The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, Monday night lambasted the Olugbo of Ugbo kingdom, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan, for installing Yoruba Obas who live outside the country.
In a statement he personally signed, Adams called the development “desecration of Yoruba culture and tradition”.
He urged South-West governors, especially Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, and Yoruba monarchs to call the monarch to order before it is too late.
The statement reads: “This impudence is fraudulent; a clear and present danger that can destroy our tradition if something urgent is not done immediately.
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“In November last year, I was a keynote speaker at an event in Ile Ife, where the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi met over 300 monarchs, while the Alaafin of Oyo, His imperial majesty, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, sent a powerful delegation, to a three-day- meeting, organized under the auspices of Heritage Forum to discuss all the pertinent issues in Yorubaland.
“After the meeting, which was held at Ife Grand Resorts, all the royal fathers present at the gathering issued a communiqué, where they unanimously agreed that nobody should parade himself as Yoruba Oba in the Diaspora. They condemned the act, adding that nobody has the right to install an Oba outside the shores of Nigeria.
“What Olugbo did, he did it single handedly, against the wishes of all the Yoruba Obas in Nigeria as a whole.
“A good example of this historical hiatus happened not long ago, when some surrogates came from France, asking the Oluwo of Iwo land, Oba Abdul Rasheed Akanbi to install them as a Yoruba Oba in France. But rather than toeing the path to perdition as Olugbo just did, the Iwo monarch resisted, saying he will never go against the wishes of the Yoruba Obas. Oba AbdulRasheed Akanbi knew what was right from what was wrong. As a royal father, he does not want to go to Golgotha.
“I am delighted to say it anywhere that Yoruba history is rich in all ramifications. Nobody has the audacity to distort our history.
“For instance, one can only become an Oba either by hereditary or by conquering territories. None of the newly installed Obas in Olugbo’s Palace has a history of being related to royalty, either by blood (hereditary) or by conquering a territory.
“In Yoruba history, Ile Ife remains the cradle of our existence, with over 99 percent of the race migrating from Ile Ife. Apart from Ile Ife, Oyo has always been a foremost institution in Yorubaland, with Oranmiyan being the great progenitor. The two ancient towns occupy the most prominent position in Yoruba history. So, who among the great Yoruba indigenes and Progenitors migrated from Ugbo land? It is a story for another day.
“If Akinruntan is a student of history, he will know that those who tried to betray the Yoruba race never ended well. Against all known laws and customs of our land, Akinruntan ‘crowned’ three characters living abroad who are not even known by Yoruba living at home and abroad, as traditional Rulers.The three ‘chiefs’ have no royalty in their blood.
“The three characters are, according to Akinruntan, the Oriade of Georgia, Oba Bernard Shola Akinrimisi; the traditional ruler of Yoruba in Liberia, Oba Omobolaji Ogunkoya,Oodua Gbadewolu I and the traditional ruler of Yoruba in the Republic of Ireland, Oba Saheed Ibrahim Adufe.
“As the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, I want to tell Akinruntan that he only crowned these characters as chiefs in his domain, not as Yoruba Obas in the Diaspora, because he doesn’t have the power. It is fraudulent, it is an affront on our history and we will not allow anybody to distort our history.
“In the same vein, I think all the socio cultural groups in Yoruba land, including Afenifere, Yoruba Council of Elders, Yoruba Unity Forum and other notable groups in the southwest should raise their voices against such fraud. It is our responsibilities to protect our history, and put our records straight.
“More importantly, I will like to tell some of the professors Olugbo is using to desecrate the traditional institutions to desist from such acts as that can later hunt them in the future.
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“For instance, last Wednesday, Oba Bamidele Akinwe, Akogbe of Ajueland in Ondo State, was presented with a staff of office. Ondo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, gave Oba Akinwe the staff of office on behalf of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
“When you install an Oba, government presence must be felt or else, everything is null and void. Who did Akeredolu send to represent him when Akinruntan engaged in that anti-traditional institution action in his palace?
“All these characters that Akinruntan installed, how come nobody followed them from where they reside abroad to the so-called installation? What types of business are they engaged him in their places of abode? Are we not preparing the ground for a gigantic embarrassment for Yorubaland? Are they recognized by governments in those countries?
“Akinruntan crowned one as king of Georgia, a state in the United States (U.S.) and the other two characters as kings of countries – Liberia and Republic of Ireland.
“Do we have any king ruling Ondo State, Oyo State, Ogun State? Do we have any king ruling Nigeria? What an idiotic action from a so-called ‘number one king in Yorubaland?’
“This is what one of them, the so-called Oba Yoruba in Liberia, Omobolaji Ogunkoya, said after his so-called installation by Akinruntan:
“We appeal to the Federal Government to include diaspora traditional rulers in the scheme of things, so as to give them the financial wherewithal and moral rectitude to help the people in the diaspora”.
“Can you imagine? Financial backing to a so-called Yoruba Oba in the Diaspora? What exactly are they going to do with this money? Which people are they going to help with this ‘financial wherewithal’?
“There are many foreigners in Nigeria. Have you heard of British Monarch, Netherlands Monarch, Belgian Monarch or Ireland Monarch in Nigeria? What exactly is wrong with Akinruntan?
Since Akinruntan embarked on a fruitless exercise of fighting the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, for no just cause, he has been moving from one mistake to the other. I have this feeling he will soon start fighting the Alaafin of Oyo for no other reason rather than ego.
“What is Akinruntan’s position in Yoruba history? Does he think by parading himself as a rich man, Yoruba will respect him for trying to desecrate the land? Who does he think he is, embarrassing the Yoruba nation at every opportunity?
“Which Northern Emir abuses the Sultan of Sokoto, Emir of Kano, Shehu of Borno or Emir of Zazzau? Which Northern Emir distorts history of the Emirate the way Akinruntanis trying to distort Yoruba history? What exactly is the matter with this featherweight who classifies himself as the best thing to have happened to Yorubaland?
Does he learn from history at all? What exactly is responsible for this arrogance coming from an Oba who is, traditionally, constitutionally and spiritually, mandated to protect Yorubaland? Does he think this arrogance will take him anywhere?
At his age, what exactly does he think he will gain by abusing fellow and superior Obas in Yorubaland? The late Ooni of Ife, Oba Adesoji Aderemi, was not only wealthy, he also played a principal role in the defunct Western Region administration. He never used his wealth to distort history.
“His successor, the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade, was also wealthy and he never used that position to create crisis in Yoruba traditional institution. So, where is Akinruntan coming from? Who is using him to cause crisis in Yorubaland?
“He refers to himself as Chairman, Yoruba Obas Conflicts Resolution Committee. Is it not funny that he is the one creating tension in the land with his attention-grabbing publicity stunt?
“I want to tell Akinruntan that nobody can buy the Yoruba, at home and abroad.You cannot gain respect by attacking other Obas, especially those senior to you. One of those characters he ‘installed’ as Yoruba Oba in Diaspora, Saheed, hails from Ila-Orangun.
“The Orangun is one of the sons of Oduduwa. Why didn’t Saheed go to the Orangun to instal him as a Yoruba Oba in Ireland. The Orangun will never do such a thing because he knows the implication.
“From Ila-Orangun in Osun State, he went to Ugboland in Ondo State to be ‘installed’ as Yoruba Oba in Diaspora. To all sane Yoruba men, women and elders, that installation is inconsequential, a futility and of little importance.
“We all know the history of traitor-Obas in Yorubaland and how they ended ignominiously.
Akinruntan, you are climbing the tree higher than the leaves. As we say in Yorubaland, a word is enough for the wise.”