Olowu Stool: Trouble Brews Over Inclusion Of Arch Bishop Among Contestants

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Since the 30 delegates of OTILETA ROYAL RULING HOUSE whose turn it is to produce the next Olowu of Owu kingdom in Ogun State concluded their nomination assignment on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, reactions have trailed the exercise.

Many of the contestants are querying why an Archbishop of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Ogun State, Dr Adegbemi Adewale, a principal character among those who drafted the guidelines for the selection process, suddenly threw his hat into the ring.

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As news filtered outside the ruling house on the list sent to the kingmakers, questions are being asked on morals behind the method adopted by the Methodist contestant. Some are arguing over compatibility of deep traditional institution and divine call.

Many members of the Diocese could not come to terms with the stand of their revered leader which has drawn the church into an avoidable controversy.

Many asked if an Alhaji or chief Imam would aspire to the position of kingship. Some queried how and why a man of God should be involved in preparing the selection template in the first instance knowing that he would be a contestant.

The ruling house had last week nominated seven princes as candidates for the next Olowu of Owu.

The nomination for the Olowu stool is coming three months after the stool became vacant, following the demise of the Late Oba Adegboyega Dosumu, who joined his ancestors on December 12, 2021.

Our correspondent gathered that seven of the screened 12 princes were chosen from five compounds that make up the Otileta Ruling House.

They are: An Archbishop of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Ogun State, Dr Adegbemi Adewale, (Ile Aderinoye); Adelani Oladimeji (Ile Omoleefon); Matemilola Adelola and Olatidoye Olaniyi from Ile Soke.

Others are Princes Adeyanju Bakinson (Ile Otopo); Abiodun Obadayo Soyele (Ile Lumosa) and Adesina Adelani (Ile Soke).

Though no voting was done during the screening by delegates, it was gathered that scores were awarded based on performances of each of the candidates at the screening and interview sessions.

According to the results sheet under contention, Prince Adegbemi Adewale came first with 1,027 points; Prince Adelani Oladimeji, 909; Matemilola Adelola, 886, while Prince Olatidoye Olaniyi scored 863 points.

Also, Prince Adeyanju Bakinson got 862 points; Abiodun Obadayo Soyele, 827, and Adesina Adelani, 801.

Many have queried that the system adopted was not transparent as it was full of scheming which put Archbishop Adewale at a disadvantageous position.

One of the elders argued: “It is in fact, morally wrong for someone who, to all intents and purposes, drafted the guidelines and template used for the selection process to now present himself as a contestant.

“It can only be likened to a situation where an examiner decides to sit for an examination which questions, he assisted in preparing.

“Without circumscribing the Aderinoye compound’s candidate’s full rights to be a contestant to the Owu throne, the equitable thing would have been for him, knowing fully well that he will be a contestant, to have refrained from being directly involved in the Otileta Dynasty Elders’ meetings. This has obviously conferred on him an undue advantage over the other contestants and which in turn diminishes his current lead on the score sheets despite his eminent credentials and antecedents.”

Another elder in the house who was accused of highhandedness also pointed accusing fingers at the Methodist Archbishop who was involved in drawing the selection template and later turned out to be a contestant.

She lamented: “Aderinoye’s candidate can be considered as our mentor in all Otileta elders forum. In fact, Aderinoye’s candidate championed and was the one that drafted the guidelines used for the selection of candidates, the visits to Balogun of Owu Kingdom was arranged by him.

“His opinions were highly respected by me than all others at our various meetings, without any inkling that he also wanted to contest for Olowu’s throne! Some members must have known but I never suspected. Hence, seeing him as a candidate on Tuesday 8th of March 2022 was a great shock to me!

 “Every unrighteousness is a sin. None of the other candidates attended our meetings or took part in the decision making except him.

“And all the other six candidates were rated well on merit, without any bias or ill feeling.”

She, however, hoped the kingmakers will apply their own criteria for the final selection of the Olowu of Owu kingdom.

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