By Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
Following a seven-year leadership tussle for the Olu of Ikeja stool, the Osoja ruling house has selected 33-year-old Prince Temitope Ibikunle as its sole candidate to emerge as Oba.
Presenting the Oba-elect during a press briefing on Wednesday in Ikeja, the head of the Osoja ruling house, Taibatu Adeleye, said the royal stool became vacant in 2014 after the demise of Oba Rafiu Matemi Amore, but the internal tussle between the Osoja family over who will replace him delayed it.
A ranking member of the family, Prince Muka Akinlabi, said after series of meetings, the family unanimously withdrew Prince Nurudeen Adeleye and Prince Wasiu Adeleye, who were major contenders for the stool and made their decision known in a formal written communication to the Lagos State government, informing it that Prince Ibikunle has been chosen.
‘The family wishes to notify the Ikeja Community and the general public that due to long rivalry between their sons – Prince Nurudeen Adeleye and Prince Wasiu Adeleye – who were earlier nominated by the family for the government to decide the more suitable candidate have been asked to step aside. This decision was reached after years of waiting and a series of meetings to resolve the differences between these nominees for one of them to assume the role of Olu of Ikeja.
‘Consequently, the family has unanimously withdrawn Prince Nurudeen Adeleye and Prince Wasiu Adeleye in a formal written communication to the Lagos State Government. The family wishes to make public, our unanimous decision on the new Omo Oye as contained in a letter forwarded to the government dated January 24th, 2022. The Osoja ruling house unanimously presents a sole candidate for the vacant stool of Olu of Ikeja, Prince Temitope Adebowale Ibikunle (Idowu Aso branch of Osoja).
‘We have resolved to this decision as a family for the peace and progress of the community hence he has been presented as the only and final choice and right to the Olu of Ikeja stool. The family is appealing to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to please treat with the utmost urgency the family’s decision to avoid further delay.
‘One Mr Tajudeen Muritala has been parading himself as the Olu of Ikeja but is not in any way associated or related to the Osoja family. Again, we will like to reiterate that he is not known to this family nor is he related to the Osoja Royal family of Ikeja in any way. Hence, he should be disregarded and arrested. We advise and appeal to the entire Ikeja Community not to have any dealings with him in the name our family,’ Akinlabi said.