The Areago of Ogbomosho has been sincere enough to confess that financial capability is the only major factor they, as kingmakers, considered before choosing Prince Ghandi Olaoye as Soun of Ogbomosho Elect.

I like the odd sincerity of the senior kingmaker who described himself as a catholic. He didn’t lie that the king makers consulted God in whatever forms through Ifa divination, Bible or Quran. He didn’t pretend that they engaged In any ritual of sacrifice, fasting and prayer for God guidance for a choice whose reign will be peaceful, will bring prosperity and preserve the culture and tradition of the people.

Ogbomosho kingmakers didn’t act any drama of going kurukere kurukere to some shrines for serious consultation with the gods like kingmakers in some ancient Yorba towns will deceptively do when they already had a choice in a candidate with financial capability.

However, what I can’t immediately reconcile in the whole scenario is the claim by the chosen crown prince, Ghandi Olaoye, a pastor of the Redeemed Church that it was God that told him he would become King, that’s he was called by God despite his initial refusal to obey God. And the same God didn’t bother to speak to the kingmakers either by signs or wonders. Well, may be the kingmakers cared not when God was speaking to them or giving them signs since they had made up their minds on financial capability as the only major factor to condider.

High Chief Areago even passed a snide remark on some “a n’be Olorun” poor and struggling aspirants who he said are just young graduates, some job seekers and some princes who have no more Olaoye ancestral land to sell to finance the Soun throne if accidentally anyone of these financially incapable princes is mistakenly installed.

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Areoga rolled out some of the financial burden to be shouldered by the incoming Soun in order to justify their choice – payment of salaries of most palace staff, renovation and equipment of the palace which he said is now “empty” suggesting that may be the families of the late Soun or some thieving palace hands or kingmakers could have looted those palace property or what? Because I don’t know how such an exalted palace can be empty after the demise of Soun.

Areago even mentioned that the choosen came with ex – president Obasanjo to the fidau prayer for the late Soun, indirectly alluding to how well connected Prince Ghandi Olaoye is, a king who won’t be pushed aside by any other kings or by anybody.

What baffled me in his statements is that there’s no where the Areago mention INTEGRITY as a criterion for their choice of Soun and this should be a major factor for any public office, appointive or elective.

He never mentioned for once that the kingmakers had done a thorough background check, locally and internationally and can beat their chests about the INTEGRITY, unassailable character, capability, love for Ogbomosho, its people and culture and vision of Prince Ghandi Olaoye. I am not suggesting here that Pastor Prince Olaoye, their choice, has no integrity for leadership position.

May be the Areago of Ogbomosho land and other kingmakers don’t want to unnecessarily bother themselves about integrity. Who really cares about integrity nowadays when even supporters of some presidential aspirants have started saying that INTEGRITY doesn’t matter again and shouldn’t be a factor to consider for anybody who wants to occupy the highest position of authority in Nigeria.

When one considers that these “integrity does not count” mob of morally reprehensible citizens are educated people who also do kurukere kurukere to mosque and churches to pray for a better Nigeria devoid of looters, then Nigeria has no future with this kind of people without scruple.

In considering financial capability as the major factor in selecting Soun, may be Areago and other kingmakers don’t want to install a Soun who will in future start begging people and government for money to get married. They don’t want a Soun that won’t move in a convoy of fleet of expensive Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, Cadillac Escalade even when all the roads to his palace are terribly bad and the streets are full of famished wretched of the earth citizens who will still, out of their foolishness, chant Kabiyesi ooo! in a repugnant adulation of the arrogant uncaring mobile royal simulacrum of their cultural heritage.

Perhaps, the Ogbomosho kingmakers don’t want a financially incapable Soun who won’t be able to compete effectively with his contemporary kings in the modern market of “Soyoyo” and “Koforun” over bleached women of easy virtues, to be regularly paraded at high society social parties where crisp of dollar and Naira notes are sprayed.

The Areago may be right but since he’s a catholic and a follower of Christ, may be he needs to be reminded that Jesus was never considered for his leadership role because of his financial capacity and Jesus christ never for once considered financial capability in chosen his disciples, his friends and beneficiaries of his miracles and he never gained anything financial from his wonderful works.

Lastly, the choice of Prince Ghandi Olaoye as Soun elect may even be the best but the defence of that choice as put forward by the Areago of Ogbomosho land falls short of expectation from kingmakers of such exalted Yoruba throne rich in cultural history.

Adeola Soetan


PS: “I recommend to all to watch or re-watch that popular epic film “Ogbori Elemesho” by the ace theatre practitioner, Lere Paimo aka Eda Onile Ola. to appreciate the enviable cultural history of Ogbomosho. The film was my major contact with Ogbomosho history. Thank you.”

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