Crisis has hit the selection process to fill the vacant stool of the Olowu of Owu Kingdom in Abeokuta, Ogun State, as two royal families have cautioned Governor Dapo Abiodun against the appointment of Prince Saka Matemilola as a candidate for the stool.
A Prince, Tajudeen Adelani, and a Princess, Aminat Adesina, from two royal families, have separately petitioned the Ogun State Government, warning against the appointment of Matemilola as the Olowu of Owu as they described him as a non-indigene of the Owu kingdom.
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Adelani is a representative of Ile Omoleefon, one of the compounds that make up Otileta Ruling House, which is next in line to the throne, while the female petitioner, Adesina is the secretary of the Aderinoye compound in the same ruling House.
Besides, the Lumosa family, also in the Otileta Ruling House, had warned kingmakers against politicising the selection process of the next Olowu.
Daily Trust reports that Matemilola is one of the seven princes screened by the Owu kingmakers led by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday 30th March 2022.
The seven candidates include an Archbishop of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Dr Adegbemi Adewale, who holds a doctoral degree in African law from the University of Ibadan; Prince Adelani Oladimeji, who is a registered Town Planner; Dr Saka Matemilola, a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers with a Doctoral Degree from the University of Cambridge; and Olatidoye Olaniyi, a Retired Permanent Secretary in the Ogun State Civil Service.
Others are Prince Adeyanju Bakinson, a Registered Town Planner; Simeon Soyele, a veteran journalist; and Adesina Adelani, a Project Management Consultant.
Obasanjo, who is the Balogun of Owu, on March 30, led other Kingmakers in a seven-hour statutory selection process which should produce the next Olowu of Owu Kingdom.
At the end of the screening, it was gathered that the kingmakers had forwarded their report to Governor Dapo Abiodun, who is expected to announce the next Olowu of Owu Kingdom.
However, two petitioners from the royal families have asked Governor Abiodun and Obasanjo-led kingmakers to be wary of appointing a “non-indigene” as the next Olowu of Owu kingdom.
Adelani and Adesina, in their separate petitions to the Ministries of Justice, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, said Matemilola “is a native of Ibadan in Ibadan North East Local Government Area of Oyo State”, making him ineligible to the throne of the Olowu.
They insisted that the candidate had alluded to his Ibadan indigeneship in an affidavit he swore to dated May 15, 2000, at the High Court Registry, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Photocopies of the affidavit attached to the separate petitions as acknowledged by both Ministries of Justice, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs were obtained by our correspondent in Abeokuta.
However, in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Sunday, Matemilola described the affidavit he swore to, as “correct and consistent.”
He, however, declined further comment on his alleged non-indigene of the Owu kingdom.
He said, “What I am saying is that the affidavit is absolutely correct and consistent and I also have a birth certificate to it, which shows I was born in Ibadan. So, just check the consistency of that, check the meaning of the word ‘native’ as opposed to the word ‘indigene,’ then do your story. Apart from that, no other reaction from me.’
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