A new dimension was recently introduced to the unending controversy about Yoruba history when Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi claimed that Igbos from the Eastern part of Nigeria and not Ugbo from the Ilaje, Ondo State, invaded Ile-Ife before Moremi sacrificed herself, to liberate her people.
The Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Frederick Obateru Akinruntan, had in the book he presented to the public in August, this year claimed that his stool predates that of Ooni. He was particularly angered that the Ooni referred to his lineage as Igbo, describing Ooni’s narrative as a deliberate distortion of historical facts about ancient Ile Ife.
Your ImperIal and Royal Majesties
Illustrious Sons and Daughters of Yorubaland
Erudite Academic Historians and Scholars
Your ImperIal Majesty
Ki Ade Pe Lori
Ki Bata Pe Lese
Ki Ase Pe Lenu
By divine providence, the stool upon which you sit is very highly elevated and the gravity of your words in Yorubaland and indeed every where in Nigeria holds awesome reverence attached to it by virtue of the Imperial labours of Your Forebears, and indeed, the forebears of all Yoruba ethnic groups.
I must reiterate Kabiyesi, that while it is very important that we must foster inter ethnic cohesion between Yorubas and Ibos, even as it seems to be a Political Dynamic Plan from the Elite or Powerful Oligarchy; such plans or other motives, even of financial gains, should not use Your Majesty as a tool neither should that objective or any other be achieved using Yoruba Historical Heritage as the sacrificial lamb. Kabiyesi, falsehood remains falsehood, even when it is dressed in gold.
Kabiyesi Alayeluwa, I am quite certain that the Obalufe, an aborigine of Ugbomokun (Ife), Alade ati Alaje Iremo, the Ooni Ode and traditional Prime Minister of Ife, who is very knowledgeable as well as many Obas, High Chiefs and Elders of Ife as well as Kings and Kingdoms in Yorubaland are having great concerns or worries about the several unfounded claims which you have brought to Yoruba history since you ascended the throne; the latest of which is your assertions of the aboriginality of Ibos in Ife and their ownership of Aje.
It brings so much tears to the eyes and so much sorrow to the heart that seemingly, despite the fact that you are the greatest beneficiary of the Culture, Custom, Traditions and Historical Heritage of Yorubaland today, you seem to be so determined to remove Yoruba landmarks and destroy our historical heritage which would result into a generational catastrophy and be averse to the progress of Yoruba Sons and Daughters.
Kabiyesi, Your Majesty, permit me to call out your Director of Media Services, Mr Moses Olafare; the Traditional Guide to Ooni of Ife, Oloye Tajudeen and all others who have a duty to ensure that Kabiyesi Ooni does not live a life, say or do anything that will cast aspersions on the exalted throne he sits upon or undermine the safety or cultural fortunes of Yorubas. Do imagine if the P.A to the CBN Governor does not understand the fundamentals of Forex Differentials, Fiscal and Monetary Policies…What a blunder it could create in the P.As service to the Governor.
For Mr Moses Olafare:
Inclusive in your duty is for you to be adept in the profile and proceedings of your Principal. You must know the history of Ife like the back of your hands so that when or if Kabiyesi makes an incorrect statement, you will ensure that he is protected by having such false assertions out of reach from the media, until Kabiyesi makes further consultations.
For Oloye Tajudeen, I feel quite sorry for the Ife Palace if the Traditional Guide to Ooni of Ife does not know basic historiography of Ugbomokun (Ife). Kindly read what happened to the last son of Noah who did not cover the nakedness of his father.
Also, a piece in DAILY POST News, published on the 20th of March, 2019 by John Owen Nwachukwu has it that you, Oloye Tajudeen, said that the first wife of Oduduwa is Yeyemoolu, who turned to the Pool of water in Ife Palace today.
While persons like you choose to corrupt Yoruba history remains a mystery to me.
Does it mean that there is a delibrate scheme from the Palace of Ife to destroy the truth about the authentic history of Yorubaland which establishes a Pre-Oduduwa era. Little wonder, you are determined to sell the Yoruba to the Ibos like a commodity in the market. Oloye Tajudeen, Judas Iscariot did not survive it, and so will all those who scheme against Yoruba cultural heritage.
We have said it severally, and I must reiterate that the quest of the Olugbo on the truth about the peopling and authentic Pre-dynastic history of Yorubaland is not for self aggrandizement or personal gratification. We are telling our story and setting the records straight. There is no need for a scheme from the Palace of Ife to sell Yoruba heritage to Ibos in a roforofo scuffle. Kaka Ki Eku Ma Je Sese, A Fi Se Awadanu is uncalled for here.
Even a child in Ile-Ife today knows that Yeyemoolu is the First Wife of Oranfe Onile Ina, Onile Ori Oke, Okanranjigbo, Ebora Ti N Je Ewe Gbegbe and subsequently the First Wife of Osangangan Obamakin, who was the first son of Oranfe, the first Olugbo and direct forefather of His Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Frederick E. Obateru Akinruntan, CON.
Yeyemoolu, Osara and Akinsin were the wives of Osangangan Obamakin, and they all turned to pools and rivers of water. This platform will not permit me to give descriptive analysis of the period, place and reasons each of them subsequently turned to water.
Immediately a new Ooni has been determined and installed, his first assignment is to be betrothed to Yeyemoolu, the aboriginal queen of Ugbomokun (Ife) so as to receive the blessings of Oranfe, the Progenitor of the Yoruba as well as Kutukutu Oba Ugbo, Osangamgam Obamakin before the Ooni can sleep in that Palace else, the Ooni will join his ancestors in 3 Days.
Oloye Tajudeen, amateur or false historians and propagandists like you force persons like me to bring out facts that would have been concealed for initiates but that must be said to counter the daring falsehood from you.
So as it is, Yeyemoolu is the First and Permanent wife of every Ooni which all other wives and the Ooni must seek blessings from on a daily basis.
I am very sure that even Oba Orarotimi Mulato, the Obaluru of Ife, who is the custodian of Oranfe Deity, a monarch who would do anything to please the Ife Palace no matter what it takes, will not join you in your scheme of lies. Ask Kabiyesi Obalufe, Kabiyesi Obaluru, Kabiyesi Obalesun and revert on the position of Yeyemoolu.
Your ImperIal Majesty
Oonirinsa, Ki E Pe
Do permit me to further my response to your latest assertion, re-affirming the aboriginality of Ibos in a manner that has attacked the source of Yoruba Historiography and Deities.
Kabiyesi, your published interview is void/empty of facts about your assertions on the aboriginality of Ibos in Yorubaland, and rather than invite the Olugbo for clarification as you have done, I would rather have you set me up with your aides amidst Yoruba scholars of note so I could educate them at my level and compare notes. I would have expected you to draw citations from Anthropology, Archaeology, Yoruba Cosmology, Panegyric, Ifa Corpus and Dialectology, to mention a few in support of the Ibo agenda, so that jurors can compare them with against volumes of facts which scholars and eminent academicians have affirmed points to the connectivity between Ugbomokun (Ife) and Ugbo-Ilaje in the coastal part of present day Ondo state where the Olugbo of Ugbo-Ilaje is the King.
Kabiyesi Alayeluwa, I will only dwell on fundamental dialectology which studies the evolution of languages.
Linguistic historians have theorized that the vocabulary, diction and pronunciation of Ugbo-Ilaje dialect of Yoruba Language bears 90% similarity to the Ikedu, which was the aboriginal language of ancient Ugbomokun (Ife) as ascertained by Professor I. A. Akinjogbin. Linguistic science also affirmed that even present day core Ife dialect has 85% cognitive resemblance to Ugbo-Ilaje dialect. Kabiyesi Oonirinsa, to what percentage is ebuka and ezeokoli similar to Ife dialect or even Yoruba Language.
It is rather amusing Your Majesty, that you are not aware that in the book, Encyclopedia of the Yoruba, written by Professor Toyin Falola and Professor Akintunde Akinyemi, the Term or Word ‘Yoruba’ was not in our vocabulary until sometime in the middle of the 19th Century when the European Missionaries and Explorers sought a common name by which many tribes of the same ethnic group who spoke various dialects of the same language could be called. The unifying name they chose to call us was Yoruba. We used to be Ugbomokun in Pre-dynastic times and later Ife, and migrations led to creation of many tribes like Ulaje, Ujebu, Ukale, Ujesha, Ekiti, etc, and generally we were Omo Kaaro Ojiire, confirmable from the works of Professor I.A Akinjogbin, Professor Banji Akintoye, Professor Ishola Olomola, Professor Akin Alao, Professor Olukoya Ogen and many others.
Secondly Kabiyesi, at that time, each tribe spoke seperate dialects but the British Missionaries evolved the common Yoruba which we all speak today which began sometime at the middle of the 19th Century. Kabiyesi, according to Professor Sope Oyelaran, different dialects of the same language evolved before the advent of the British and of particular importance is the note that we did not have the letter ‘I’ as a starter for words rather we had the letter ‘U’ in our vocabulary. Kabiyesi Ijesha, Ekiti, Ife, Ilaje, Ikale, Igbomina and many tribes used the letter U. Ujesha, Ulesha, Ufe, Ulaje, Ukale, and Ile (House) was Ule, Isu (Yam)was Usu, Akarigbo was Akarugbo and obviously Igbo that you referred to in the works of Professor I. A. Akinjogbin referred solely to Ugbo. Your Majesty, how could you miss this fundamental point in Yoruba dialect formation and subsequently mislead the entire Yoruba. Eti Ti O Gbo Alo Ko Le Gbo Abo. Kabiyesi, Akeregbe Ti Fo, Omi Inu Re Danu.
Kabiyesi Alayeluwa Oonirinsa, we have asked you to show us the orirun of Ibo in Ife, where in Ideta Ile or Ideta Oko did they migrate from, if you say they are from Obatala? KabIyesi, who led them out of Ife, where was the first place of Ibo settlement in the ancient Ibo forest. Nibo Ni Orirun Ibo, Ta A Lo Ko Won J’ade Ni Ife, Ni Ibo Ni Won Koko Tedo Si.
Kabiyesi Alayeluwa, let me digress into culture and tradition a little bit.
Opa T’olugbo, Aja T’Oghonne.
T’ibe Ka Re Ufe, Ile Ti Oronmakin.
The ancient Are crown was worn by Oranfe and prominently by Osangamgam Obamakin, the first Olugbo. Eminent scholars have ascertained that Oduduwa did not wear the Are Crown neither did he rule Ife from the Palace today but from his quarters in Idio community because of the Pre-dynastic crisis of that time that culminated in the Obatala-Obawinrin bloc against the Oduduwa-Obameri-Obadio bloc. It was the crisis that led to the Moremi Episode in the history of Ife. Up till today, the right to the crown of Ife is bequeathed to Obalufon (Obalara), the last son of Olugbo, and the rights in Ile-Ugbo performed by the aborigines legitimate your stay in that Palace because of the truce and accord of peace between Osangamgam Obamakin and Oduduwa. So It brings tears to eyes that you could desecrate Ile-Ugbo, which according to Professor Akinjogbin, is the most sacred part of Ife Palace occupied by the rulers of Ugbomokun by ascribing it to Ibos of South East Nigeria. This is a great disservice to our deities and ancestors.
Kabiyesi, can the Ibos show us how the Oro Isese is performed. Kabiyesi, Olugbo, Osangamgam Obamakin, husband of Moremi gave her the Aja and initiated her into Oro…Moremi Ti O N Fi Aja Se Oro. Which of the Ibo Kings can describe the Oro or give the Oro corpus.
Kabiyesi Oonirinsa, Ofun Alaje does not refer to the Ibos of South East Nigeria and I will make an elaborate submission to Your Majesty on this quite soon.
Kindly let this synopsis be the first part of my response since I’m typing by heart and extempore.
I will respond much more appropriately or at your invitation to a historical debate with your aides.
In conclusion, Your Majesty, permit me to write a short synopsis on the Aje Deity of Yorubaland and strengthen the faith of Millions of Yoruba who have been traumatised by your unfounded twist on Aje Ife, so that our heritage may not be lost forever.
His Imperial Majesty
Akarugbo/Akarigbo of Remoland
I humbly assure you that your root in Ugbomokun (Ife) is established, and just has it had been practised by your forefathers who ruled supreme in Remoland, you have taken the pilgrimage to Ile-Ugbo for the blessings of our ancestors.
The blessings are of Oranfe Onile Ina, Osangamgam Obamakin, Oduduwa, Obalufon Ogbogbodirin, Obalufon Ataro, Obalufon Alayemore, Oranmiyan, Baba Sigidi, Obatala, Obadio, Obawirin, Obameri, Elesije, and others who own the powers in Ile-Ugbo, and not any Ibo of South East Nigeria. You did not pay homage to any Yanmirin, Igwe or Eze or their deities. I’m sad that your heritage has been trivialized by His Majesty, Oonirinsa.
To the President General of Ohaneze Indigbo, Lagos state chapter, whose visit made the Ooni reaffirm the error in question and to all other Ibo groups who finally count themselves fortunate to have a root, do not be deceived. Rather listen to the words of Professor Ishola Olomola who asserted that the Ibos of South East Nigeria were never called Igbo until sometime during the period of the civil war. Scholars have said your ethnic group is IBO while your language is IGBO.
Myriads of your scholars who traced your ancestral roots to the Jews are not mediocre.
With time, I will send in the documented historical journey of the Ibos till date, not excluding DNA evidences.
Personal Secretary to Olugbo
Akodi Olugbo, Ugbo-Ilaje