The Oduduwa Controversy Resolved.(Part 1)

The Oduduwa Controversy Resolved.


By Naiwu Osahon

A lot of dust was raised in the press in 2004 over the Oduduwa issue. The
controversies on Oduduwa are finally put to rest in this write-up. All students
of history must carefully preserve this historical record as a reference point.
Oduduwa is Prince Ekaladerhan of Edo and he entered Yoruba life about 900
years ago and that is categorical and final. The Yoruba/Edo collaborative
evidence follow. The first most telling revelation about Oduduwa’s ancestry is
from Oduduwa himself. He, in his lifetime, reserved a special seat in his Ife
palace for his ancestors. The seat remains reserved until this day for the Edo
monarch only. No one else, not even the reigning Ooni, or Oronmiyan (Alaafin)
in Oyo, or any of the Obalades of Yorubaland can sit on the seat. So, if Edo
is not the wellspring of Ife, why is it that no member of the Alaafin, or Ife
Ooni dynasties (or siblings), can use the seat?

Besides, the most sacred name for Ife is ‘Uhe’ a (non-Yoruba), deep and strong
Edo word, meaning virgin or vagina depending on how it is pronounced, and is
interpreted in myth as ‘innocence,’ ‘the birth canal,’ or ‘the source of life.’
Also, no major Ifa ritual or ceremony in Ife even now is considered authentic,
blessed by or acceptable to the gods and ancestors, without the presence and
involvement of relevant Edo traditional faith custodians. The dress culture of
Ife chiefs and priests is from Edo court.

Professor Ade Ajayi’s comment that the Edo are trying to re-write history and
that the motivation for this is political is ridiculous to say the least,
unless professors are not supposed to have some responsibility for truth and
scholarship. Ajayi’s comment influenced less-informed commentators who accused
the Oba of Edo of possible political bias at the age of 80, in an interview
published in The News of 28 June 2004. The age of the Edo monarch bellies the
silly accusation. No Edo historian, including Omo N’oba Erediauwa has said
that a rebel king migrated from Benin to father Oduduwa in Ile-Ife. The Yoruba
historians peddling this falsehood should take time off to read this specially
packaged report on Oduduwa because it puts the Oduduwa controversy to rest once
and for all.

Perhaps the most childish comment on the Oduduwa issue so far was the one in an
article published in the Sunday Sun of June 27, 2004. The writer is upset over
the antics of Edo prostitutes in Italy but ignores the Yoruba credit card
schemers, painting the USA and Europe red with their notoriety? He says and I
quote: “The Edo position on Oduduwa is motivated by imperial politics, a dose
of envy and irrepressible ego. It is part of an agenda to hijack the enviable
fame of Yoruba dynasty and superimpose it on the subdued ego of the Edo people
who have lost the glory of their once powerful Edo Empire to the greater might
of the British colonial masters.”

I was expecting the writer to say ‘Yoruba masters’ instead of ‘British masters’
in his erroneous statement. As far as I know, there is no record of the Yoruba
ever once conquering or colonizing even an inch of Edoland. Rather, the Edo
colonized, dominated and enslaved large tracks of Yorubaland and people until
British colonialism liberated the Yoruba, so who should be envying who?
Besides, the Yoruba were colonized along side the Edo and we all gained our
‘flag’ independence from the British on the same day, which was the 1st of
October 1960. Black collective plight as the most wretched people in the world
has not changed since ‘flag’ independence, so what is there in the Yoruba to
make the Edo or anyone jealous? The writer is proud that there are Yoruba
enclaves in Brazil and so on. But they got there as slaves and they are still
slaves, (second-class citizens), in the Diaspora right now. The Edo were never
enslaved, (the Edo kept hordes of Yoruba and other slaves from their conquests
and shielded them from the slave trade), so you would not find slave colonies
of the native Edo extraction anywhere in the Diaspora. What greater honour
could anyone have than that?

No Yoruba commentator or expert so far has provided concrete evidence or
credible story on Oduduwa. Some that have attempted to do so, have quoted
spurious speculations from racist, paternalistic and condescending British
historians like Basil Davidson, because that was what they passed their exams
on. Prof. Siyan Oyeweso of the LASU History Department, goes further to swear
by some 1950s – 60s researchers, such as Philip Igbafe, R. E. Bradbury, Alan
Ryder and G.A. Akinola, who quoted profusely from each other, and largely
relied on the ‘white god’ Davidson’s story for authenticity. What right do we
have to expect these ‘experts’ to transcend the infantile bias of their day
that Oduduwa was God incarnate, who as the Yoruba progenitor, descended with a
rope from the sky? Could the historians have said Oduduwa was not God at a time
of Yoruba political dominance in the region? Could they have set off on a limb
and expect their books to be recommended reading by the West African
Examination Council (WAEC)?

The overwhelming counter argument by the Yoruba so far, weighs heavily on why
the Edo have only just come out now with their Oduduwa story? It is wrong for
anyone to claim that the Edo origin of Oduduwa story is a recent creation. Prof
Siyan Oyeweso even tried to put a 1971 date on when Edo people invented the
Oduduwa story. He provides no evidence of his assertion other than that we
should take his words for it because he is a professor. And if he were allowed
to get away with his blatant distortion of history, it would become the history
that students pass their exams on. That is how the Davidsons and Bradburys
became the authorities on African history.

I have discovered serious laxity on the part of some of our supposed African
professors. They accept any rubbish put out by the dishonest, ill-informed
Basil Davidsons of the white world as the gospel truth requiring no further
investigation. No black intellectual outside Africa today relies on racist
whites as sources of knowledge about themselves because such whites lie about
the African contributions. They claim that we were nothing until slavery. That
we were worse than wild animals before they intervened in our lives and that we
are still less than animals now.

Racists whites do not want us challenging their lies and upsetting the
applecart. But the greatest thing about truth is that until it triumphs, it
allows lie no peace. It does not matter when the truth comes out? If a
researcher comes out with the true identity of God today (as I have now done in
this book), billions of years into the creation story, does that make the truth
less true? The world continues to stumble on new ‘truths’ everyday because
original researchers did not have the accumulated knowledge and tools now
available to modern research work.

Ovbia Oba Edun Agharese Akenzua, in his book: Ekaladerhan, tells us that while
the Oba of Benin was visiting Ife on November 11, 1982, the Ooni said in
part……”As we have mentioned briefly during our historic visit to your domain
not too long ago, we said that we were there to pat you on the back for a job
well done. Your present visit we regard as a short homecoming, where you will
have an opportunity to commune with those deities you left behind. Now my son
and brother, long may you reign.” “The address suggested that the people of
Benin, or at least, the Royal Family, owe their origin to Ile-Ife. In the
prelude of his response to the Ooni’s welcome address, the Oba of Benin tacitly
rebutted the submission.” “The Oba said: If the Ooni of Ife calls the Oba of
Benin his son and the Oba of Benin calls the Ooni of Ife his son, they are both
right.” “The Oba did not elaborate, but in the womb of that innocuous assertion
is the fetus of a story, which had never been told in full. In both Benin and
Uhe, the story is told with varying details.”

Six years ago, I sent the Edo story on Oduduwa to Adeniji, the Arts Editor of
ThisDay newspaper at the time. I phoned and he said I should send it but he
never used the story. I understand that the Daily Independent of Friday May 14,
2004, published a version of the article in my name with my original title. I
have not read it but I suspect it is the same article I sent to ThisDay two
years earlier that the Daily Independent newspaper published when the controversy
was raging. Whatever it is, am I to blame for the story not being used earlier?
I don’t own a newspaper or magazine. I can only try and reach out through
facilitators, hoping that they and everyone else would be interested in the
unraveling of truth.

Edo historians have written volumes on the Oduduwa story. My parents told me
the story in my early teens. They too were told the story in their teens as are
every Edo child regardless of what they are taught at school for WAEC exams. I
wrote about it in the Sunday Guardian and the Post Express some twelve to
fifteen years ago. Five years back, I put the story all over the Internet, and
a few years earlier I produced a book on Oduduwa in my Obobo book series for
children. Four years ago, I did a four-part series on Edo history in my Daily
Sun’s weekly column, which was lost on the public until the Oba of Edo’s book
reviews woke up our pseudo authorities on Oduduwa. The Yoruba professors who
put a workshop together on Oduduwa history at the EKO FM Multi-purpose Hall in
Lagos on Thursday October 7, 2004, were not aware that my write-up preceded the
Edo monarch’s book reviews, and yet they pretend to be knowledgeable on what is
written and when about Oduduwa. So, there is a time, place and opportunity for
everything.

Prof Isola Olomola of the OAU’s History Dept. claims that Oduduwa could not
have been a Benin man. Olomola would not accept such history anyway and his
reason is very simple indeed, Olomola is a professor and a Yoruba. He puts no
argument forward to buttress his position; instead, he allows his tribal pride
to becloud his better judgment. That is not scholarship but an attempt to write
history by ‘ugboju’ or terror tactics. Prof. Siyan Oyeweso beats his chest that
Oduduwa is not Ekaladerhan and that Oduduwa dropped from the sky. The works of
such professors litter library shelves around our country, distorting our
history and keeping us ill informed. To move forward on the Oduduwa issue,
Yoruba historians must let go on their two fallacious preoccupations: (a) that
Oduduwa dropped from the sky at the beginning of time, and (b) that Oduduwa was
the Yoruba progenitor. The Edo do not claim to be the Yoruba progenitors and
as Prof. Isola Olomola suggested at the October 7, 2004, workshop on Oduduwa,
skeletal remains of a stone-age man has been found at Iwo Eleru, near Isarun in
Ondo state, with similar sites also discovered in Ife, Owo, and Asejire. Dating
of the sites may need more vigorous investigation and coupled with the
facilities of an open mind, we could begin to move forward on the Oduduwa
issue. This is what this article on Oduduwa tries to do by asking questions and
providing available knowledge in a systematic, comprehensive, and simplified
way, to solve the controversy and carry even non-scholars along. My most potent
weapon in this regard, is the unraveling of the date of the Oduduwa experience.

When did Oduduwa reign in Ife?

If we can establish the date and time of Oduduwa’s interregnum in Ife, most of
the mysteries about who he was would be laid to rest. I have solved the problem
of date in this article to finally put the Oduduwa controversy to rest. The
Yoruba do not know the time of his reign in Ife beyond the speculation that his
name was synonymous with Ifa, and that the Ifa divinity was there from the
beginning of time. In other words that Oduduwa is as old as time itself. The
idea that he was here at the beginning of time is too vague for serious minded
people to consider.

The Universe is some 10 to 20 billion years old and the Earth 4.6 billion
years. Humans are the late comers on Earth and have evolved over a period of 13
million years albeit as members of the chimpanzee family. We only started
looking as we do now (i.e. Homo sapiens) 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. 15,000
years ago to be specific, the human race was still very primitive. The stirring
of civilization started in earnest from Black Egypt less than 10,000 years ago.
All races of the world originated from the African (Black), and moved to occupy
the rest of the earth from Africa. Even when original African settlers all over
the world had begun to change in skin colour due to climatic differences and
had forgotten their African origins, new waves of Africans continued to invade
their old colonies to assert their authority and teach new knowledge. From the
Osirian reign in Egypt in 4100 BCE, Africans began to teach the rest of mankind
farming, industrialization, commerce, and how to organize cities and nation
states, while the African religion, the Mystery System, (which is the mother of
all the religions of the world), began its uninterrupted supremacy until about
2000 years ago.

Africans from Egypt colonized Mesopotamia and Elam in 4000 BCE to teach the
rudiments of civilization and introduce African religion (spirituality), which
with emphasis on Nimrod, carved from the image of Ausar (Osiris), went through
several phases to become Zoroastrianism. The African religion also gave birth
to the Islamic religion in Persia, 1000 years before the birth of Muhammad. The
Dravidians from Ethiopia took Hinduism to India in 3200 BCE. In 1640 BCE, 70
Hebrews entered Egypt but some 3,154,000 African-Hebrews left Egypt in 1230
BCE, under the leadership of the African prince called Moses. Moses trained in
the Mystery System as a prince for 40 years and adapted its laws for his
followers. Arabs are a hybrid of Africans and Caucasians. Muhammad was born in
570 CE and he adopted the Babylonian (African) religion that was already 1000
years old from Persia during his time.

The reverse dispassion of blacks from the Nile Valley began seriously as a
result of the over population of the Valley, then as a consequence of social
upheavals, and finally due to Persian 525 BCE, Greek 332 BCE, and Roman 55 BCE
invasions of the black race Egypt. The civilizations that emerged from the
Egyptian disturbances in the West African sub-region, not in any special order,
where Ghana, Chad, Mali, Benin and Songhai, with some dating back to 1500 BCE,
at least.

The Edo so far trace their history to perhaps hundreds or thousands of years
before 40 BCE when they where called Idu and to 40 BCE specifically, when the
Ogiso dynasty began. Thirty-one Ogisos ruled Idu (called Igodomigodo), between
40 BCE and about 1200 CE. The first Ogiso (king) was called Ogiso Igodo and his
capital was at Ugbekun. Ogiso Igodo’s successor, Ogiso Ere, transferred the
capital from Ugbekun to Uhudumwunirin. The last of the Ogiso kings was called
Owodo. He reigned in the early 11th century CE and had only one child, a son,
despite having many wives. That child, Ekaladerhan, is Oduduwa. All Oduduwa’s
telltale links with Edo are still there open to investigation. The non-mortal
aura of Edo God-son kings since 40 BCE. The sacrosanct first son succeeding
father traditional law. The, around 1200 CE, Ogiso succession problems because
heir apparent, Ekhaladerha, escaped to Yorubaland. The emergence of Ogieamie
chiefdom to sell Edo land at every coronation to Edo Oba elect since 1200 CE.
By the above account, Edo historians are saying that Oduduwa’s reign in Ife
ended around 1200 CE. Yoruba historians confirm that Oduduwa’s first child and
son was Oronmiyan and that Oronmiyan was the first Alaafin of Oyo. Yoruba
historians deliberately avoid discussing the date Oronmiyan ascended the
Alaafin throne obviously because that would destroy their myth about when
Oduduwa intervened in their lives.

The Edo say the Alaafin’s dynasty in Oyo began around 1200 CE. Oronmiyan was
in Igodomigodo in 1170 CE, and it was after his sojourn in Igodomigodo that he
set up his Oyo dynasty. This date is not difficult for Yoruba historians to
verify and if it is true, Oduduwa was alive during his son’s sojourn in
Igodomigodo and also when the Oyo dynasty came into being. Therefore, the Ife
stool could not have become vacant until about 1200 CE. This is not really
debatable because Yoruba historians confirm that 37 Oonis reigned in Ife before
Akinmoyero in (1770-1800), and that 13 more have reigned since. This enables us
to prove the 1200 CE date mathematically. If from 1800 CE to 2004 CE (i.e. a
period of 204 years), produced 13 Oonis on the average, how many Oonis could
have reigned from 1200 CE to 1800 CE (i.e. a period of 600 years)? The answer
is 38 Oonis.


The Ife history of


the Ooni dynasty confirms 38 Oonis, including Akinmoyero (1770 – 1800). Here
are their names in the ascending order of the period of their reign: Ogun,
Osangangan, Obamakin, Ogbogbodirin, Obalufon, Oronmiyan, Ayetise, Lajamisan,
Lajodogun, Lafogido, Odidimode Regbesin, Aworokolokun, Ekun, Ajimuda, Gboo-Nijio,
Okinlajosin, Adegbalu, Osinkola, Ogbooru, Giesi, Luwoo (female), Lumobi,
Agbedegbede, Ojee-Lokunbirin, Lagunja, Larunka, Ademilu, Omogbogbo,
Ajila-Oorun, Adejinle, Olojo, Okiti, Lugbade, Aribiwoso, Osinlade, Adagba,
Ojigidiri (Lumbua), Akinmoyero (1770 – 1800), Gbanlare (1800 –1823), Gbegbaaja
(1823 –1835), Wunmonije (1835 –1839), Adegunle Abewelo (1839 –1849),
Degbinsokun (1849 – 1878), Oranyigba (1878 – 1880), Derin Ologbenla (1880
–1894), Adelekan Olubuse I (1894 –1910), Adekola (1910), Ademiluyi Ajagun (1910
–1930), Adesoji Aderemi (1930 – 1970), and the current Ooni Okunade Sijuwade
Olubuse II, whose reign dates from 1980. Obviously, Oronmiyan, the first child
and son of Oduduwa, did not inherit his father’s throne, which is the genesis
of the quarrel between the true Oduduwa’s heirs and the Ooni’s dynasty.

Oduduwa’s eight children (as claimed by Yoruba historians), are known as the
Obalades or crowned chiefs of Yorubaland. The argument is that not all Yoruba
Obas have genuine crowns; only the Obalades are the exception and consist of
the Alaafin of Oyo, the Oregun of Ile Ila, the Alake of Egbaland, the Owaoboku
of Ijeshaland, the Alaketu of Ketu, the Owa of Ilesa and two Obas in the
Republic of Benin as follows: the Onipopo of Popo and the Onisabe of Sabe. What
this means in effect is that Yoruba civilization did not start in earnest until
the reign of Oduduwa and his sons. All leading Yoruba historians agree on this.

In fact, we know that it was from early twelfth century that Ife grew into a
large city surrounded by walls, inhabited mostly by farmers and some skilled
craftsmen who created great works of arts respected around the world today. The
famous Ife bronze, terracotta works, statues in baked clay, some representing
the Ooni dressed in full regalia, are among the world’s greatest works of art.
Some of the terracotta were so large and complex, it is impossible to bake them
today even with modern technology. All these date back to the eleventh century
CE.

Because Ogun, the first Ooni after the demise of Oduduwa, was not Oduduwa’s
child, he was not considered an Obalade by Yoruba tradition and elite. Ogun was
a chief with spiritual responsibilities. He usurped the Ife throne because the
true heirs to the throne were busy else where at the time of their father’s
death. Ogun out maneuvered the children of Oduduwa over the Ife throne with his
superior knowledge of the inner working of the Ooni’s palace, and his spiritual
prowess as the head of the Ogun shrine. Oduduwa’s true heirs have been smarting
over this ever since.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the Premier of the Western Region of Nigeria in the
early sixties, strengthened the hands of the Oonis, and facilitated their
prominence in Yorubaland by appointing Oba Adesoji Aderemi, the Ooni of Ife at
the time, as the first Governor of the now defunct Western Region of Nigeria.
Oba Adesoji Aderemi’s ascendance was consolidated with his Chairmanship of the
Western Region’s Council of Obas that at the time entrapped the Edo Oba. With
such immense political power of his own, and the political influence and
authority of Awolowo as the leader of the Yoruba, no one could raise a finger
against the supposed illegitimacy of the Ooni’s dynasty in Yorubaland. The
Edo, of course, were worst hit as a voiceless minority in Awolowo’s Western
Region’s politics of tribal exclusion and domination.

The Oduduwa lineage tried to fight back by identifying with the NPN in
opposition to the UPN. Awolowo accentuated the schism by promoting the
emergence of Bode Thomas, a young and dynamic lawyer from Oyo. Bode, with
Awolowo’s clout, wielded considerable political power in Oyo to the point of
being rude to the Alaafin, who was alleged to have put a curse on him. Bode
became mad to the chagrin of Awolowo, who promptly banished the Alaafin from
his Oyo throne. Just as the Oduduwa’s legitimate heirs and the Yoruba elite
generally, have always known and concealed the quarrel over the Ife throne, the
Edo have always known their history and borne the pains of not being able to
act on it because Chief Awolowo was unassailable and had turned the Ooni
dynasty into a colossus to cow all opposition.

Another way of confirming Oduduwa’s 1200 CE demise date in Ife, is to look into
the famous account of valour during Oduduwa’s reign when an external invasion
by the Igbos from the East took place. The record can easily be traced and
Moremi’s courage came to the fore at the time for sacrificing her life for the
safety of her people. From 1200 CE to 2004 CE is only 804 years, so the Yoruba
should stop deceiving themselves that Oduduwa dropped from the skies at the
beginning of time or that Ife is the ‘source’ of the universe. Ife is ‘Uhe,’
meaning Oduduwa’s re-birth, or successful re-location from Edo land of his
ancestors.

Where did Oduduwa come from in Yoruba myth?

The Yoruba story about Oduduwa is extremely thin on substance. What we have is
wrapped largely in myths, parables, and folktales. In fact, the most generous
way to describe the story is that the Yoruba do not know anything about their
highly revered progenitor. Oduduwa himself left a tell tale evidence of his
ancestry in his lifetime. He reserved a special seat in his palace for his
ancestors, which only the Edo monarch can sit on even now. No other human,
whether Arab, Eskimo, Alaafin, Ooni, or Yoruba, (bleached or not), can sit on
the seat. Despite this vivid evidence that has survived through the centuries,
some Yoruba historians still claim that he was from somewhere in Arabia.

Any place from Egypt to Lebanon to Iraq to Saudi Arabia has been mentioned, and
the Yoruba professors’ strongest proof of Oduduwa’s Arabian ancestry so far is
that he was light in complexion. This may have influenced some heirs of
Oduduwa, who have been accused of serious attempt at bleaching. The ‘light’ in
complexion argument could place Oduduwa’s origin any where in the world from
Edo, to China, to Britain, to Mexico, but who dares fault our professors who
passed their exams on European history? The Saudi Arabian origin theory is not
popular with the Ijebus who erroneously claim Wadai as their roots. Those
linking Oduduwa with Iraq claim that he descended from Lamurudu (the Nimrod of
Babylon’s myth). Nimrod was not an historical figure but a myth constructed
from the life image of Ausar, the god of the Chaldeans, who invaded and
colonized Persia from 4000 BCE. In any case, is it not dishonest to try to link
6000-year-old ancestry with 900-year-old personalities, without authentic and
verifiable historical documents or DNA test? You can deceive the illiterate
with myths but Nigerians are becoming more and more educated now.

There is another school of thought among some Yoruba historians claiming that
Oduduwa came from the East. Some Yoruba historians are more specific and claim
that Oduduwa first settled on a hill East of the valley over-looking the native
Yoruba settlements. If he settled first in the Eastern side of the hamlet,
isn’t there a good chance that he may have come from that side too? Edo would
appear to be more East of Yorubaland than any Arabian country. The argument
that the native Yoruba people probably did not know their East from their North
is not tenable because the same people told us that the Igbos attacked them
from the East in Moremi’s story, and both the Edo and the Igbos are East of
Yorubaland.

Who was Oduduwa in Yoruba myth?

There is a measure of agreement between the Yoruba and Edo historians about
who Oduduwa was. The Edo say he was their prince. All Yoruba historians agree
that Oduduwa was a noble and some say he is a god. Many settle for a prince
with impeccable royal blood and immense spiritual powers. The Yoruba historians
tell us that Oduduwa was the first ruler of the Yoruba people.

There is no mention in any Arabian historical records of a prince of such
illustrious ancestry who abandoned his privileged ranks at home and moved
several hundreds of miles through bush paths to live in the West African
jungle. Such incidents do not happen casually or without clear excuse such as a
jihad or war of conquest, and when it did, all tribes along their routes felt
their impact one way or the other. In the case of Oduduwa, mum is the word from
the Northern flanks of Yorubaland all the way through the jungle to the other
side of the Mediterranean Sea.

 

Please Continue this article here: The Oduduwa Controversy Resolved (Part 2)

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Comment by Otedo News Update on February 12, 2016 at 11:33am

ILE IFE HISTORY IN RETROSPECT

Firstly, let me use this medium to congratulate our Baba yio ooo – Oòni of Ilé-Ifè̀, Oòni Babatunde Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, OJAJA II, for his coronation as the 51st Oòni of Ilé-Ifè̀ and Baba gbogbo yoruba. Baba, allow me to use this space to pay my royal homage Kabiesioooooooo. I am meant to do it with a physical idobale but distance has deprived me. Ki Ade pe lori, Ki bata pe lese! Igba Odun, Odun kan! Baba yio oooooo.

It was a relief when I got the news of your appointment dated 24th October, 2015. The spontaneous enthusiasm that greeted the announcement of the new monarch across Ilé-Ifè̀, Osun Stata, and the entire nation is a substantiation of the better days ahead. The ancient city of Ilé-Ifè̀ witnessed an epoch of a new era on the 27th day of October, 2015 when  Oòni Ogunwusi, OJAJA II made a royal entrance into the city as Oòni-elect. O ti se’e se!!!

This entrance also marked the beginning of his spiritual and traditional rites into Ooniship.

After our Baba was received by the Ife Traditional Council led by the Lowa of Ilé-Ifè̀, High Chief Joseph Ijaodola, he had a stopover at Obalufe’s palace at Iremo – Ilé-Ifè̀ and performed some rites before proceeding to his Agbedegbede Ojaja family compound in the Giesi Ruling House of Ilé-Ifè̀, where he was installed as Sooko. As Ilé-Ifè̀ tradition dictates an Oòni-elect must firstly be installed as the Sooko (head) of his ruling house before mounting the Oòni stool.

I was very happy when I heard that the installation of our Baba – Oòni Ogunwusi as Sooko was witnessed by Sooko Adeleke Adewoyin of Lafogido Ruling House – who led all Ife Sooko(s) to the ceremony. This was a big indication that Ilé-Ifè̀ people place their tradition above any self-aggrandisement. We all know that Sooko Adeleke Adewoyin of Lafogido and others earlier challenged the choice of Giesi Ruling House in presenting the 51st Oòni in court of law. Let me use this opportunity to commend my ruling house – Lafogido and other ruling houses for the manner in which they harmoniously resolved their differences during the selection process.

At this point, I must show my sincere appreciation to Royal Prince Adetona Sikiru Ayedun for his undiluted love for Ile-Oodua. I thank you my egbon for not allowing some unprogressive elements to pit you against our kingdom. I salute your courage sir for being the first Prince to congratulate our Baba – Ooni Ogunwusi. This was broadcast by Silverbird Television on 24th October, 2015. I also must appreciate all other princes of Ilé-Ifè̀ for allowing peace to reign in our beloved Ilé-Ifè̀.

After the necessary rites at Iledi, other rituals and rites continued at the Ilofi. Our Baba was meant to be at the Ilofi for three months before his installation and coronation but I was reliably told that because of the significance of Olojo festival, he was allowed to spend twenty-one days. I wish our Baba long reign. Igba odun, odun kan.

Oòni Ogunwusi left Ilofi on the 22nd Nov, 2015 where he undergone installation rites for 21 days and he proceeded to Ile Oodua on the 23nd of Nov 2015 where he was traditionally crowned with the Are. The Oòni was crowned by traditional chiefs at a ceremony for only the initiated and later appeared in public briefly. Traditionally, new Oòni does not receive Are (crown) in the public. Unlike other Obas, who are crowned in public.

The staff of office and instrument of appointment were presented to Oòni Ogunwusi by Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State in a grandeur on the 7th of December 2015.

From all Indications, you are meant to lead us. Your personality is a testimony to the ardor and tireless creativity you have brought to the throne. It is a matter of destiny for you to have been chosen out of a pool of 21 candidates. Also, it is evident from your name ‘Enitan’ – meaning  person of story. Obviously, you are a man full of stories. I pray that your reign will be a blessing to all Ilé-Ifè̀ sons and daughters, alejo and the entire Yorubaland.

I strongly assert my towering confidence in Oòni Ogunwusi’s ascendancy which I affirm would serve as a catalyst for the advancement of Ilé-Ifè̀, the Yoruba nation and the country at large.

Personally, I can only admonish our Baba to keep to his words.

However, few days after Oòni Okunade Sijuwade joined his ancestors, one of my good brothers – Egbon Oluwaleye called my attention to an article written by one Lere Olayinka and published on his facebook page. The said article claimed that the rightful person to announce the demise of Oòni is Oore of Otun-Ekiti (Mobaland) and that before a new Oòni can be installed, Oore (King) of Otun-Ekiti has a special role to play. The author of the article also said that the first Oore and the founder of Otun-Ekiti cured the blindness of Odùduwà. Lere Olayinka further claimed that it was Oore who brought water from Okun Moba to wash the eyes of Odùduwà before his sight was restored. According to Lere Olayinka And Otun-Ekiti’s history, this feat endeared Oore to Odùduwà and they became best of friends. But Oore later left Ilé-Ifè̀ to continue his journey with his people. The said article further said that after Odùduwà  joined his ancestors, Oore was sent for and he returned to Ilé-Ifè̀ to perform all necessary rituals for the burial of Odùduwà and also played a leading role in the enthronement of Odùduwà’s successor.

I ought to have reacted earlier to this unscrupulous article written by Lere Olayinka but I relaxed because we were in the mourning mood of our late Baba – Oba Okunade Sijuwade OLUBUSE II Akitikori, Ebitikimopiri. Secondly, I waited for the coronation of our new Oòni. Thank God and our ancestors for giving us a new Oòni.

It is important to reply this immoral piece and put persons like Lere Olayinka to where they belong. I loath history being distorted. I am neither an ethnic chauvinist nor jingoist. But I have special affinity for history. It is worrisome when people concoct genres of myth in the face of impeccable facts. This made me to react to this villainous article.

The article of Lere Olayinka and the account of Otun-Ekiti on the relationship of Oore of Otun-Ekiti with Odùduwà are laughable, vicious, fiendish, watery and shallow. When I read Lere Olayinka’s article on this subject matter, the first thought that came to my mind was – How old was Oore and where was Oore when Odùduwà reigned in Ile-Ife? At least, for them to be friends as claimed by Lere Olayinka and Otun-Ekiti, they must be contemporaries or members of the same generation.

According to anthropological and archaeological evidence discovered at Ilé-Ifè̀, the ancient city is said to be dated back to around 350 B.C. Available evidences from the curatorial community and archaeological discoveries have put the origin of Ilé-Ifè̀ around 6000 years BC.

According to Toyin Falola and Matthew M. Heathon in their book – A History of Nigeria, page 23, archaeological evidence indicates that Ilé-Ifè̀ has been a site of human settlement since at least the ninth century CE.

Around this time, the people of Ilé-Ifè̀ have distinguished themselves in technology and cultural advancement. A notable fact in this direction is Ori-Olokun: though purportedly ‘discovered’ by the famous German archaeologist Leo Frobenius in 1910, but had been in existence for thousands of years.

Ilé-Ifè̀ is world famous for its art.  Between 700 and 900 A.D. the city began to develop as a major artistic center.  By the 12th Century Ilé-Ifè̀ artists were creating bronze, stone, and terracotta sculptures, some of which are found today in museums in Nigeria, Europe, and North America.

Odùduwà was the first divine king of the Yoruba and the first Oòni of Ilé-Ifè̀. According to the archaeological evidence, Odùduwà reigned as the first Oòni of Ilé-Ifè̀ more than six thousand years ago.

However, Naiwu Osahon in his article titled “The Odùduwà Controversy Resolved” said Odùduwà only reigned in Ilé-Ifè̀ around 1200 CE. Assuming Odùduwà reigned in Ilé-Ifè̀ around 1200 CE, which I disagree with though,  that would mean he reigned 900 years ago – according to Naiwu Osahon and Bini history.

Where did Otun-Moba people migrate from? According to Otun Ekiti’s website – www.otun.ekiti.com – Oore of Otun Ekiti emerged from the Okun Moba (Moba Sea) in the present coastal area of Lagos (Eko). It is on record that the people of Otun under the leadership of Oore have settled in different places at different times, including Moba near Mushin in Lagos and passing through Ilé-Ifè̀ before they finally settled at their present location. Some of the places they passed through after Ilé-Ifè̀ included Akure, Oke Olodun, and Ipole before moving to the present site over 400 years ago. This history of Otun Ekiti can not be defused from Lagos.

Is Oore one of the children of Odùduwà? There is a version of history that says Odùduwà had only one child while his only child Okanbi had 16 children that became the pillar of Yoruba race.

Another version says Odùduwà had sixteen children. History mentioned Olowu of Owu,  Alaketu of Ketu,  Oba of Benin, Orangun of Ila,  Onisabe of Sabe, Olupopo of Popo, Oranyan or Oranmiyan of Oyo.

There is no account of Yoruba that mentions Oore of Otun Ekiti a son or grandson or great grandson of Odùduwà . As a matter of fact, Oore was not even a relative of Odùduwà. Otun-Ekiti only claims that Oore and Odùduwà were best of friends, though this is just a thing of imagination.

Who rightfully announces the demise of an Oòni? Ilé-Ifè̀’s traditional council has numerous duties, some of which are to announce the demise of an Oòni, select and install a new Oòni. After the needful traditional rites might have been done, then that such news goes to the public.

The children of Odùduwà and the Governor of Osun-State will be accordingly briefed as well. This council being led by Obalufe and Lowa of Ilé-Ifè̀ had been doing these from time immemorial. Ilé-Ifè̀’s traditional council is made up of 16 kingmakers and divided into two groups: Right Traditional Chiefs (8) and Left Traditional Chiefs (8).

On the selection of a new Oòni: According to the chieftaincy declaration, the family whose turn it is to present a candidate is to be invited in writing by the appropriate government authority, writing through the Ife Traditional Council, to present their candidate or candidates from among whom the kingmakers shall select the most suitable person.

The candidate(s) is then presented to the Obalufe and the Lowa. If the decision of the ruling house is not unanimous and one or more candidates are presented, the decision is made by the Obalufe in consultation with the Chiefs on the Right (the Outer chiefs) and the Lowa in consultation with the Chiefs of the Left (the inner Chiefs). After the candidate is selected, he is then presented to the State Government for ratification and approval under the Chieftaincy Laws.

Obalufe is the head of the traditional chiefs on the right while Lowa of Ilé-Ifè̀ is the head of the traditional chiefs on the left. Obalufe, as the Prime Minister of Ilé-Ifè̀, is also the second in rank to the Oòni of Ife.  He is also the king of Iremo, Ilé-Ifè̀.

According to tradition, Ilé-Ifè̀ Traditional Council is the only body that has the right to announce the demise of an Oòni. In 1980, the council challenged Late Chief Bola Ige, the then governor of the old Oyo State, for announcing the demise of Late Oba Adesoji Aderemi on the floor of the Old Oyo State House of Assembly. The council considered the ex-governor’s action as an act of  encroaching. And an affront to Ilé-Ifè̀’s tradition. The ex-governor (Late Bola Ige) was widely condemned.

It is also evident that on the 12th day of August 2015, Obalufe of Iremo, Ilé-Ifè̀, late Oba Solomon Folorunso Omisakin, led the Ilé-Ifè̀ Traditional Council to the Government House, Osogbo where the Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, was formally informed that the 50th Oòni of Ilé-Ifè̀, Oba Okunade Sijuwade had joined his ancestors.

Late Oba Omisakin stressed that the announcement of Oòni’s demise was delayed because such announcement must be done in accordance with the tradition and custom.

Conclusion: From the above, it is obvious that Otun-Moba people led by Oore ’emerged’ from Okun Moba in Lagos (Eko) not Ilé-Ifè̀.

They only passed through Ilé-Ifè̀ in their journey to their present settlement. As a matter of fact, it was not only Ilé-Ifè̀ that they had stop-over. They also passed through Akure, Oke Olodun and Ipole.

They moved to the present site over 400 years ago but they have existed around 600 years ago.

Otun-Moba people possibly left Lagos in the late 15th century when the Awori settlement was conquered by the Benin Empire and the island became a Benin war-camp called “Eko” under Oba Orhogbua – Oba of Benin (1547-1580). Even Lagos where Otun-Moba people came from only got founded around 1400 CE and the first King (Ado) of Lagos reigned between (1630-1669). Therefore, as at 15th century Otun-Ekiti (Moba) people were still in transit. They had not gotten to Ilé-Ifè̀.

From the foregoing, as at the time Oòni Odùduwà reigned in Ilé-Ifè̀, Oore was never in existence. According to oral tradition and archaeological evidence, Odùduwà had reigned before 500 B.C. and even if we want to base the argument on the Bini history, Bini history said Odùduwà reigned 900 years ago. Mathematically, is it not dishonest to try to link 6,000 years old ancestry or 900 years old ancestry with a personality or town less than 600 years old – without authentic and verifiable historical test. According to the history of Lagos, the earliest trace of Oore could only be dated back to 15th century. Therefore, the claim that it was Oore who took out of the water brought from Okun Moba to wash the eyes of Odùduwà when he had sight problem was a mere fiction that should be totally discarded. How can Oore claim to have treated Odùduwà who reigned thousands of years before his existence?

If friendship actually has a place in our traditional tenets like the so-called friendship the Otun-Ekiti people claimed to have existed between Odùduwà and Oore then the Emir of Kano can also claim the right of announcing the demise of Oòni because the immediate past Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and late Oòni Okunade Sijuwade were best of friends and each other’s benefactor.

Finally, there is no scientific account of history where Oore of Otun Ekiti ever performed the duty of announcing the demise of Oòni of Ilé-Ifè̀ or partaking in the installation of a new Oòni. Their claim is not only being fictitious but amounts to cheap popularity.

Barrister Adekanmi Abayomi is an Ilé-Ifè̀ prince.

Comment by Otedo News Update on September 19, 2014 at 7:57pm
Comment by Otedo News Update on September 19, 2014 at 1:35pm

EDO STOP ADDING YORUBA TO YOUR HISTORY! DOESN'T MAKE SENSE AND SHOWS ILL RESEARCH PRESENTATION!

WHY YORUBA NEVER HAD AN EMPIRE BUT CIVILIZED BY BENIN.

1.Their story of kingship began with Edo prince and the Benin recorded History.
2.Ayayi crawder said, little were know about yoruba existence, meaning they were not part of Nigeria of today boarder or were in small settlement close to dahomy. yoruba are half muslims and those with African traditions copied or got them from Benin civilization. I doubt if they not immigrants from dahomy mix with Benins or other fulani-hausa from Niger . Go figure, 
3.They have dublicity of kingship with the process highly politized to being traditional
4.Most of their Religion are Benin Origin, Olokun, Ogun, Iha oguega(ifa), oronmila, Esago(shango), Ayelala etc. Many Benin traditions and spirituality are stillfully documented by yorubas in high places as YORUBA? (Never mind the Edo man's christian mindset quickly dening Edo have niothing to do with African traditional religion, agreeing they are foriegn to Edoland...LIE)
5.Benin Ruled Yoruba
6.Benin founded lagos and ruled lagos
7.Benin first to meet Europeans
8."Oba" adopted from Benin not the other way round as many made to believe
9.They never conquered no territory but rather struggle with their neighbours before and after the first encounter with Europeans
10."Edo" have no relative with the word Yoruba.
11.Note history is subject to scientific diagnosis and many historic writtings in the past about Benin yoruba have been proved by archaeologies and scientist as erroneous and false.
12.Many Yoruba being those in the forfront of Nigeria history writters,used in Nigeria institutions had the benefit of making their yoruba look leading culture and history for nigerians
13. Yorubas all along paddling lies in Nigeria, US and British universities. deceivng Africans with grammar and academic titles. They confuse other external scholars about the true realities of African history.. buy their lies into African America book, which Benin in the Palace have no ideal. thank God the world is now a small village. 
14. Yoruba had and did the highest slave rading in their togo-oyo region stretched to lagos during slave trade. 
(15) Yoruba never colonise Benin but Benin colonize Yoruba
(16) Yoruba is not in anyway related to Igbo ancestral history
(17) Yoruba not in anyway related to itsekiri history. Their could be later migrant during the European expliotation and commerce but not related to the itsekiri ancestral lineage. Never mind all the title of "Olu" in the region, its all inventions
(18) Thank God for Obafemi Awolowo, Yoruba is known today as an ethnic group in NIgeria
(19) How can an Empire be inside an Empire? Many so called yoruba territories of today never existed in the past but invented and stillfully documented into their borrowed history
(20) Yoruba copied Benin-Edo history, twisted them and publish as Yoruba History. Most of their books and publications are mere opinions of the writers inside their rooms without no singgle scientific research or a visit to Ancient Benin for true archaeological discovery. Covered up with self hate, jealousy and envy of the Great Benin, bias and leftish in many of their so called Nigerian history.

(21) if cameroon was inside Nigeria today , Yoruba would have as well say they are their ancestors..

(22)Many yorubas dominating Lagos today came as migrant workers for British companies and construction project. that why you have alot of their fotos with whites. Britain also use them as colonial officers. 
Before Britain or before the punitive expedition of 1897, Yoruba have no were to be found as recognized major ethnic group in lagos but Edos.

(23)lastly, where is yoruba ancient flag or before 1897?

Nigerians wise up! Yoruba have been writting and teaching us Gabage for so long.....
DETTAILS LATER...¨^view bellow map carefully and never mind other maps spread accross the internet designed by photoshop *

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