The Obaluru of Ife, Oba Abiodun Orarotimi Mulato, Oranfe Onlie Ina, has criticised the Onpetu of Ijeru, Oba Sunday Oladapo Oyediran, for equating his Aare crown with the ancestral Aare crown of the Ooni of Ife.
The Onpetu on special occasions has appeared in the unique ancient Aare crown to offer prayers.
During the annual Odun Oba Onpetu festival in March, the Onpetu stated that: “In history, no Ooni will be so called until the Onpetu gives him the Arè. The Arè I’m wearing is the type worn by the Ooni in Ile Ife, it’s markedly different from the crowns won by other Kabiyesis in Yorubaland”.
But in a statement on Sunday, the Oranfe said: “Being the Living Spirit of Oranfe Onileina, I considered his claim as an abomination, insult, a taboo and flagrant disrespect of highest order to the Yoruba culture, history and tradition.
“In as much as our culture recognises the right of every king to wear a crown of whatever design he wants as his symbol of authority over his domain, it should be clearly emphasised that the Aare crown is an ancient crown that Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba race brought from Ikole Orun.”
Explaining the types and significance of crowns worn by Yoruba kings, Oba Orarotimi Mulatto, said: “There are three types of ancient crown, namely: Aare, Oro and beaded crown inherited by Oduduwa descendants all over the face of the earth .
“Aare crown is the only mystic crown that has five sensory organs like every human being, it is the oldest ancient ancestral crown, which is only worn once in a year by the Ooni during Olojo (day of creation) Festival, after necessary sacrifices might have been made. All other reigning kings in Yorubaland have their distinctive crowns assigned for social functions as inherited from ile-ife but none of them possesses the power of the Aare crown. It is very unique and symbolic in the sense that its components are spiritually inclined. Beaded crown signifies that the king-wearer can trace their ancestry to Oduduwa while the Oro crowns are used by the Ancestral gods.
The Oranfe said he felt compelled to make the clarification and ask for Onpetu to be called to order owing to his the age long tie between Oranfe onile ina and the Onpetu Ile Ido of Ile-Ife where Onpetu Ijeru claimed to have migrated from (details in subsequent release).
He then called on Yoruba leaders and traditional rulers to call Oba Oyediran to order.
His words: “I implore Yoruba leaders and royal fathers, most especially the much respected Soun of Ogbomoso land, who is the paramount ruler of Ogbomosho and his environ, where Onpetu of Ijeru comes from, to condemn and call Oba Oyediran, the Onpetu of Ijeru, to order.”
He maintained that Oba Oyediran should have at least consulted with the elders in Ogbomoso to inquire about the Sacred Aare Crown of the Ooniriisa.
“As a king, Oba Oyediran should remember that he represents the gods, just like every king in Yorubaland and posterity will not forgive him if he deliberately or otherwise insults or downgrades our culture and tradition,” Oba Mullato said.
“I will advice him, as a matter of urgency, to retract his false and sacrilegious claim and tell the whole world how he came about this ‘beautifully designed’ crown definitely not the Aare crown) to avoid the wrath of the gods. There is only one Aare, and it resides in Ile Ife, the ancestral home of the Yorubas!”
The Obaluru of Ife Kingdom said he would not have dignified “the sacrilegious claims” with a response, but sometimes “the elder must intervene before things go worse, hence my decision to put history straight.”