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Alake insists on Yoruba monarchs ranking claim


Alake Of Egbaland

Alake Of Egbaland

Says he spoke on historical facts

The Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, yesterday defended his claim on the ranking of Yoruba monarchs.

Oba Gbadebo, who said he was not ready to “trade insults with the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

He affirmed that “the intention of the Egba was never to whip up any controversy or demean anybody, rather it is always to educate the public by stating the fact of history and record purposes.”

The Alake, who spoke through his chiefs, was responding to a statement in which Oba Adetona allegedly accused him of distorting historical fact in terms of ranking of Yoruba monarchs.

During a recent visit by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi to Alake at his Ake, Abeokuta palace, Oba Gbadebo told his audience that in terms of ranking of Yoruba monarchs, the Ooni is first, followed by the Alaafin of Oyo, then Oba of Benin, followed by the Alake before Awujale.

But Awujale in his reaction debunked the claims, insisting that it was total falsehood.

Speaking at the launch of an “Endowment Fund of Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona Professional chair in Governance” in Lagos last week, Oba Adetona described Oba Gbadebo “as a junior Oba”.

But in response yesterday in a speech at a press conference, Alake stated: “Our concern is predicated on self-indulgence of our respected monarch to churn out outright historical falsehoods in the presence of knowledgeable Nigerians. In spite of our belief that his audience would have taken attempt to rewrite contemporary history as his personal views, we feel compelled to state the fact for record purposes”.

The three-page speech which was signed by Chief Sikirulai Atobatele, Balogun of Egbaland but read by Chief Lai Labode, Aare Ba’royin of Egbaland in the presence of 24 other Egba High Chiefs responded to seven of the allegations the Awujale made with documents to support them.

On the allegation that the Alake quoted wrongly from 1903 Government Gazette, Oba Gbadebo affirmed: “ Alake quoted Government Gazette, Colony of Lagos, Saturday, February 20, 1903. Page 100, paragraph 16. Gazette is subsidiary legislation which has force of law and therefore a public document available for verification.”

On the allegation that Awujale and Oba of Lagos made several calls to Alake to confirm if Alake actually made the statement on Yoruba rankings which Alake denied, he said “ Both Awujale and Oba of Lagos actually called Alake on the ranking of Yoruba Obas, Alake responded that his ranking was supported by documentary evidence and he therefore stands by his position.”

On who categorised the Yoruba traditional rulers, the monarch explained: “The then Ooni of Ife did, at the Central Native Council meeting which was chaired by the Governor-General, His Excellency, Sir William Macgregor, MD, KCMG, CR at Government House, Lagos in 1937. Those in attendance included the Ooni of Ife, Alafin of Oyo, Oba of Benin, Alake of Abeokuta and Awujale of Ijebu-Ode.”

Commenting on Awujale’s allegation that he is a junior chief in Egba Forest under Alaafin from where he fled to Ibadan, only to be later sacked by the Ijebu army, Oba Gbadebo said “20 Alake had reigned in the Egba forest prior to the founding of Abeokuta in 1830. There was no Alake that fled to, or took refuge in Ibadan. The Egba arrived and settled in Abeokuta mainly in 1830.”

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  • Babalakin

    am always curious at the yoruba rating cos we know the 7 children that are descendants of oduduwa.

  • Yoruba Ronu

    The Alake’s statement on the 5 principal obas in Yorubaland to Ooni Ogunwusi was not meant to create animosity but rather to set the records straight as to the pre-eminence of the Ooni’s throne over all other Yoruba crowns derived from Oduduwa as THE SOURCE. He spoke glowingly of the crowns of the Ooni, Alaafin, Oba of Benin and Awujale, as any Omoluabi should do, and never belittled any of these crowns.

    The Alake, in his wisdom, however, warned of the ego of some Yoruba Obas, something he had seen first hand, and something he knew would be a threat to the new Ooni’s reign and the new dawn breaking over a now united Yoruba nation.

    I have it on good authority that a few years ago, the current Alake, Oba Gbadebo, was asked to mediate between the late Ooni Sijuwade and the Awujale over their long running feud by some senior Yoruba elders, led by respected Yoruba statesman, Olaniwun Ajayi.

    The Alake succeeded in bringing the two monarchs together for a closed door meeting where a lot of home truths were told to the Awujale that he didn’t like to hear. When prodded to disclose his main grouse against the late Ooni Sijuwade, the Awujale said, “..the Ooni always travelled abroad with an entourage of 20-30 people and he gave the western world the wrong impression that he was the only monarch in Nigeria… !” Oba Gbadebo was said to have told Oba Adetona point blank that if that was his major grouse with Ooni Sijuwade, then he (Adetona) should try and travel with a bigger entourage of 40-50 people if he felt the Ooni was outshining him, rather than insulting the elderly man and his revered throne on the pages of newspapers and in his books.

    The meeting concluded with late Ooni Sijuwade presenting Awujale Adetona with several letters written by past Awujales to past Oonis, ALL OF THEM showing the past Awujales of Ijebu addressing the past Oonis of Ife as ” My Dear Father” , ” Baba Mi”, and other reverent salutations.

    It is is the pent up ill -feeling of the Awujale towards the Alake for putting him in that meeting where Oba Adetona was forced to acknowledge the bitter truth that we saw let out by the Awujale last week, when he chose to use 9 paragraphs of his 20 paragraph speech at his chair endowment to insult the Alake’s person, crown and history, nothing else.

    Everyone knows that Awujale Adetona has always been on cordial terms with the current Alake, who since his coronation has shown nothing but love to the Awujale and all other Obas within and outside Ogun State.They have direct access to each other, attend each others’ functions and have never quarrelled before now.
    It is obvious that the Awujale was speaking form a deep-seated animosity and hatred for the Alake by his choice of words in his response. Everyone also knows that the Awujale is VERY VINDICTIVE and NEVER FORGIVES any slight, no matter how small.

    I urge all Yorubas to read between the lines and see clearly that it is better the Alake fights this battle now and put the Awujale in his rightful place, because sooner or later, Oba Adetona’s unbridled ego would (as is his nature) get the better of him and he would have gone ahead to disrespect and belittle the new Ooni,

    – just the same as he he publicly ridiculed both the crown and person of the late Ooni Sijuwade.

    – just the same as he fought Awolowo and his political leadership of the Yorubas and worked with the enemies of the Yoruba to ensure Awolowo never became president of this country.

    Yoruba ronu!