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Fresh supremacy crisis brews among Obas

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…As Olugbo says he’s most prominent; Olubadan vows to respond

By Ola Ajayi

Ibadan—There appears to be no end in sight to the supremacy battle among Yoruba obas as the Olugbo of Ugbo kingdom, Oba Obateru Akinruntan, who presides over a reconciliation committee he and others set up to facilitate unity among the monarchs, has said he remains the most prominent king in the zone.

The monarch had recently been in the eye of the storm by assuming leadership role among the kings. His claims generated scathing criticisms.

Oba Akinruntan, the Chairman, Yoruba Obas Conflicts Resolution Committee, had fruitlessly arranged peace meeting between the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade and Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who had been at each other’s throat over who actually was greater.

This crisis lasted for years until Oba Sijuwade joined his ancestors. But, the enthronement of Oba Eniitan Ogunwusi as the new Ooni had extinguished all embers of discord and calmed all frayed nerves only for Oba Akinruntan who is seen as a mediator, to claim he is the authentic progenitor of Yoruba race.

The wealthy monarch said this at an event organised to mark 30 years anniversary of Kola Olootu as a radio presenter in Ibadan yesterday.

According to him, he had captured the undiluted history of Yoruba race in two books.

The books, he added, chronicled how he, the Olugbo is superior to other monarchs in Yoruba land.

He said the first book had been published while the volume two of the book will soon come on stream.

While discountenancing avalanche of criticisms that trailed his similar comments in the past, Olugbo said, “I am the leader of all Obas in Yoruba land. I speak with thunder in my mouth and I make bold to say so. No one is above me in Yoruba land in as much as it has been accepted that we are from Ife. I was the one that Oduduwa met at Ife. We are the husband of Moremi Ajasoro. Anyone who wants real Yoruba blessing should approach me. I am the one bestowed with the power.”

Asked which of the various historical accounts of Yoruba land was authentic, since his own version was the latest of the series, the Olugbo said his account was most accurate.

Asked to respond to the comments of Oba Akinruntan, the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji said he was yet to read the book.

Speaking through his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Mr Adeola Oloko, Olubadan said after reading the book, he would respond appropriately.

Olubadan said; “Oba Akinruntan is the one telling the story in his book but Olubadan has not read it. It would be proper for the Olubadan to respond after reading the book and consulting with the Olubadan-in-Council and other prominent Yoruba elders.”

Efforts made to contact the Alaafin of Oyo for his reaction were unsuccessful as phone calls to his phones did not connect.

The oba said; “People should face the truth. My account of the history of Yoruba race is the most accurate and authentic. I have published a book on it already. Like I said, Oduduwa met my people in Ife. Don’t mind my critics who use Facebook to abuse me. The truth is that many of them are children of slaves.

“They don’t want the true story of their fathers to be told. Slaves don’t want history to be told. I am bold because I am not a son of a slave. My book is there. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has accepted the book as the authentic history of the Yoruba race. I am about to publish another book on the same subject.”

His latest claim may pitch him against the Alaafin of Oyo who is well versed in the history of the Yoruba land.

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