As the news of the break-up continues to generate reactions, the Publisher of E247, Mr. Biodun Kupoluyi, who is close to the family of the king, has said that the importance of the monarch transcends the distraction that the marital issue represents.
According to him, the Ooni has, in the one and a half years that he has been on the throne, positively affected the welfare of Ife people, Yoruba culture and national unity.
Kupoluyi noted in a statement that the Ooni’s position was a sacred one. As a result, he advised observers ought to exercise restraint in the way they reacted to the development.
He said that in the situation, no one should expect the Ooni to begin to talk like an ordinary person, no matter how right he could be in the matter.
He noted, “It bears reiterating that the institution being discussed with excitable animation is not only profoundly sacred, the monarch’s silence – in the face of a robust commitment to flipping the script on the expediency of traditional monarchy – should also be respected, not viewed as a weakness. Some have speculated that the marriage broke down irretrievably when the Ooni declared his readiness to marry a second wife. By Jove, the purveyors of the untruths forget that not only is the Ooni entitled to as many wives as his royal loins can accommodate and satisfy, Olori Wuraola is also well aware of this and could never raise or have raised any eyebrow if the discussion came up. The Ooni’s silence is no sign of weakness; it is the hallmark of a monarch who is far too driven by his singular commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for Yoruba unity, culture and heritage.”
According to Kupoluyi, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Flip TV, based on his historical and spiritual position, the Ooni oversees the affairs of mankind in Yorubaland and elsewhere, serving as the interface between the people and the gods.
He added in the statement, “Since his enthronement, the Ooni has made the unity, peace and prosperity of the Yoruba race his focus, not fanning the embers of discord and disunity. Despite the documented frostiness between the thrones of the Ooni of Ife and the Alafin of Oyo, which had spanned over 79years, it is on record that Oba Ogunwusi broke that jinx when he paid an unscheduled visit to Oba Lamidi Adeyemi in his palace in Oyo about three months after he became the Ooni.
“The unprecedented visit made an emotional Alaafin to declare, ‘This special visit was done last in March 1937. That is the first time the kings in Yorubaland met in Oyo town and, today, history is made with the visit of the Arole Oodua, Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11. I feel delighted to host you and to reassure you that I will be ready to work with you. May your reign be long, Ooni. I am happy with your moves to unite all Yoruba obas.’
“Prior to the celebrated visit to the Alaafin, Oba Ogunwusi had embarked on a familiarisation tour to all Yoruba monarchs during which he preached a harmonious relationship among them and the need to always speak with one voice. It was in the same vein that he embarked on a 10-day visit to the United Kingdom last March during which he engaged mainstream British cultural leaders, heritage institutions, diplomatic circles and academics to discuss issues of mutual interest, partnership, collaboration, academic transformational networks while rebuilding the scale of support for entrepreneurship skills that are modern, creative and innovative. The Ooni further said that the visit would stimulate further cooperation by promoting Yoruba culture as a genuine catalyst for British government cultural integration projects.”
Other areas the monarch had touched, Kupoluyi recalled, included the sponsorship of a musical competition, youth-focused Ojaja II Musical Talent Haunt and Concert, won by Shina Olawale, who went home with a new car and a record deal in the United States; a N7.6bn Grand Resort being built in Ife, and the unveiling of the Statue of Moremi in Ile Ife, said to be the tallest in Nigeria and third tallest in Africa.
A professor of History in an Osun State-based university, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said although it was rare for a Yoruba monarch to experience a marital crisis, disagreement or disaffection was human. According to him, the way such is managed is what matters most, adding that there were people even in the highest places who had experienced worse crises.
He said that the recent phenomenon of young people becoming kings was bound to bring some challenges, although it could be very impactful. He said that Obas, for instance, naturally had access to as many wives as possible. He thus noted that whoever would come into the palace as a wife must be prepared for the scenario.
The professor also advised Yoruba monarchs to marry from royal families that already know much about palace tradition.
“Although I am not accusing the person concerned in this matter of having done anything wrong, since I do not have the facts, the royal system does not allow any wife to arrogate self-importance to herself.”