The race for the vacant stool of the Olowo of Owo in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State may have begun as some interested princes have signified intention to occupy the throne.

Already, not fewer than five persons were said to have shown interest in the stool which became vacant penultimate week following the transition of Oba Victor Olateru Olagbegi.

Oba Olagbegi, who ascended the throne in 1999 and received staff of office four years after a protracted legal case, passed on at the age of 77.

Olagbegi’s demise opened the door for royal battle and contest among princes in the town as some of them have started lobbying kingmakers.

A source told Daily Sun that two of the contestants are based in the United States of America, while the other three are based in Lagos.

The source, however, refused to mention the names of the contestants, but assured that the kingmakers will reveal their identities after the final funeral rites of the late monarch.

Also, the source said those who have signified intention to occupy the throne were already lobbying Governor Rotimi Akeredolu who incidentally hails from the town.

But, it was gathered that the kingmakers were yet to make any formal notice regarding the presentation of princes for the vacant stool as the town is still mourning.

The kingmakers, it was learnt, will after the funeral rites ask the ruling houses entitled to the throne to submit names of their candidate(s) which will later be presented to Ifa priest.

Daily Sun gathered that consultation of Ifa oracle is a condition precedence in the selection and appointment of an Olowo.

A traditional chief, who preferred to be anonymous, said: “After names have been presented to the kingmakers, the names will be forwarded to Ifa priests who will seek the face of the gods on who should be the next traditional ruler.

“Any name that is chosen will be presented to the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, through the authorities of Owo Local Government Area for final approval by the state government.”

It was learnt that there are three ruling houses in the town and anybody could be presented from any of them to ascend the throne.

Meanwhile, the state government is yet to announce the date for the final funeral rites.

Governor Akeredolu has assured that the state government would organise a befitting burial for the late first class monarch.