Reexamination of Yoruba History becomes necessary and imperative for the generation with less knowledge and much ignorance of the past.
This article was precipitated by the recent statement issued by the respected monarch, OLUGBO of UGBOLAND, Oba Obateru Akinrutan which he claimed that ” I am the leader of all Obas in Yorubaland, I speak with Thunder in my mouth and I make bold to say so. No one is above me in Yorubaland in as much as it has been accepted that we are from Ife. I am 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”
Apart from the above statement, the monarch further highlighted that his own account of history pertinent to the Yorubaland is accurate and authentic. He also stressed that a publication on his own view of origin of the Yoruba people is available at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and it is well accepted as the authentic history of the Yoruba people.
The Oba also said that his critics should be ignored especially those on Facebook, which he regarded as children of slaves. He concluded that the second volume of the aforementioned publication will soon be launched.
Prior to the press statement issued by the monarch. According to Falola.T.et al in their book HISTORY OF NIGERIA I, NIGERIA BEFORE 1800AD , In history “Ile Ife as only being regarded as Cradle of Yoruba people, which made it the only source of the Tradition of Origin of the Yoruba people”. It was further opined that there are only two traditions often given to explain the origins of the Ife as a people and as a kingdom.
The first tradition of origin of the Yorubaland (Yoruba people) where the account of migration, where it was said that a certain set of people from the East migrated to the present day ILE IFE. It was accounted that these set of migrants were led by Oduduwa who had sons that established neighboring Yoruba towns and kingdoms.
On the other hand, the second account of tradition of origin explains the creation of Ile Ife by divine order under the leadership of Obatala who was said to have failed in his role and responsible of founding Ile Ife and other Yoruba towns, which was therefore shifted into the hands of Oduduwa and fifteen (15) others.
However, the two traditions of origin of the Yoruba people have divergent account of the people as they had two different subject matter, where the very first account spoke exclusively on Migration while that of the second account gave an account of the Divine order for the creation of whole world. But nevertheless, they both had “Oduduwa” as the main actor of their various account of the tradition of the Yoruba people.
It has also been argued that the traditions of Oduduwa need not be interpreted to mean the origin of a people but perhaps. According to Falola.T.et al “The demise of one epoch in the history of Yoruba people (Possibly Obatala period) and the commencement of another (Oduduwa period)”.
Subsequently, the traditions of origin of the Yoruba people has been accounted for in the two traditions of origin well entrenched above, but the importance of Ile-Ife at this point in time lay in the fact that Ile-Ife became the “Centre of dispersal for rulers”. That is, Ile-Ife became the Centre point for rulers who later established and founded neighboring Yoruba Kingdoms in History, including the kingdom of Bini (Benin).
After a in depth analyses of the traditions of origin of the Yoruba people, a very close look to the supremacy of the Ile Ife Monarch “Ooni Risa”. The Ooni was regarded as the ruler at the core of government of Ile Ife, his office was said to be monarchical; It should be noted that the exercise of power at the institution and functions within the government of Ife at the centre differs from the functions performed at the peripheral districts of Ile Ife. Furthermore, the “Ooni” was perceived as the spiritual father of the Yoruba nation. In Ile-Ife proper, the monarch exercised real power according to history.
In conclusion, with various facts that have been deducted from events of the past as entrenched in the two traditions of origin of the Yoruba nation, If his yet will not be distorted the “Ooni” is said to be the supreme ruler and spiritual father of the Yoruba land at large. Handling the series of the Yoruba Monarchical Supremacy accounted for by Olugbo of Ugboland as a historian, one has to very skeptical such material from the statement made by the monarch.
If you take a close look at the statement made by the respected monarch who was very close to Ooni Okunade Sijuwade, the predecessor of the present Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja11. It shows that there is something hidden which personally I wouldn’t want to give a name for the respected accosted to our monarchs especially in the culture and tradition of the Yoruba people, which portrays Yoruba moral values, norms and respect.
Even though the statement of the monarch has generated divergent views and as a custodian of history who needs not to deviate from facts of history, so as to get others well informed and to set a guideline for the yet unborn generation.
I can only urge and suggest that the appropriate concerned councils, authorities or whatever concerned bodies as the case may be should not let the course of history be distorted and protracted , instead there should be an Avenue for integration of the conglomerates so that the Yoruba nation can move forward from it’s status quo, A close rank is the key to the issue of “Yoruba Monarchical Supremacy”. Lastly, my view , perspective or whatever I opined is not the finite, as I bring forth my analyses up for further criticism (if there is any) to yield another hypothesis to the subject matter “Yoruba Monarchical Supremacy“.
AKEJU BOSUN ORIRE
Arakunrin Bosun is an astute Historian and Political Analyst. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History and International Studies from Bowen University.
He is the Political Editor of Core Magazine.