Oba Akinruntan: Ugbo traditional stool pre-dates Ooni
A new dimension was added to the seemingly unending controversy about the history of the Yoruba on Saturday, as the Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan, publicly presented a book during which he claimed that the Ugbo stool pre-dates the arrival of Oduduwa, believed to be the progenitor of the Yoruba race to Ile Ife.
The book, which the monarch authored is titled: “A History of The Oldest Stool in Yorubaland” and was launched at a grand ceremony at Ugbo, in Ilaje-Odo local council of Ondo State.
Oba Akinruntan, who said the public presentation of the book “was not an attempt to re-write the history of Yoruba race, but to put the records straight”; noted that the time has come to let the world know that there was a royal stool that Oduduwa met when he arrived at Ile Ife from Mecca.
The oil magnate said he had to write the book in response to the request of the leadership of the Yoruba Youth Council (YYC) that paid him a visit in his palace yesterday.
The South West Leader of the YYC, Comrade Henry Oluwole, who led hundreds of its members to Olugbo’s palace had asked the monarch to put the records straight on the “original owners” of Ile-Ife, vis-a-vis the historical fact that Oduduwa was a migrant to Ile-Ife.
Apparently responding through the book, Olugbo said: “It is an established fact that despite the age long scheme by powerful Yoruba oligarchies to build a common front for Yoruba unity, using the Oduduwa paradigm, particularly at the outset of our quest for independence from the colonial government, the majority of the original indigenes of present day Ile Ife, who know that Oduduwa was a complete stranger to the founding and peopling of Ile-Ife rejected to be called Omo Oduduwa.
“They asserted that they are Ugbo, and that Oduduwa was not their father as against the well pronounced dictum, which seeks to present Oduduwa as the progenitor of the Yoruba people. Nothing could be farther from the truth.”
Olugbo, who was joined by some traditional rulers in Yorubaland to launch the book added, “The Ugbo-Ilaje are direct descendants of Obamakin Osangangan, whose dynasty founded Ile-Ife, and reigned as the aboriginal paramount ruler of ancient Ile-Ife, which was known at that time as Igbomokun. He too was the son of Oramfe, who is recorded to be half man and half spirit and lived on the hills of Ora.
“Oramfe, the father of Osangangan Obamakin, was mystified as a god and believed to have his palace built of fire both in heaven and his earthly abode on Ora hill in Ile-Ife”.
Speaking about the arrival of Oduduwa to Ile-Ife, Oba Akinruntan declared: “We must note that Oduduwa came as a stranger to Ile-Ife, and sought to rule a land and he had no idea about the interplay of its foundation. Up till today, there is no original verse of Ifa that made mention of Odudduwa compared to Oramfe and Obamakin Osangangan, as well as, Obatala with his wife Yemoo, as well as, the aboriginal communities whose names lace the 256 original Ifa corpus.
On fears that the book may raise dust among Yoruba monarchs, Olugbo said he has “over 2,000 authorities to defend my claims and this fact is known to many monarchs, but has been suppressed to protect some interests. It is only the truth that can end the controversy and it is better we accept the truth for Yoruba nation to move forward”.
Reviewing the book, Dr Bode Oloidi, an historian working with Osun State Government said, available historical facts supported Olugbo’s claim of being the oldest traditional institution in Yorubaland.