It is possible for us to wake up one day and discover the Nigerian monarchy is gone. It will be terrible, shocking and displeasing to those who have enjoyed and still enjoying the blessings of many royal fathers and the institution.
Recent developments have shown that the end to Yoruba monarchy is possibly near owing to actions of some Yoruba kings tinting the image of the monarchy. If peradventure it either goes into extinction, it would not be totally caused by modernity.
This reporter has watched with great sadness the attitudes of some royal fathers to the thrones. If Yoruba monarchy were to be human, it would be an adulterous woman. Tale of a woman who was pressured into marriage without rites, lost her husband, visited her male friend while mourning and ended up being victim of gang rape would have captured it better.
From all-authoritative to conquest
Truly, the monarchy suffered greatly in the hands of colonial masters who weighed down the powers of its custodians and made them mere representation of old ideals.
Yoruba kings were once most powerful and all compelling. They issue commands at will, embark on wars for territorial gains among others. They have powers to summon single or married women to the palace and marry them.
They have powers to order public execution of slaves and free-borns who probably trespassed the laws of the land. They make and revoke laws at will. They could do all these before conquest surfaced.
While the conquest was strongly repelled by some quarters, there are reports that some areas unknowingly allowed it through slave trade, greediness and excess love for economic power.
One by one; the British took over kingdoms, crushed existing sovereignty powers of their rulers and made them all a whole country to be controlled by law.
One of the terrible consequences of hard blows Yoruba monarchy suffered from colonial masters is the harsh diminishment of sovereign powers. Council chairmen now have more powers than aggregation of royal fathers.
From being second-in-command to gods of land and ancestral’s spokesperson with final and irrevocable pronouncements to mere arbiter of land matters settlement, minor chieftaincy titles and minor matters.
From conquest to shame
The disgraceful actions of some royal fathers which bring shame and disrespect to the Yoruba monarchy will likely end the Yoruba monarchy.
Some royal fathers have proven to be men of class, value and honor who guide their actions in public consciously and ensure that these actions represent the true value of tradition and promote cultural practices.
They do not subject the throne to mockery nor involve in actions that ridicule the throne while some royal fathers have acted differently.
Following the loss of sovereign powers by traditional rulers, some royal fathers still protect the cultural value of their palaces and dignity of the throne while others involve in activities that would ridicule the throne.
WITHIN NIGERIA reporter complied some recent disgraceful actions or events which involved Yoruba monarchs, dragging the dignity of the throne into mud.
This publication presents verifiable claims that exposed the ignoble actions or excesses of royal fathers in Yorubaland.
Deposed Deji of Akure
Do you remember Oba Oluwadare Adesina Adepoju? He was the paramount ruler of Akure kingdom in 2010 who led a group of thugs to beat up his embattled wife, Bolanle who had packed out of the palace to his father’s house.
These thugs reportedly poured yet to be identified substance on the estranged queen which peeled off her skin.
Two weeks after, he was removed by the Ondo State Government and the then Inspector General of Police, Ogbonna Onovo vowed to prosecute him.
Till date, he was only removed from the throne and he has not arraigned or sentenced by any competent court of jurisdiction.
Oluwo of Iwo
Do you know Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi Telu I? He is the paramount ruler of Iwo Kingdom. Apart from mocking the Yoruba gods and treating their worshippers with disdain, he declared himself as the Emir of Yorubaland.
He has a history of numerous conflicts with custodians of Yoruba traditions in Iwoland. He once directed that all idols or statues in the palace should be taken away to a secular place and described inherited masquerade clothes with symbolic spiritual aura of our forefathers as dirty, smelling and unpleasant.
Aside his provoking utterances against the African religion which brought about his enthronment, he had marital troubles too. Oba Abdulrasheed Akanni divorced his wife over allegations of adultery and allowed her to vacate the palace with the crown prince. His embattled wife, Chanel Chin accused him of domestic violence, usage of hard drugs, fake lifestyles among others.
Have you forgotten the Oluwo of Iwo and Ogundokun issue? He stripped off Ogundokun’s titles and asked him not to step the palace. He accused Ogundokun of ridiculing the throne and engaging in anti-Iwo actions.
A video surfaced on social media which captured Oluwo of Iwo leading hundreds of youths to Ogundokun’s residence to mock and dare him.
Ogundokun while reacting to the matter described Oluwo of Iwo with unprintable names, claiming his character is a curse to the throne.
Do you remember the Imam who claimed Oluwo of Iwo attempted to sleep with his wife during the religious prayer offered during Sallah? If you remember the Imam’s issue, you should definitely not forget the public disagreements he had with Ooni of Ife, Alaafin of Oyo over insecurity and supremacy matters.
If you call Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi Telu I, a notorious controversial person, you have not done any wrong. The public fight he had with Agboowu of Ogbaagba, Dhikrulahi Akinropo over a land dispute in Iwo land remains an event that will not go away easily.
The alleged assault took place in the office of a senior police officer and landed his colleague in a hospital. The disrespect to all Osun kings when the council suspended him over alleged disrespect to senior kings still fresh in people’s memories.
Politically, it is expected that every king must be neutral during election and plays fatherly role to all candidates bit Oluwo of Iwo is different. He identifies with a party and canvasses for one party against another.
Ooni of Ife
Do you know Oba Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II? He is the paramount ruler of Ife Kingdom. You can not separate the imperial monarch from marital scandals. If he is not dumped by a queen, he is running after a woman to become queen.
From Bombota to Edo princess to Ondo Prophetess, all of them divorced the king and vacated the palace and its glory.
In his pursuit to experience marital stability, he has married seven new wives to fill in the empty spaces in his palace and he started this new trend with Kogi star lady. There are unverified claims that his past marriages did not survive test of time because it was a bit crowded.
Some opinion molders claimed that the recent marriages of the king are proofs that his past marriages were a bit crowded. Ooni of Ife is building a royal harem; bringing all of them to palace should solve his marital problem, a rather sad analyst said.
Ooni of Ife has issues more than marital crisis. A check by WITHIN NIGERIA revealed that he is also involved in a lot of estate fraud. Investigations by Sahara Reporters and Foundation for Investigative Journalism revealed that Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II was a real estate mogul before he ascended throne and allegedly defrauded a large number of unsuspecting people through Gran Imperio Group and its subsidiaries, Howard Roark Ltd. and Metropole Interproject Ltd.
According to these reports, Ooni of Ife successfully and ingloriously transited from Real Estate Fraud to Land grabbing. Do you remember the Ooni of Ife and Olugbo of Ugbo’s misconception and manipulation of Moremi’s story?
A check of Ooni of Ife’s controversies exposed this reporter to a lot of videos produced by Abike Jagaban, alleged side chick of the king.
Late Alaafin of Oyo
Have you heard of late Ashipa of Oyo, High Chief Amuda Olorunosebi? He was gruesomely murdered on November 26, 1992.
According to report, his assailant twisted his neck and poured acid in his mouth to be sure he was dead due to speculations that he has powers of resurrection.
When this high chief died, his relatives especially children accused the late Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi of sending hired killers to terminate their father’s life.
On December 16, 2014, Justice Ayo Emmanuel of the Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan compelled the Inspector General of Police to investigate allegations of crime levelled against then Alaafin of Oyo. Till he died, the matter was not fully addressed.
Aside controversies that arose from his marriages especially from his young queens, he had a straight battle with a former governor of Oyo state, Christopher Alao-Akala over political choices.
Alao-Akala installed Chief Ganiyu Ajiboye as Baale of Ago-Oja in Oyo town without seeking the consent of then Alaafin of Oyo. He also made the chairmanship seat of Oyo Traditional Council a rotational one which removes Alaafin of Oyo as the permanent chairman of the council.
Ataoja of Osogboland
Do you know Oba Jimoh Olanipekun? He is the paramount traditional ruler of Osogboland, the capital of Osun State. There are claims that he is a political king because he was crowned as a result of favorable political calculations.
He has a history of choosing sides between politicians which has brought huge disrespect to the throne.
In 2018, Oba Jimoh and his queens went to Osogbo city stadium to campaign and rally support for Senator Bashiru popularly known as SRJ against another son of the soil, Ganiyu Olaoluwa, then candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He was also alleged of working against another Osogbo politician popularly known as Gangaria in 2019 which reportedly led to the victory of Bukol.
Aside his decision to give chieftaincy title of ‘Gbobaniyi to a NURTW chairman which caused uproar, he was also accused of turning the palace to campaign ground and endorsement park where politicians come and throw jabs at one another for political gains.
He cursed the NURTW chairman he made the Gbobaniyi of Osogboland for promoting violence during the visit of Senator Ademola Adeleke to his palace.
Recently, he endorsed PDP senatorial candidate, Ajagunla and asked Osogbo natives not to support his former ally and favourite, Senator Bashiru – the same politician he took his wives to the stadium to canvass for in 2018.
Apart from politics, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun had issues with former River Osun custodians (Baba Olosun and Iya Olosun) which generated a lot of controversies then.
These custodians even claimed that the spirit of River Osun Goddess had vacated the town due to the actions of the king. There were unverifiable claims that the king allegedly impregnated the Arugba – Calabash carrier which was debunked by the king at the state radio station situated in Oke-Baale, Osogbo.
Do you remember Prof. Oloiki? The professor recently accused one of the king’s wives, a single mother of changing the surname of his daughter to Oyetunji – the king’s surname.
He also accused the queen of creating distance between himself and his daughter. He dragged the king and mother of his child to court. However, there is possibility for out of court settlement.
Aragbiji of Iragbiji
Do you know Oba Abdulrasheed Ayotunde Olabomi? He is the paramount ruler of Iragbiji. Oba Olabomi is also a lover of politics. He got involved in political participations after a native of his town, Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola became a guber candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A check revealed that he has strong influence in the Oyetola’s administration.
Aside political participation, the monarch has less controversies to his credits until on Saturday morning, November 5 when he alerted the public that popular manufacturer of roadside herbal balm ‘Ero Arike’, Alhaja Falilat is planning to kill him and other people in the town.
Several Nigerians especially citizens of Osun State have reacted shockingly to the development. Many wondered why would a royal father accuse one of his subjects of plotting to kill him. Others really want to know what transpired between the duo.
Responding to the allegations via a video, Alhaja Falila while distancing herself from such act said she is currently in Medinah and promises to explain in details the cause of rift between herself and the monarch.
Kings are special people. They represent the gods on earth. This reporter believes that kings should avoid controversies as much as possible and equally avoid choosing sides in any contest. They should also avoid crimes and be critical examples of social actors of change.
However, there are kings who get involved in landgrabbing. We have cases of kings who vacate their towns for gold miners and sleep in hotels because of money. All these actions would bring disrespect and shame to Yoruba monarchy.
Lack of discipline, greediness and absence of royal traits in some traditional rulers have made Yoruba monarchy a mockery.
Truly, the constituted authority is no more. Kings no longer have powers to issue commands or directives.
Yet this reporter believes that if monarchs carry themselves with respect, bridle their tongues and watch their actions in public, there would be divine or natural respect which would promote the Yoruba monarchy and make it an envy of others.
Sodiq Lawal Chocomilo writes from Osogbo, the capital of Osun. He can be contacted via [email protected]