There was tension in Ile-Ife, Osun State, yesterday in the ongoing screening of candidates for the selection of Obalufe of Ife as deputy to Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye, Enitan Ogunwusi.
The position became vacant after the demise of the late Obalufe, Oba Solomon Omisakin in 2015.
Obalufe is the traditional ruler of Iremo, in Ile-Ife; head of Ife kingmakers and next in command to the Ooni in hierarchy according to the tradition of the town.
The process of selecting a new Obalufe started with the inauguration of a committee under the chairmanship of Ayoola Olafiranye.
Daily Sun gathered that the committee was saddled with the responsibility of screening all the 10 contenders from the Aga Ruling House for the stool and report its findings to the house.
The committee reportedly invited all the aspirants and screened them but, before it could submit its reports, majority of the contenders accused it of planning to announce the name of an aspirant, Elu Abayomi, from the female lineage. They insisted Abayomi is not qualified to contest.
This led to rancour by the supporters of the contenders who threatened to shut down the town if Abayomi, allegedly preferred by the committee, was announced as planned.
A traditional chief in Ife, Atimi Bada, the Logun Apata of Ile-Ife told Daily Sun that the contenders for the vacant stool must come from a male lineage and that those from the female lineage could only contest only if there was no competent candidate from the male lineage.