The Oyo Traditional Council also known as Oyomesi has said all the 65 aspirants for the stool of the Alaafin will be presented before Ifa oracle for consultation.
This was contrary to its previous announcement that ten aspirants have been shortlisted out of the over 65 contestants who appeared for screening last Thursday.
The Council also denied any form of rift among its members but confirmed there was “little disagreement” on the ten shortlisted names.
When contacted, the Director of Media and Publicity to the Alaafin of Oyo, Mr Bode Durojaiye confirmed the development to The Nation on Sunday.
Speaking on the new development, the Acting Regent who doubles as the Bashorun of Oyo, High Chief Yussuf Ayoola Layinka, said the decision became imperative following a minor disagreement among the Council members.
He said whoever emerges among the 65 aspirants will be the candidate and the next Alaafin of Oyo.
The Regent said: “Following minor disagreement among some members of the Oyo Traditional Council (the Oyo Mesi) over shortlisting of some aspirants who qualified for the interview, there will no longer be any shortlisted contestants.
“All contestants who appeared for the interview are qualified for the next level, which is Ifa consultation, after the meeting of members of the Oyo Mesi.
“Whoever emerges among the aspirants will be the candidate and the next Alaafin of Oyo.
“There is no rift among members of the Oyo Mesi contrary to insinuations and misinformation milling around. We are as United as ever.
“Misunderstanding can happen at any given point in time. It is natural. What is important is the amicable resolution, in order not to let the misunderstanding degenerate into violence.
“None of the Oyo Mesi members has a favoured aspirant, as all the contestants are equal before us. For the umpteenth time, we are conscientious, thorough, not money conscious and greedy”.
Signs of crack in the council surfaced at the weekend when the Iba Saamu of Oyo, High Chief Lamidi Olayanju and three other chiefs distanced themselves from the 10 persons shortlisted for the vacant stool, saying he knew nothing about it.
He said he confirmed the news on the ten shortlisted aspirants from the Bashorun but that the decision was not jointly taken by the Council members.
“I called Basorun and he told me that he was the one behind the news that 10 persons had been shortlisted. Four of us know nothing about it. When we completed the interview on Thursday, we all agreed that we would meet next Tuesday to do that but hearing that 10 persons had been shortlisted on the radio is news to me. I called Basorun and he told me he authored the news.
“I heard it on the radio that we had shortlisted 10 but I am telling you I am not part of that and I called four of us and they said they did not know anything about it. Agbaakin (High Chief Asinmiyu) told me he was not part of the decision to pick 10 contestants; Akinniku (High Chief Amusa Yusuf) also told me that he was not part of it; Alapini (High Chief Rasheed Sheu) is indisposed.”
Asked if the rest of the kingmakers would abide by the shortlisted contestants, he said: “Can you, yourself, abide by such a decision? We don’t know anything about it, we didn’t know when he picked them, so, we can’t abide by such.
“If we agree with him and the remaining contestants drag all of us to court, how are we going to defend what we were not part of?”