Beaded Crown: Ogbomoso short-changed
Sir: I would not have commented on the approval of beaded crowns for 48 uncrowned heads in Oyo State because the original beaded crowns were bequeathed by Oduduwa to his children. This function was not given to any other authority. Yoruba crown is reserved for full-blooded sons of Oduduwa, who had become the head of a community. In addition, any head of a community who could link himself to any crown wearing monarch, either as son, cousin, brother etc could be granted a crown but with the approval of the monarch that he linked himself with. For instance, Onigbeti of Igbeti in Olorunsogo Local Council is a prince of Olugbon of Orile-Igbon. Succession dispute forced him out of Orile Igbon to Igbeti, where fortune smiled on him and he became the head of the community. The story is the same for Obalufon of Sepeteri; he was a prince of Ifon Orolu in Osun State, ditto for Olugbon of Ile Igbon in Lagelu Local Government, Oyo State. So if these set of heads of communities are granted crowns, they are entitled to it. Any beaded crown that does not follow the above process is called ‘Ade Ijakuja’, any how ‘hat. Even with the travail of Yoruba culture and tradition, any head of a community that would be granted the right of wearing a beaded crown should be able to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt either as a founder of the community who through act of commission or omission has been denied his right while those junior to him have been granted the right. There is no doubt that the present administration in Oyo State has an agenda to remould traditional institution in Oyo State. The review of Ibadan Chieftaincy law upgrading Ibadan civic chiefs to Oba, imposition of Obas on some communities and the present approval of beaded crowns for uncrowned heads are all tailored towards achieving the remoulding agenda willy-nilly. I doubt if the report that our highly esteemed royal fathers like Alaafin Adeyemi II was at the meeting where the beaded crowns were obtained.
Alaafin is a repository of Yoruba culture and tradition as well as history not only in Oyo state but Yorubaland, and Diaspora; he would not be a party to an exercise which will bring Oyo the epicenter of Yoruba tradition and civilization to ridicule; the institution of Obaship, particularly the issue of beaded crowns is being guarded jealously by Obas and governments in the sister states. For instance, despite the fact that Olukere of Ikere is an Oba, Ekiti State Council of Obas has denied him any recognition until he can prove the veracity of his claim. Then why is that of Oyo different? Beside, let’s accept the fact that the beaded crowns have been given out, the breakdown of beneficiaries from different zones in Oyo State shows that there is imbalance in the exercise.
For instance, the breakdown of the beaded crowns wearing heads go thus, Ibadan 11 plus all coronets wearing heads; Oyo 2; Oke Ogun 7; Ibarapa 2; Ogbomoso 3. The lopsidedness in the distribution of the crowns in favour of Ibadan is glaring and this is unhealthy for peaceful coexistence in the state. Ogbomoso zone deserves more than three slots allotted to her. No town in Yorubaland has the background that Ogbomoso has in terms of numbers of towns and villages that converged in the town to ward off Ilorin menace in the 3rd decade of the 19th century. The number is more than 143. Therefore, among the towns and villages that converged we have several crown wearing Obas whose crowns were granted by Oduduwa in his life time or granted by one of the Oduduwa’s children. However, today they were not recognized as crown wearing monarchs by the state government and are not included among newly approved ones. Onijabata is qualified due to the exploits of his forebears in Yoruba history, so also is Aale whose role in the foundation of Ogbomoso cannot be overemphasized. However, Alajawa is an original beaded crown wearing monarch who does not need being upgraded. Other monarchs in Ogbomoso zone who are crown wearing Oba are Iba Iya-Oje, Iba Abogunde, Eleesade, Olarasoko, Alapa and Oloko just to mention a few. Despite the untraditional nature of the exercise, the government would have been commended if there were equity and fairness in distribution of the crowns and coronets in the state.
By Adewuyi Adegbite
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