Day remo returns to source
• As Akarigbo Pays Historic Visit To Ife
• Ooni, Akarigbo Reiterate Unity For Uplift Of Yoruba
The age-long ancestral tie between the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State, recognised as the cradle of Yoruba people and Remoland in Ogun State was expanded with the recent historical visit of Akarigbo of Remoland, His Royal Majesty, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, Torungbuwa II, to the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II.It was Akarigbo’s first visit to the Ooni’s palace since he was installed over a year ago.
And though it looked like a regular visit, but with the Akarigbo’s ‘loaded entourage,’ which consisted about 13 monarchs in the kingdom, including title chiefs, it was definitely exceptional and historical, as it symbolised Remo people’s return to their source.
Based on existing history, the Yoruba people, including Remoland, are all descendants of Obalufon, who reigned immediately after the demise of Oduduwa, the progenitor of Yoruba race. The Obalufon descendants comprise Aka, Alasa, Ijaroa, Ilara, Edun Ide and Akinrin Compounds.
Ile-Ife is said to be the source from where all Yoruba Obas migrated as Oduduwa’s sons. Oduduwa was said to have crowned his children and gave them beaded staff, before sending them to various parts of the country, in a bid to consolidate his government and expand his kingdom into a sort of empire.
Among his children that left Ile-Ife then, were the Onibini of Benin, Orangun of Ila, Alaketu of Ketu, Alake of Egbaland, Owa Obokun and Akarigbo of Remo, among others.The Guardian learnt that the people of Sagamu and Remo are descendants of Aka compound (ancestral home) in Ile-Ife, where the Akarigbo title was coined.
So, the visit was significant in many ways. Aside being historical as the monarch’s first visit, and return of Akarigbo to source, certain rare traditional rites were also performed during the two-day visit.
The first rite was performed by Sarun Oodua, who washed the monarch’s legs with living deity water (Yeyemolu Ototoro Omi Ale-Ife), which was the offshoot of Orisa gaani Amu water (today’s Sagamu in Remoland), after he was received by the Obalufe of Iremo quarters, alongside other traditional chiefs.
The Ile Imole spiritual dance followed at Ile-nla within the palace. The Ooni appeared on the scene at intervals, while the Akarigbo and other chiefs undertook the traditional rites. The Ile Imole seat is located at Iremo Quarters at Ife, the compound of the Remos.
The Akarigbo, who said the visit was historically correct, noted that the Remos are from Ife, and are from Oduduwa’s lineage before their relocation to Remoland in Ogun State. He said the Ooni fits perfectly into his role as the custodian of Yoruba race, with his large heart and personable nature.He recalled that the Ooni abandoned all official duties he was supposed to undertake to grace his (Akarigbo) coronation on December 7, 2017, which coincided with the Ooni’ s coronation anniversary, despite the importance of the day.
The Akarigbo said: “I appreciate the Ooni for his unflinching support and several visits to Remoland. Despite my inability to visit him since I was crowned, he never stopped visiting us. “I am assuring him that the friendship between us will not diminish. There has been no time I called him for anything that he ever declined. What we need to do is to continually pray for him, so that we can all uplift the Yoruba nation together.
“I’m actually honoured and overwhelmed with this reception. Based on what I have seen and how we were treated, I think we should have come earlier than this.”While welcoming his guests, the elated Ooni, Oba Ogunwusi said the relationship between Ife and Remoland is tight. He recollected that at his own coronation, the late Akarigbo, Oba Sowemi graced the occasion in company of his entourage.
He said with the Akarigbo’s visit, another history had been written, as it marked the return of Akarigbo and the entire Remo people to their ancestral home.He said: “Akarigbo is someone I like very much. He is educated and versatile. We share many things in common: we both bear Babatunde, we were both installed on the same date, though in different years, and while I am Ojaja II, he is Torungbowa II. This means I am lucky.
“I must also thank the Akarigbo and Elepe, based on the fact that it was the unresolved discrepancy between the duo on February 28, 1903 that ended the age-long tradition of an Ooni not permitted to leave his domain. When the crisis reached the peak, the Ooni was forced to go out for the first time and the issue was resolved. So, if not for them, I wouldn’t have been going out now.”
He described Remoland as exceptional, compared to other towns in Nigeria, as they produced the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who was highly revered in the country and the current Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. Both monarchs reiterated their commitment to foster peace, unity and oneness, to jointly uplift the Yoruba race and take it to another level.
The Akarigbo later visited his ancestral home, the Aka Arogundabi Akuguru Obalufon compound, Iremo Quarters, led by the Obalufe of Iremo Quarters, where traditional rites were performed in the absence of the Ooni. Chief L. A. Odeniran, who spoke on behalf of the quarters, lauded the Ooni for being instrumental to the visit, describing Akarigbo’s visit as divine.
He said it was obvious that the people were happy to welcome the monarch into his royal compound, especially with reference to the adage that says any river that forsakes its source will surely dry up. Odeniran enjoined other Yoruba monarchs to emulate the Ooni in fostering unity among them.
The Obalufe of Ilu Iremo, Oba Idowu Adediwura, who described the visit as historical, enjoined Yoruba nation, especially new monarchs, to revive their culture for the unity and betterment of the race.