The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has described the statement of the Olugbo of Ugbo land, Oba Frederick Akinruntan, blaming the former for celebrating Moremi as royal rascality. He pointed out that he was not interested in supremacy battle, even as he faulted his claims on the origin and history of Moremi.
Akinruntan had issued a statement through the Olugbo-in-Council, condemning Ogunwusi’s decision to further immortalize Moremi by erecting the tallest statue in Nigeria for her in Ile-Ife.
Moremi, in Ife history, was a female Ife daughter who used her prowess as a woman to discover the secret of Ugbo warriors who ravaged the town at will. The secret she brought to Ife people helped them defeat the warriors when they came next. With the act, Moremi ended up a heroine in the ancient town. A special festival is celebrated to remember her every year.
But Oba Akinruntan, through the council, wondered why Ife people should celebrate Moremi whom he described as a traitor.
In his own historical account, Moremi remains a traitor. The council in the statement said: “She was a slave captured by Ugbo warriors during one of their many raids on Ile-Ife. She later became the wife of Osangangan Obamakin, the son of Oranfe, of who was the paramount ruler of over 13 aboriginal communities of ancient Ugbomokun, which later came to be called Ile Ife.
”The statement said further, “Oduduwa came to Ugbomokun as a stranger and was welcomed in Ilero, the aboriginal palace of Osangangan Obamakin, which is still in existence in present-day Iremo, in Ile Ife. During the dynastic struggles, Osangangan Obamakin was directed by the oracles (Ifa and Osanyin) to leave Ile Ife. Moremi betrayed her husband’s trust when she exposed the secret of the Ugbo warriors’ gallantry.”
But reacting theough a statement by the Director of Media and Publicity to the Ooni’s Palace, Mr Moses Olafare, yesterday, Ogunwusi said the outburst of the Olugbo can only be viewed by the well meaning people as a mere royal rascality and a pitiable act of absurdity that doesn’t deserve serious attention by serious minded people.
The statement read: “How on earth should a Yoruba king refer to Moremi as a traitor just because she used her power of a woman to liberate her people from incessant invasions by some faceless terrorists?
“While we remain very proud of the great queen Moremi Ajasoro, a brave woman who sacrificed her only son Oluorogbo, for the victory of her people over the faceless terrorists who incessantly raided Ife markets, we will not dignify this rascality of royalty with an expected response as we are not ready for any useless supremacy battle incapable of taking Yoruba to a greater heights.
“Most paramount on the mind of His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II with the unflinching support of baba Alaafin, baba Awujale, baba Alake, baba Orangun, baba Deji, babe Ewi, baba Osemawe, baba Olubadan, Oba of Lagos and other relevant peace-loving monarchs in Yorubaland and in other parts of the country is, and remains the much needed progress of Yoruba nation which can only be catalyzed by peace and unity. This has necessitated his unimaginable barrier-breaking unity visits he has been taking around not only in Yorubaland but also across Nigeria and internationally. Hiis activities in the last one year on the throne are enough to attest to his personality as a king of peace.
“It is a pity that at this time when everybody is lucidly tired of retrogressive royal discord generally agreed to have colossally hindered our pace of progress as a people of common heritage politically and socio-economically, the Olugb, who claims to be the chairman of Yoruba Obas Committee on Peace and Reconciliation, has suddenly without a deep knowledge of Yoruba history, woken up to see royal controversy as the only tool for cheap publicity.
“Kabiyesi Ooni is not interested in joining issues with Oba Akinruntan or anyone on any matter that can jeopardize his peace and unity project which is already making impact in so many sectors such as youth development, women empowerment, cultural tourism, agric revolution, unification of our elders and traditional rulers, to mention but a few.
“We therefore urge every lover of peace and unity in Africa to ignore any reckless statement capable of further dividing us. They should rather see the author of such statement as a person who poses a too harmful danger to our peaceful coexistence.
Yoruba must remain united, Nigeria must remain united, Africa must remain united and the entire Black worldwide must remain united because we are one before the Almighty God.”