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How Ooni of Ife and Oluwo of Iwo resolve differences

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Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdul Rasheed Adewale Akanbi and his Olori

In a dramatic fashion on Thursday, April 12, 2018, the Ooni of Ife and Oluwo of Iwo resolved their differences behind closed doors, at the instance of the “Ipade Awon loba loba Omo Ooduwa” (meeting of Obas that are direct descendants of Ooduwa) Osun State Chapter.

The meeting was not that of Osun State Council of Traditional Rulers. This body is made up of Obas, who converge at the source of Oodua kingdom. They regularly meet at the palace of the Ooni in Ile-Ife, Osun State.

Present at the peace meeting were about 65 Obas from Osun State, including initiators of the meeting, His Royal Majesties Oba Adedapo Aderemi, the Alayemore of Ido-Osun, who is a close confidant of the Ooni of Ife, and Oba Alagberi of Iragberi, a retired Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Defence, who is said to be a close confidant of the Oluwo of Iwo. These two Obas were at the centre of the peace meeting in Ile-Ife.

Other prominent traditional rulers, present were Timi of Ede, Orangun of Ila and Olufon of Ifo.

Immediately after the meeting, Palace Watch contacted the Ooni, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, who refused to speak. We then reached out to the Alayemore of Ido-Osun, who said: “The essence of the meeting was achieved, as the Ooni and the Oluwo of Iwo have buried the hatchet.

We did this to foster better cooperation among Obas in Osun State in particular and Yoruba land in general. We are all happy that the Ooni of Ife and the Oluwo of Iwo, who have been childhood friends are back again on the same page.” He thanked Oba Alagberi of Iragberi for his efforts to make the meeting a success.

Palace Watch then contacted the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, who said: “The meeting was timely and productive. The outcome of the meeting shamed those people, whose pastime it is to bear false tales and spread rumour.

The Ooni was very forthright in telling everybody present at the meeting that he and I have known each other, when we were very young in the early 80s in Ibadan.”

What brought about the idea to reconcile you and the Ooni?

Traditional rulers are expected to reconcile with one another, if ever there is any disagreement. They should be in a position to always make peace and encourage unity in the nation.

It is, therefore, inappropriate for Obas to allow politicians to come and settle disputes among them. Upon realising this, we called each other and said ‘enough is enough.’ The Ooni invited me to his palace and I told him that I would come.

At that meeting, we were quite blunt. I told some Obas at the meeting that they are not doing the Ooni any good, when they keep praising him. If they genuinely want to help him succeed as the Ooni, they should endeavour to tell him the truth at all times. That is what the Ooni requires and not praise-singing.

All leaders need to be told the truth. We told ourselves lots of truth on how to handle issues that concern our domains and us. The Ooni told everyone at the meeting that he has known me before ascending the throne. He stressed that we are quite close.

After the meeting, the Ooni and I had an almost three-hour close-door meeting, where we ironed out so many things and told each other the home truth. We also went down memory lane at the meeting.

Could you give an insight into your childhood and growing up with the Ooni in Ibadan? Did you know you were going to become kings?

We had a very good and interesting background, as young men living in the same neighbourhood in Ibadan. We never knew we were going to become Obas. We first lived in two different places in Ibadan, around Holy Trinity in Ibadan. We were also together at a place called Old Ife Road in Ibadan. We then lived together in Akobo.

We were both very young then. What is important now is that we have achieved the much-desired unity. One very important fact about life is that you hardly achieve peace without war.

Even if you want to build a house, you must first go to war or fight the ground by breaking it up before you begin to build your house. To be able to have peace in whatsoever we do, we must first fight it. There is no lasting peace without war.

And now that we have resolved our differences, I do not only envisage a lasting peace among Osun State Obas, but among the entire Yoruba Obas. My main target is not only peace in Osun, but also peace in Yoruba land.

Peace in Osun first, which is the cradle and source of the crown, and then after, peace in Yoruba land, which will transform into peace in Nigeria. I have had cause to say that we Obas or traditional rulers are the problems in Nigeria.

This is because we are supposed to be leaders of our people. And if there is no unity among the supposed leaders, Nigeria can never be united.

This is the simple fact. Traditional rulers are the fathers of the nation. We, therefore, have all it takes to bring all our children – I mean politicians and political office holders – together and show them the direction to go.

When I was misquoted, as saying I was an Emir and not Oba, I did that because I am first and foremost for the complete unity of Nigeria, as one indivisible country.

As far as I am concerned, the Ooni and I should see any Hausa or Fulani man and woman and Igbo man or woman in our domains as our children.

I am, therefore, an Igwe to the Igbo man in my domain and Tor Tiv to the Tiv man or woman in Iwo. This was the point I was trying to make, but was misquoted. All these people are Nigerians.


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Oluwo of IwoOoni of Ife

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