No fewer than 35 princes from the four ruling houses in Ile-Ife are now jostling for the vacant stool of the Ooni of Ife.
For instance, the Giesi Ruling House which claims it is its turn to produce the next traditional ruler for Ile-Ife after the demise of Oba Okunade Sijuwade at the weekend set in motion plans to present qualified persons to the king-makers.
The ruling house according to usually reliable sources met on Saturday at the family compound at Agbedede lane in Ile-Ife to receive the report of its Selection Screening Committee.
It was gathered that the committee with Prince Ropo Ogunwusi as the Chairman and Prince Kehinde Ogunwusi as secretary submitted its report to the Head of the family, Prince Modupe Fadehan.
According to the source, notable among those considered as top contenders for the vacant throne are Princes Aderemi Adeniran Alani Adelowo, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Taye Ogunleye, Adegboyega Ologbenla and Gbadegesin Ologbenla.
Others are Princes Adetunji Adeyemi Ogunwusi, Bankola Ojulalayo Adediwura, Adegboyega Adedira, Olajide Adejoba, Adetona Sikiru Ayedun, Ademoyowa Omomadelo and Adegoke Adeyemo.
A competent source who attended the meeting told newsmen that, “Well, that is a good development for us and we are sure that the right person will be picked as the Ooni. This is the normal process and we know it won’t cause disaffection.
“The normal thing is that the Ruling House will send names of qualified candidates to the kingmakers. For instance, the Ogboru family sent 14 names out of which late Oba Sijuwade emerged”, the source added.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the ruling house may receive the official letter from the local government calling for names of candidates for the Ooni’s throne.