye, he said it is left for the king makers to prove that they have done the right thing according to tradition.

“It is the duty of the Afobajes to consult the oracle . If he is the one the oracle picked, good and fine but if they doctored the process, the repercussions is in their heads and that of their generations”.

“Our appeal is Governor Abdulrazaq Abdul Rahman to critically look into the demand of the people of Erin Ile. He should order a fresh process which will include more king makers to allow for a credible process.

“The Governor should allow himself to be overwhelmed by the closeness of a few individuals who are backing the illegality of propping up Mr. Adesoye as a candidate to the Elerin stool.

“A stitch in time saves nine. Time is ticking, Erin Ile should be saved from avoidable crisis,” said the senatorial aspirant.

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