By Ayodeji Odeyele
Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse
In traditional Yoruba society, the leader of an Ilu (town or society) is the Oba (king), the leader of smaller villages is the Baale, while the leader of a compound is called Olori Ile. The choice of who governs at these various levels is done through democratic means. The choice of the Baale and the Olori Ile is mostly based on age and prominence in the ancestral tree of the village or compound, and each has a number of royal families among which the Oba is chosen.
Furthermore, when there is a vacant stool, candidates for Obaship would emerge from the royal families. As soon as they emerge, they are all treated as equal candidates to the stool after which they are subjected to the same rules and treatment with the final choice of an Oba made by the Kingmakers in consultation with the Ifa oracle. For example, in Oyo, the Alaafin was elected from a number of candidates linked by royalty by a King-making body called the Oyomesi which consists of seven councillors of society [also done in other paramount Yoruba traditional societies and in Ile-Ife, the primordial or spiritual capital of the Yoruba].
The Ooni also emerges from among members of the ruling houses while the King-makers, under the directive of the Ifa oracle, choose whoever should emerge as the Ooni. Interestingly, in cases of succession and ascension, Yoruba traditional culture employed the assistance of the Ifa oracle to aid the Kingmakers in determining who in the town should become the King.
The point here is that in each Yoruba traditional Ilu, there are some families already marked as the royal lineages from which contestants to the stool would emerge. When those who are considered eligible or who consider themselves eligible for the contest emerge, they …Read More
Source:: PM Newspaper