Election process for the installation of a new Olowo of Owo has begun, following the end of rites for the departed monarch, Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi.
Interested princes can now come forth to contest the vacant stool, according to the Ojomo Luda of Ijebu-Owo, Oba Kofoworola Oladoyinbo, at a news conference in his palace.
He emphasised that only those from the Elewuokun family can aspire to occupy the throne.
The late Oba Olateru-Olagbegi was given the staff of office as the Olowo of Owo in December 2003 by late Olusegun Agagu, former governor of Ondo State, after succeeding his father in 1999. He died in the early hours of April 17, 2019.
The Ojomo Luda, who gave a stern warning against those with the intent to interfere in the selection process, maintained that those saddled with the responsibility are experienced and incorruptible High Chiefs.
He said the task for selection of the new Olowo would be handled in line with the town’s custom and tradition.
His words: “The process of selecting another Prince to put on the shoes that Olowo Folagbade left behind is about to commence. The process, we pray it will be peaceful, enjoyable and interesting in accordance with the age-long peaceful disposition of the people of this ancient town of the Yoruba people.
“Contrary to the diverse views canvassed by people, both informed and uninformed, on the pages of newspapers, social and electronic media, our process is simple, clearly defined and not opened to manipulation by any individual or group of individuals. It is not a political issue, and is being handled by experienced, responsible and incorruptible members of the Ogho Royal family.”
“The Elewuokun Family remains the umbrella body from which an Olowo will emerge. Any other opinions, conjecture remain those of whosoever is advocating them and are of no effect. We are bound by the extant declaration, and Laws of Ondo State. We shall also seek the assistance of our Spiritual Fathers in accordance with normal practice.”
The monarch who superintends over the Council of Omo-Olowos, whose duty will be to select a new Olowo, stated that the prescribed form for those vying for the position is already on sale with a price tag of N25,000 as against the rumoured price of N500,000.
He hinted that the Olowo that would emerge must be someone who is in tune with the culture of the ancient town and who would be able to continue from the remarkable spot where the late Olowo stopped.
“The contest is opened to all qualified and interested princes of the Elewuokun Family, and they are advised to pick up the prescribed form from the Secretariat of the Agba Omo-Olowos located at the Aafin Olowo. We have made the cost affordable at a modest fee of N25,000 only so as to provide a level playing ground for all the princes.
“We appeal to all the people of Owo, our friends and well-wishers to join with us to conduct a peaceful and rewarding selection exercise. We are sourcing for an Oba who will be a leader to move the people of this ancient town to higher heights.
“We are shopping for an Oba, who will be an inspiration to our people, irrespective of their religious, personal or political inclinations, and we are hoping for an Oba, who will be a bridge-builder in Ondo State. We hope to get an Olowo, who will make Owo great again.”