For now, the throne remains vacant. however, the battle for succession is getting more and more complicated and intriguing day by day, with the sides involved doing their best to outwit each other.
The demise of the last king on the throne, His Royal Highness, late Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru has indeed created a vacuum and the need for a successor. Sources revealed that the overwhelming pressure on those who are perceived to have the influence to sway things one way or the other, has been unprecedented.
A brief history down memory lane reveals that there are only three recognised Ruling Houses entitled to the Oniru Royal House. According to reports, the ruling houses include Abisogun, Akiogun and Ogunyemi Ruling Houses as stated in the aforesaid Declaration Made under the Customary Law Regulation Selection to the Oniru Chieftaincy of Lagos of 14th September, 1993 and approved by the then Executive Governor of Lagos State, Sir Michael Agbolade Otedola.
However, it is pertinent to dispel the unfounded rumor that the Oniru designate has already been picked. Until the Government of the day as led by his excellency, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu, has made a pronouncement in the affirmative as concerning their choice, all that is flying around now are just figments of the imagination of those peddling such.
According to a communique that was signed, released and published in ‘The Nation Newspaper’ of Saturday, December 7, 2019 on page 11, after a meeting of some sections of the ruling families, the said release acclaimed that they were members of the ruling house and that they had come together to support only the candidature of Prince Ajasa.
See the content of their published release below:
PUBLIC NOTICE ON BEHALF OF THE ABISOGUN RULING HOUSE OF THE ONIRU ROYAL FAMILY.
1) The General Public is hereby informed that the Abisogun Ruling House on the 5th if December, 2019 at Block 203, Amuwo Odofin Low Cost Housing Estate, Mile 2, Lagos, conducted an Election for the purpose of Electing a candidate from the Abisogun Ruling House to fill the vacant stool of Oba Oniru of Iruland.
2) Each of the four branches that make up the Abisogun Ruling House namely; Omowunmi, Omishade, Oresanya and Ewumi branches of the Abisogun Ruling House presented a candidate at the Election while the candidate for Oresanya branch voluntarily withdrew his candidature on the day of the Election.
3) The result of the aforesaid Election held to present a candidate from the Abisogun Ruling House is as follows; NAME OF CANDIDATE Chief Matthew Adekunle Akinwunmi (Omowunmi branch) Vote Scored 1 Barr. Teslim O. Giwa (Omishade branch) Vote Scored 1 Mr Hakeem Oriyomi Ajasa (Ewumi branch) Vote Scored 9 Chief Tajudeen Kushanu (Oresanya branch) Vote Scored Withdrew.
4) That in view of the Result of the Election, Mr Hakeem Oriyomi Ajasa of the Ewumi branch of the Abisogun Ruling House emerged as the candidate to be presented by the Abisogun Ruling House to fill the vacant stool of Oba Oniru of Iruland.
Dated the 6th day of December, 2019
14 (fourteen) people namely Abiodun Ajasa-Ewumi, Kabiru Oseni-Ewumi, Chief Solomon Isa-Ewumi, C Kashimawo Bello-Omishade, Hammed Oseni-Ewumi, Oniru Jide-Oresanya, Giwa Nurudeen-Omishade, Salau Saliu-Ewumi, Chief Tajudeen Kushanu-Omowumi, Chief Saliu Abisogun-Omowunmi, Adebiyi Muideen Abisogun-Omowunmi, Chief Wasiu Oginbambi-Omowunmi, Chief Biliaminu Abisogun-Omowunmi & one other person, now wrote their names and appended their signatures to the published document as witnesses to the meeting.
The publication was counter signed by the Oloris (heads) of the 4 branches, Chief Abdul Wasiu Ogunbambi Abisogun for Omowunmi branch, Mr. Kashimawo C. Bello for Omishade branch, Chief Tajudeen Kushanu for Oresanya branch and Chief Salawu Isa for the Ewumi branch and then further signed by the overall Head of the Abisogun Ruling House by name Chief Biliaminu Sanni Abisogun.
However, in a very swift manner, an immediate response allegedly came from the other side too in the battle to try to debunk and dispute what the other side had claimed had happened. In fact, they went further to also claim that their opponent, Prince Hakeem Ajasa might have employed coercion to get his desire done.
Read their statement below:
“FAKE NEWS BY A SECTION OF THE ABISOGUN RULING HOUSE
The public and all interested parties are put on notice of the kangaroo selection of a person unknown to the entire Oniru family to rule over their land and fill the currently vacant Oniru Chieftaincy stool. Whist news on the social media report that one Akeem Ajasa was selected by his ruling house as a candidate for the vacant stool, nothing can be further from the truth as the statutory, customary due process and formality were not followed in this kangaroo selection of this individual, working desperately with others, towards achieving their own selfish interest and putting the whole family (a family of honour) into disrepute.
“Being a policeman, we have information from reliable sources that Akeem Ajasa had harassed, intimidated and threatened other members of his ruling house. We also have information that under the table exchange of funds have taken place and the result of all these illegalities is the kangaroo selection. It does not accord with reasoning that only 6 to 8 men of an entire ruling house will make a decision that will affect the whole of the Oniru Royal Family and select a candidate for the vacant stool.
“Owing to the above, other cheated members of the Abisogun Ruling House have decided to do the needful to preserve the good name of Oniru Royal Family by distancing themselves from this propaganda and public show of disgrace by an individual (working together with his cronies) unknown to the Family. From time immemorial, no member of any royal family can impose himself on the community. The Oniru family which has been in existence for over 500 years, has lived together in peace and harmony.
“It is therefore quite unfortunate that one unknown individual using his public influence and position as a police officer, to harass and intimidate the other members of the Family, has now disunited the Family, all in the bid to become the next Oba. This completely goes against the customary heritage and values of the Oniru Family. The uncustomary selection of this individual has disrupted the unity that the past Obas of Iruland worked tirelessly in achieving.
“Akeem Ajasa (working in connivance with the Olori-Ebi of the Abisogun Ruling House, his supporters and cronies) is hereby advised against parading himself as the selected candidate for the vacant stool. Moreso, if Akeem AJasa has indeed been selected as a candidate for the vacant stool, he ought to have resigned his position as a police officer and properly put himself forward. In any event, it is very evident to all that there are enough check points and security measures in Iruland and in the unlikely event that the community requires additional policemen, they shall contact the Commissioner of Police in Lagos directly”.
With the above statement, it became obvious that the battle line had been drawn and that both camps had gone fully into full opposing camps ready for battle of any kind not willing to accept each others position.
Meanwhile, at the moment, indigenes of the Iruland wait with abated breathe on who will ascend the highly revered throne.