Diaspora Obas: Aare slams Oluwo for defending Olugbo, advocates creation of central council of Obas
Lagos, May, 10, 2019: The Ààrẹ Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Ibà Gani Adams is pained just as other monarchs are, concerning the issues plaguing Yoruba monarchies, Chief Gani Balogun, the Osi Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland has said.
Balogun, in a statement on Friday quoted Adams as reacting to Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, defending the Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Obateru Akinruntan’s crowning of some people living outside the country as obas.
According to Balogun, Aare considers such indiscriminate crowning as chagrin of the majority of the Obas in Yorùbáland and that Yoruba monarchs are currently embroiled in not a few of such controversies, particularly as it affects the Oluwo’s support.
“Contrary to what the Oluwo said in his interview on Rave FM Programme, “Frank Talk,” the Ààrẹ is not a chief.
“Had it been in the olden days, it would have been impossible for the Oluwo to continue in his erring ways, as it was the job of the Ààrẹ to reprimand erring monarchs.
“Be that as it may, the Ààrẹ is now calling on the authorities to create without delay, a central council of Obas from all the Yoruba speaking ethnicities to help administer proper conduct, ethics and culture among the monarchs.
“It has now become important to do so. Such a body, shall comprise of notable Obas from each state of the Yoruba Nation.
“Part of what is important is the discourse on the need to correct the faulty succession and selection processes, as clearly seen in the quality of those emerging unto the traditional stools of our forefathers,” Balogun quoted Aare as saying.
He added that Aare noted that the very first meeting in which senior Yoruba Obas were in attendance including the Oba of Benin, was held in Oyo Alaafin in 1937 while subsequent meetings were held annually, moving from place to place.
Acording to him, only five Obas attended the first meeting, but was subsequently expanded to include the Oninana of the Gas people near Accra, Ghana, who is also a Yoruba Ọba.
“Very strict rules were set for those Obas who sought to wear beaded Crowns… And in the meeting held in Ile-Ife among the Yoruba Obas in 1959, the late Ooni Ife, Oba Sir, Adesoji Aderemi, had this to say:
“In the course of our deliberations at Benin City last year we touched on, the question of indiscriminate award of spurious titles to people by the Obas and Bales as also of illegal wearing of crown by chiefs who were not entitled to do so.
“It was hoped then that the Council, now Committee of Obas and Chiefs, would be able to deal with this matter in their meetings during the year but circumstances did not afford it an opportunity of meeting until shortly before this Conference just in haste to give decision on very urgent matters and to discuss some bills.
“I regret to say that during the year, there have taken place many illegal wearing of crowns in, for instance Oshun Division, llesha Division and in other little known villages of the coastal district. At llesha I gather that it has caused some bad blood.
“You will agree with me, gentlemen that it is a serious lapse in our custom and tradition for a chief to dare to put on his head a beaded crown to which he has not succeeded! What glory, what honour is there in a crown which one’s father never wore, never bequeathed!!
“Those who persist in wearing beaded crown unlawfully may one day be called upon to surrender them; I can only advise them to discontinue doing so before they are compelled to abandon them.
“I also feel to warn those who are just thinking of wearing crown illegally to try to have some confidence in themselves,” Balogun said Aare quoted Aderemi as saying.
He said that Aare recalled that Oba Aderemi urged the culprits to have the courage to restrain themselves from following the path of perversion, saying “No amount of distortive history can right what is fundamentally wrong.
Balogun said that Aare quoted Aderemi as saying: “Don’t let us deceive ourselves, it is not the hood that makes the rank: it is not beaded crown that makes an Oba.
“For instance, you have in the hierarchy of chiefs, great rulers such as the Olubadan of Ibadan, the Shohun of Ogbomosho, the Timi of Ede to mention just a few who never wear a beaded crown.
“The fact is that non-wearing of beaded crown by them does not detract a jot from the importance and the dignity attached to their titles and their personalities.
“Behold the Timi of Ede any day in his Akoro headgear which is the proper thing for him to wear and you find a dignified ruler who is very confident of himself and his ancient title.
“The same holds good for the Shohun of Ogbomosho who has never bothered himself about the beaded crown which his village heads have made so cheap.
“And what of the Olubadan of Ibadan, head of more than three quarter of a million people; his dignity, indeed his greatness lies in his simplicity. A word is enough for the wise.”
“The Ààrẹ has only brought out this piece from the revered Ọba Adesoji Aderemi, The late Ooni of Ifẹ, to show how those entrusted with sustaining, preserving and maintaining our tradition have so bastardized it.”
According to him, Aare said that: “a situation that allowed Olugbo to embark on proliferation of meaningless obaship in the Diaspora, and the desecration of the Yorùbá culture of Oluwo calling himself an Emir and placing a crown on the head of his wife calls for attention.
“Oba Akanbi remains the only Oba in Yoruba history that has truly done that. It is an aberration.
“Ààrẹ has a lot of regard for the good people of Iwo and rightly acknowledges the important place Iwo holds in history and in Yorùbáland, particularly the culture of Yorubaland in ọdún eégún of Iwo that the Ààrẹ most grateful to the Ìwo community for upholding.
“However, Oluwo has continued to emphasize his Islamic faith over our culture and tradition, forgetting that he is Oluwo, a monarch that is meant to serve all,” Balogun quoted Aare as saying.
According to him, the Aare has a deep sense of history, such is his revered role as to be able to place issues as they affect the Yoruba in proper perspective.
He quoted Aare as adding: “Aare Gani Adams is living on history, and traditionally, he is the king of all warriors in Yorubaland.
” As a monarch, by virtue of his position, Oluwo should also know better that he is a product of history, he should know better of a prominent Yoruba adage that says”At’ari Ajanaku, kii se eru omode.
“Ààrẹ Gani Adams is not in the business of commercialising our culture and tradition and cannot be. Though a Muslim by birth, the Ààrẹ by his oath of office must exist for the upliftment and security of the Greater Yoruba.
“The Ààrẹ, therefore, will wish the Oluwo to join him and others in finding solutions to the more important issues affecting our people, especially the spate of insecurity that had been ravaging the south.
He said that the Aare urged Oluwo to desist from actions that would diminish Yorubaland and reduce her heritage.
“The time to speak up against all those that wanted to desecrate the Yoruba tradition is now and we must rise against this, not individually but collectively, all in the interest of all,” he quoted Aare as saying.