A reliable source close to Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi has punctured the explanation of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, on why he snubbed the Ooni at a public event in Lagos last Tuesday.
The event was the World Conference of Banking Institute hosted by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
Oba Akiolu on Thursday explained that his action was not a snub but a tradition. He said he had no problem with the Ile-Ife monarch but was only constrained by tradition from receiving and returning the Ooni’s greeting,
He told Punch in an interview that “The custom or tradition is like that in Lagos. We don’t hold each other; we don’t hug.”
But a reliable source confided in Newspeakonline that the Ooni “offended” the Oba of Lagos in March and the Lagos monarch is yet to forgive him, even though the Ife monarch acted based on his rights as a king.
The source revealed that the cause of Oba Akiolu’s anger was the Ooni’s last trip to London where the Commonwealth invited him to deliver a speech.
According to the source, Ooni always informs other Yoruba monarchs, including the Oba of Lagos, of his plans and trips. The source said that when the Ooni got the Commonwealth invitation, he informed Oba Akiolu on phone. The 74-year-old was angry, wondering why he was not invited. He then told the Ooni not to attend the event.
But the Ooni suggested that he could talk with the organisers to also invite the Lagos Oba. The heated phone call however ended with Oba Akiolu’s insistence that the Ooni must not honour the invitation.
But since he is a monarch in his own rights and the Commonwealth organisers knew why they invited him, the Ooni made the trip. While in London, he presented a speech and graced other events. That angered Oba Akiolu.
The April 25 event was the first time both monarchs would see each other after the Ooni returned from London.
The video of the event showed the Ooni arriving venue of the event where the Obi of Onitsha, Nnayelugo Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe and Oba Akiolu were already seated. He and the Obi exchanged greetings and when he walked over to greet Oba Akiolu, the Oba shunned him and looked away.
A report by Encomium quoted a source at the event as saying that when Ooni mounted the podium at the event, he acknowledged the Oba of Lagos and Obi of Onitsha. But when it was the turn of Oba of Lagos, he did not recognise Ooni.