Posted by Dayo Johnson, Akure and Chris Onuoha | 5 May 2019 | 3,135 times
The Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom in Ondo State, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan, is a controversial personality.
While the dust of his disagreement with the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, on the origin of Igbo people from Ile-Ife was yet to settle, his installation of “Yoruba Obas in Diaspora” has ignited another fire.
The three men crowned by Akinruntan are the Oriade of Georgia, Oba Bernard Shola Akinrimisi; the traditional ruler of Yoruba in Liberia, Oba Omobolaji Ogunkoya, Oodua Gbadewolu I, and the traditional ruler of Yoruba in the Republic of Ireland, Oba Saheed Ibrahim Adufe.
At the installation held at his palace in Ugboland, Akinruntan said, “I am ready to crown more kings from the Diaspora as long as I remain the number one king in Yorubaland. I am the custodian of the Yoruba culture.
“I am going to give more Obas in the Diaspora crowns. Many of them will get crowns and staff of office from me and nobody can query me. They know that I’m a special Oba in Yorubaland. My father, Oba Makin Osangangan, is the owner of Ife.
“I am the leader of all Obas in Yorubaland. I speak with thunder in my mouth and I make bold to say so. No one is above me in Yorubaland in as much as it has been accepted that we are from Ife. I am the one that Oduduwa met at Ife.
“I’m going to celebrate 10 years on the throne; people should go and prepare. I don’t want people to wear suit to my coronation anniversary because I’m a Yoruba Oba. The coronation will be a special celebration because I’m preparing for it and people will come from all over the country to celebrate with me”.
Responding on behalf of those installed as monarchs at the occasion, Ogunkoya appealed to the Federal Government to include Diaspora traditional rulers in the scheme of things so as to give them the financial wherewithal and moral rectitude to help their people.
Ogunkoya said, “The challenges in the Diaspora are many, but with our little resources, we will do our best. Meanwhile, one of the things we need to do in the Diaspora is to unite our people and give them a sense of belonging”.
While fellow Yoruba Obas chose to ignore Akinruntan on his action and outburst, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Aare Gani Adams, in a strongly worded statement, questioned Akinruntan’s claim as the number one king in Yorubaland and said, “What arrogance! What impudence! What uncultured remark! On what authority is he crowning Yoruba Obas in the Diaspora? Who told him that nobody can query him?
“He said he remained the number one king in Yorubaland. Which Yoruba history is backing this arrogance?
“What is Akinruntan’s position in Yoruba history? Does he think by parading himself as a rich man, Yoruba will respect him for trying to desecrate the land? Who does he think he is, embarrassing the Yoruba nation at every opportunity?
“Which Northern Emir abuses the Sultan of Sokoto, Emir of Kano, Shehu of Borno or Emir of Zazzau? Which Northern Emir distorts the history of the Emirate the way Akinruntan is trying to distort Yoruba history? What exactly is the matter with this featherweight who classifies himself as the best thing to have happened to Yorubaland?
“Does he learn from history at all? What exactly is responsible for this arrogance coming from an Oba who is, traditionally, constitutionally and spiritually, mandated to protect Yorubaland? Does he think this arrogance will take him anywhere?”
The Aare urged South-West governors and other traditional rulers to call the Olugbo to order
He submitted that the monarch is a danger that can destroy “our tradition if something is not done urgently”.
•Excerpted from a Sunday Vanguard report.
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