The battle for the successor of Olupo Woleola started long time ago before the demise of the monarch. It is reliably gathered from the palace that a cold war existed between the late king and a group of cabal in the Olupo-in-Council. According to a reliable Palace source, about two years ago, the late monarch alleged that some of the Chiefs were romancing with a prince from another ruling house who is anxious to succeed him (Olupo).
The allegation was said to be denied by the chiefs but the late Olupo proved them wrong by telling the chiefs how much the said prince gave them, which was shared and later caused rancor among them.
Similarly, the said Lagos State based prince allegedly gave the chiefs Ankara fabrics and often send them money intermittently. All these were leaked to the late monarch who became uncomfortable with the chiefs. Confirming the allegations from one of the chiefs who declined to be quoted, he confided on the TopSearch Magazine that, it is true that a prince bought them Ankara fabric and does give them money, but that does not mean anything to the Chiefs and the royal set up.
According to him “Bi oba kan o ku oba miran ko le je”, meaning there cannot be another king while one is still alive and on the throne. He noted that collecting gifts from a prince or princess has nothing to do with a sitting Olupo. The chief affirmed.
The cold war between the late monarch and the chiefs became open before the monarch celebrated the 10th year on the throne. Olupo Woleola was also said to have been ill for months and while on the sick bed, the chiefs were confirmed to have promised the said prince from an extended Alebiosu Ruling House mantling the stool if the then Olupo passes on.
The late monarch recovered and succeeded the palace coup. After the 10th year anniversary, reliable sources from the palace also revealed that Olupo Woleola and the Chiefs became sworn enemies. It was also established that the said young prince, allegedly gave the Chiefs an undisclosed amount of money during the 10th year anniversary of the late royal father for reason not disclosed. It is also reliably gathered that the monarch held series of meetings with the cabals and the chiefs in general appealing to them to shelve whatever agreement they have with the prince to enable him have a peaceful reign. According to the source, the prince is very desperate and Olupo had all along suspected his chiefs, praying they will not collaborate with the prince to untimely terminate his reign.
The suspicion from family members is that the fear has now been confirmed, despite the fact that the chiefs were given a car each between 2010 and 2011 and an undisclosed amount of money after the Olupo was installed. The gesture was said to be first in the history of Ajase-Ipo. The chiefs were allegedly not contented with what the late monarch was doing for them, the source revealed.
Similarly, a monthly stipend was confirmed as been regularly given to the chiefs courtesy of the late Olupo, that is aside the local government stipend being given to the chiefs. Furthermore, every Friday lunch and take away to their family members were weekly constant. Yet, the source said the chiefs were still not satisfied with the late monarch.
The feeler now is that, it is either the late Olupo’s demise is natural or a result of palace conspiracy. But the fact remains that the king has joined his ancestors and another royal battle among the other two ruling houses has commenced.
The battle for the vacant Olupo stool began the third day after the king passed away. According to a king maker, two contestants initially showed interest in contesting the stool. However, the chiefs were said to have printed forms and issued to interested contestants at a Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200,000) for each applicant.
The forms were not even limited to the two other ruling houses, but extended to other supposedly aggrieved houses claiming right to the Olupoship title without documentary fact and, or evidence.
Immediately after the eight day prayer of the monarch, twenty contestants applied to the Kingmakers and chiefs after the payment of the application fee of N200, 000 each. The screening exercise was conducted on Sunday, 14th of March, 2021 for nineteen supposed princes to the throne while one was in the USA. Therefore, he could not attend the exercise according to our findings.
The demise of a king is always a blessing to the kingmakers everywhere. Most Ajase-Ipo chiefs have reportedly changed their wardrobes, electronic appliances, married more wives and concubines. It is reliably gathered that some have resorted to going to beer parlours on drinking spree.
Speaking with one of the most enlightened and long serving chief on telephone, he said the selection process does not recognised zoning or rotation among the Ruling Houses, according to him, there is no record of such precedence. He therefore said the Olupo stool is always opened to all who claimed to be princes even beyond the three said ruling houses.
When the chief was asked about the other Ruling Houses apart from the three (Ariyibi, Alebiosu and Woleola) the chief said if any other house or houses have a claim to Olupo stool, such people have the right to present documentary evidence to the chiefs.
Rumour has it that the pendulum is likely to fall on the prince who has been alleged of having close rapport and allegiance with the chiefs before the demise of the immediate past Olupo. It is reliably gathered that the chiefs are not willing to favour a sole candidate from the expected Ariyibi Ruling House. This is because the chiefs are not willing to betray the prince that has been taking good care of them even when the late monarch was alive. Some residents said.
Despite the fact that all eyes are focused on Ajase-Ipo kingmakers, the chiefs are, as reliably gathered, working in favour of Atoloye family, a branch of Oyefiola Alebiosu Ruling House.
If the permutation of the chiefs works well, it is a minus for Ariyibi Ruling House as the family has been subjugated since 1778 (185 years) not considering the 12th Olupo, Kadiri Ariyibi, who reigned for three months in 1970.
(to be continued)