I am not ready to reveal Ooni’s past, if i do, he’ll be gone – Chief (Dr.) Rahaman Adegoke Atobatele Adedoyin – The Maye of Ife
What looks like uproar is about to occur in the house of Oduduwa. The crisis was triggered by an ewi (poem) titled: “Oba Awakusa,” which the Ooni and other palace chiefs in Ile-Ife find very offending. The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, suspended Chief Rahaman Adedoyin as the Maye of Ife over his alleged role in the composition of the ewi, which derides the stool of the incumbent Ooni of Ife.
At a press conference in Ile-Ife on January 22, 2018, 16 kingmakers that included the Obalufe of Ife, Oba Idowu Adediwura, who is the traditional Prime Minister, and Lowa Adimula of Ife, Oba Adekola Adeyeye, the Royal Traditional Council of the Source, gave reasons for the suspension.
Read by the secretary to Ife Traditional Council, Chief Adetoye Odewole, the address alleged, among other things, that the contentious ewi was secretly sent into the country from the United Kingdom and has been circulating within and outside Nigeria.
It said: “Chief Adedoyin who is the Maye of Ife and founder of Oduduwa University, a private University in Ife, was the financier of the poetry. Beyond all reasonable doubts, Chief Rahaman Adedoyin and his cohorts like Oba Adeoye Adefarakan have committed offences of defaming the stool and character of the current Ooni of Ife, assaulting the Ife throne through the libelous release of the ewi. The act remains indelible in the minds of Ife people, as a conduct that is likely to cause a breakdown of peace in Ile-Ife.”
Everyone at the press conference passed a vote of no confidence on Chief Ramon Adedoyin and Oba Adeoye Adefarakan, stating: “The House of Oduduwa henceforth suspends the chieftaincy title of Maye of Ife that was bestowed on him until further notice. Adedoyin should not parade himself as the Maye of Ife until he absolves himself of his disloyalty and betrayal to the stool of Ooni and the House of Oduduwa.
“Chief Adedoyin was invited to defend himself, but he shunned the invitation. Similarly, the council invited a popular Yoruba poet, Ologundudu, who told them that Adedoyin once invited him to release a similar ewi to tarnish the current Ooni’s image, but he refused.”
A day after the press conference, Palace Watch got in touch with Oba Idowu Adediwura, who is the traditional Prime Minister of Ile-Ife on phone to find out what happened that led to the suspension of Chief Adedoyin and others. He said: “I will only make further clarification on this matter, if and when you decide to come and see me in person in Ile-Ife.”
Palace Watch promised to visit Oba Adediwura only after hearing Chief Rahaman Adedoyin and others’ side of the story.
After numerous phone calls and text messages, Chief Dr. Rahaman Adedoyin, the Maye of Ife, finally got in touch with Palace Watch late on Thursday evening, February 15, 2018.
The Chief reacted to his suspension in this manner: “My own side remains that, what you did not give, you cannot take. The Maye of Ife was an honorary title given to me by the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade. According to the late Ooni, ‘No one son, dead or alive, has ever established a private polytechnic and university in Ile-Ife, and also be so interested in Ile-Ife in when Ife needed assistance.’ That was his reason for bestowing the title of Maye of Ife on my person.
“The power of the incumbent Ooni and his council is on traditional Chiefs. The incumbent Ooni of Ife visited me in my university home thrice and expected a reciprocal visit, which I said I would not pay for spiritual reasons. I prefer any other place. I made him to know that I know the palace inside and outside more than him. After this, the concept of the old slogan of whoever contested with an Ooni must leave the town for him started emanating. This is 21st Century.
“On Oba Awakusa poem, I have reiterated that I do not know anything about it. I listened to the ewi via the Internet. The people who released the ewi against the Ooni do not have his secrets as I do. I am not ready to dole out the Ooni’s secrets, especially his past. If I do and follow it through legal means, I assure you, he will be gone as the Ooni of Ife.
“People say I should not talk, hence I have decided to be silent. When the need arises, I will talk or take legal action. Honestly, this is a distraction from my work. But if I have to do it to sanitise the House of Oduduwa, I would willingly do it.
“After all, the late Ooni said: ‘eni to o maa reru Ife niyi oh, ti oju ba ye oju, kohun ma ye Ohun.’ (This is the person that will carry Ife’s burden. You must not renege on your promise, even after we have parted.) Maybe this is the load God will help me to carry. But to all the Yoruba, especially the people of Ife, all those who know the truth and keep quiet, the spirit of our ancestors will not forgive them up to five generations.”