The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has berated the Olugbo of Ugbo in Ondo State, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan, over a statement credited to him where he described the Yoruba heroine, Moremi, as a traitor.
Oba Ogunwusi, in a statement by his media aide, Moses Olafare, wondered why a Yoruba monarch would refer to Moremi as a traitor because she liberated her people from incessant invasions.
The Olugbo reportedly said: “Our forefathers descended from heaven that is why we are called ‘Ugbo Atorunwo.
“To set the record straight, Moremi remains a traitor. She was a slave captured by Ugbo warriors during one of their many raids on Ile-Ife.
“She became the wife of Osangangan Obamakin, the son of Oranfe, who was the paramount ruler of over 13 aboriginal communities of ancient Ugbomokun, which later came to be called Ile-Ife.
“Oduduwa came to Ugbomokun as a stranger and was welcomed in Ilero, the aboriginal palace of Osangangan Obamakin, which is still in existence in present-day Iremo in Ile-Ife.
“During the dynastic struggles, Osangangan Obamakin was directed by the oracles (Ifa and Osanyin) to leave Ile-Ife. Moremi betrayed her husband’s trust when she exposed the secret of the Ugbo warriors’ gallantry.”
In his reaction, Oba Ogunwusi said: “The attention of ILE-OODUA has been drawn to a statement credited to Oba Frederick Akinruntan through the Olugbo-in-Council berating the people of Ile-Ife for celebrating Moremi Ajasoro as a heroine and goddess of liberty.
“Olugbo’s outburst can only be viewed as a pitiable act of absurdity that doesn’t deserve serious attention by serious minded people.”
The Ooni said the Yoruba “remain very proud of the great queen Moremi Ajasoro, a brave woman who sacrificed her only son Oluorogbo for the victory of her people over the faceless terrorists who raided Ife markets.
“We will not dignify this rascality of royalty with an expected response as we are not ready for any useless supremacy battle incapable of taking Yoruba to a greater height.
“Most paramount on my mind as Ooni with the unflinching support of Baba Alaafin, Baba Awujale, Baba Alake, Baba Orangun, Baba Deji, Baba Ewi, Baba Osemawe, Baba Olubadan, Oba of Lagos and other relevant peace loving monarchs in Yorubaland and in other parts of the country is and remains the much needed progress of Yoruba nation.
“This can only be catalysed by peace and unity. This has necessitated my unimaginable barrier-breaking unity visits I have been taking around not only in Yorubaland but also across Nigeria and internationally.
“These activities in the last one year are enough to attest to my personality as a king of peace.
“It is a pity that at this time when everybody is tired of retrogressive royal discord generally agreed to have colossally hindered our pace of progress as a people of common heritage politically and socio-economically, the Olugbo, who claims to be the chairman of Yoruba Obas Committee on Peace and Reconciliation, has suddenly, without a deep knowledge of Yoruba history, woken up to see royal controversy as the only tool for cheap publicity.
“As Ooni, I am not interested in joining issues with Oba Akinruntan or anyone on any matter that can jeopardise our peace and unity project which is already making impact in so many sectors, including youth development, women empowerment, cultural tourism, agricultural revolution, unification of our elders and traditional rulers, to mention but a few.
“We, therefore, urge every lover of peace and unity in Africa to ignore any reckless statement capable of further dividing us.
“They should rather see the author of such statement as a person who poses a danger to our peaceful coexistence.
“Yoruba must remain united, Nigeria must remain united, Africa must remain united and the entire black worldwide must remain united because we are one before the Almighty God.”