Ooni of Ife: Oba of Lagos' beef with Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi defies Yoruba culture

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Ooni of Ife

The Oba of Lagos slapped the face of Yoruba culture by snubbing the Ooni of Ife in public.

At a recent public function, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Aremu Akiolu snubbed the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.

In the Yoruba land, this is a no-no. The Oba of Lagos' behaviour was a slap on Yoruba culture and tradition.

There are Obas and there are Obas. In the Yoruba set-up, the Ooni of Ife is the supreme monarch and is regarded as the father of the Yorubas. No Oba in Yoruba land has the authority and power to disrespect the Ooni of Ife.


During the ancient times when several Yoruba kingdoms were fighting among themselves, it was known that no one would wage a war against Ile-Ife.

Ile-Ife till today is regarded as the spiritual home of the Yorubas. No Oba dared wage war against the Ooni of Ife. It was an abomination. In these modern times, the Ooni of Ife still holds that power over all Yoruba Obas. In Nigeria, the Ooni of Ife is one of the top monarchs in Nigeria.


The Oba of Lagos behaviour of towards the supreme monarch of the children of Oduduwa is an abomination. Even if the Ooni of Ife is younger than the Oba of Lagos, it does not warrant such a level of disrespect in a public place.


Maybe there has been a little bit of conflict between the two Obas before but authority vested on the Ooni of Ife shouldn't be disrespected on any occasion.


If we are to rank the hierarchy of the Obas in Yoruba land, the Oba of Lagos does not make it to the top 5.

The Alake of Egbaland in March 2016 listed the top five Obas of the Yoruba nation.

"Ooni is one of the five principal Obas in Yoruba land. The others are in order of the way they are classified on a supremacy basis. After the Ooni is the Alaafin of Oyo; after the Alaafin is the Oba of Benin; after the Oba of Benin, is the Alake of Egbaland and the fifth, and by no means the least, is the Awujale of Ijebuland."


This list generated some controversy especially with the ranking of the Oba of Benin. The palace of the Oba of Benin rejected this list saying the Benin monarch is superior to any Yoruba monarch.

While this is up for debate, the position of the Oba of Lagos is not. There is a ranking he must follow. Even the Alaafin of Oyo cannot publicly snub the Ooni.


It seems the Oba of Lagos has a penchant for controversy. In 2015, he threatened Igbo people who do not vote for the APC candidate Akinwunmi Ambode. This created much controversy in the state.


The snubbing of the Ooni of Ife is an insult to all Yoruba people as it is a slap on tradition. The least the Oba of Lagos can do is apologise.

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