The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, on Monday night slammed the Olugbo of Ugbo kingdom, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan, for installing Yoruba Obas living in foreign countries.
Adams in a statement he personally signed on Monday declared that the action is “desecration of Yoruba culture and tradition”.
He appealed to 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.
“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 communique, 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 per cent 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 indigines 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.”