Tuesday, 19 January 2016

OONI MEETS ALAAFIN : END OF AN AGE- LONG FEUD BY IBRAHIM ADEJARE

On 15th November, 1889, Oba Adesoji Martins Tadenikawo Aderemi was born in Ile-Ife. 1930, when Oba Adesoji Aderemi I was coronated as the Ooni of Ife, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III was not born.
Kabiyesi, His Imperial Majesty, The Alaafin of Oyo was born on 15th October, 1938. On January 14th, 1971, Oba (Dr) Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III was coronated as the 43rd Alaafin of Oyo, when Sir Aderemi was 89 years of age and forty-one years on the throne. Oba Aderemi reigned for fifty years on the throne. On 7th July, 1980, he died at the ripe age of ninety, when Alaafin was forty-one years of age and nine years on the throne of his ancestors.
Oba Eniitan Ogunwusi was born on October 7th, 1974; three years after The Alaafin was installed as a king by General Adeyinka Adebayo, the Governor of the Old Western Region.
Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II received his Staff of Office from Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Monday, 7th December, 2015 at Enuwa Square, Ile-Ife; forty-five years after Alaafin received his.
History Has And Will Always Repeat Itself
The hand of friendship extended to the Ooni of Ife by The Alaafin of Oyo will eternally remain epochal and monumentous in the annals of Yoruba nationhood. The Alaafin personally sent an invitation to the Ooni through one of the illustrious sons of Oyo, Baba Prince Arch Bishop Lawrence Ayo Ladigbolu. The Ooni could not make it to the grand finale, because Saturday, 16th January, 2016, was the day of installation of Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, Ilufemiloye Telu I. The Ooni could not afford to miss this occasion. Firstly, as a result of a long-standing friendship between the duo. And secondly, Ooni has the traditional duty to be present; being a front-line traditional ruler in the State. Therefore, the visit was shifted to Sunday, 17th January.
OONI IN OYO
Sunday was the day of Thanksgiving at Methodist Church, Apaara, Oyo, after the two other religious groups(Traditionalists and Muslims) had equally performed their rites on Thursday and Friday respectively. When the news filtered in that the Ooni and other Obas were on their way, Alaafin sent the Oyomesis, led by Bashorun (Generalissimo) of Oyo Empire, to lead the Ooni to the Venue. Honourable Prince Akeem Adeyemi was instructed by Kabiyesi to closely monitor their movement and to ensure a hitch-free movement of the Royal Fathers, with the assistance of security agencies.
Ooni In The Church.
The Alaafin, who was already on seat, came out of the Church to receive the Ooni and other Obas. Then, the service began. The Alaafin, being the celebrant, was called to read some portions of the Bible. Some rites were also performed by the officiating pastors.
Moments of Speeches
For the avoidance of conflicts and misplacement of facts, Alaafin never said Ooni Ogunwusi's visit was the first since 1937. Let me quote him verbatim: " This special visit was done last in March, 1937. That was the first time Kings in Yorubaland met in Oyo town (during the reign of Alaafin Siyanbola Onikepe Oladigbolu I, 1911-1944) and today, history has repeated itself with the visit of Ooni and other Obas'. Timi of Ede, Orangun of Ila, Olu of Ilaro, Ajero of Ijero, Olokuku of Okuku, Alara of Aramoko and other traditional rulers were all in attendance. Ooni Olubuse II had first visited the Alaafin's palace in 1990 when it was gutted by fire. Alaafin was never oblivious of this fact.
In the course of his expository discourse, The Alaafin paid glowing tributes and extolled the virtues of Ooni Adesoji Aderemi. He said, 'as an elderly person, I gave Baba Ooni Aderemi his due respect. I never crossed his path. We had a very cordial relationship. In 1968, when Oba Gbadegesin, the Alaafin of Oyo, died, Baba Ooni Aderemi was consulted by Governor Adeyinka Adebayo on whom was to be chosen as the next Alaafin. Baba Ooni responded, "CHOOSE SOMEONE WHOSE FATHER HAD BEEN A KING. CHOOSE LAMIDI; PERHAPS, HE WILL FORGIVE THE INJUSTICES METED OUT AGAINST HIS FATHER".
He continued, 'The Oyomesis chose me in 1968. On three occasions, this submission was rejected by the government of the day. It was in 1970 when the government had no option than to accept the choice of the Oyomesis that my coronation was approved. I am the PROVERBIAL COW that passed through the eye of a needle. I was crowned on the 14th of January, 1971. I thank God the Almighty'. It was an emotion-ladened voice Alaafin described this nostalgic experience.
Kabiyesi further stated that, ' I remember when I was working with an insurance firm in Lagos, and I heard of Baba Ooni Aderemi's arrival, I removed my tie and suit, and prostrated. He asked me, 'who are you?' I replied, I am the son of Adeniran Adeyemi II. He prayed for me that I will soon ascend to the throne of my ancestors and my reign shall be long. I said, amen. This is the manifestation of the prayers.

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