In a ceremony that took place on Friday, September 8, Prince Ghandi Afolabi Laoye, a former pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), ascended to the throne as the new Soun Of Ogbomoso. The installation was conducted by the town’s kingmakers in Abata, with Areago High Chief Sobalaje Otolorin leading the proceedings.
Following the installation, Pastor Ghandi initiated a period of seclusion to carry out the traditional rites associated with the revered throne.
However, this significant event was not without controversy. Some dissenting family members had approached the court in an attempt to prevent Pastor Ghandi’s installation after the Oyo State Government had officially declared him as the Oba-elect of Ogbomoso.
A development that added complexity to the situation was a restraining order issued by the Oyo State High Court in Ogbomoso the day prior. The court order restrained Governor Seyi Makinde, the State’s Attorney General, and the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, among others, from conducting any form of ceremony or presenting any instrument of office to Olaoye until a final determination was reached on the injunction filed before the court.
In response to this legal challenge, Chief Otolorin, who led the installation, stated that the kingmakers were not aware of any restraining order from the court. He then officially proclaimed the new Oba as “His Imperial Majesty Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye Orumogege III.”
This installation reflects the intricate blend of tradition and contemporary governance that often accompanies the ascension of traditional rulers in Nigeria and highlights the role of the judiciary in resolving such matters.