By Sodiq Lawal
Another controversy is currently rearing its ugly head in the ancient city of Ile-Ife as there are indications that the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi may be under intense pressure to get a new wife as tradition forbids Yoruba monarchs not to have a queen.
This comes against the backdrop of the controversial separation between the Ooni and ex queen, Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi last year which has left the foremost traditional monarch without a spouse for almost a year which is mounting a lot of pressure on the frontline traditional ruler.
According to palace sources, the current bachelor status of the royal father is becoming a source of concern to Ife traditional palace chiefs who feel that something needs to be done urgently to address the situation before complaints from the people get out of hand.
The situation, according to the source becomes graver when one considers the highly unusual and controversial circumstances surrounding the separation of the couple with exchange of allegations such as infidelity, barrenness, wife battery and impotence among others between the erstwhile royal couple.
The source added that top efforts are already in gear to scout around for suitable and befitting queen but so far all the candidates screened are presumed to be unqualified as they all have one character flaw or the other.
The palace source added that the palace chiefs are also being careful with their choice this time around to avoid a repeat case of the former queen, Olori Wuraola whose wedding, many believed to be done in haste without proper courtship, hence the shortness of the marriage.
Another source who corroborated the story said among the options being explored is getting a bride from the neighbouring Modakeke community, a move which while some believe will douse the cold animosity between the two communities, others are against in view of the age long war between the two towns .
Another option of one Bimbo who is based in Canada was said not to have gone well with most of the traditional chiefs who felt, being foreign based, she may not be well versed in the traditions and culture of the land.
Since the break up between Oba Ogunwusi and his erstwhile wife, Olori Wuraola there had been- rumours and stories of his involvement with a couple of ladies with the media suggesting that each of them was likely to become the replacement.
One of them, Emmanuella Ropo was disqualified on account of her past. It was learnt that Emmanuella Ropo was twice married with children and she has been in circulation for a while.
Her first marriage to one Joshua Adewale, an oil dealer, produced two children girls, then she hooked one Femi and had her third child a boy.
She was also allegedly been spotted with a popular Abeokuta-based Fuji musician, Alhaji Sefiu Alao Adekunle aka Omo Oko, who lost his wife in December, 2016 as well as a senior customs officer whose daughter got married recently at Oniru, in Lagos, and one Engr. Toye, who is allegedly a friend of the Ooni.
It has been revealed that Emmanuella, who hails from Abeokuta in Ogun State, has just ended her well documented steamy love affair with Femi, who had moved into her house at Anthony Enahoro Estate in Ogba, Ikeja.
Pictures taken when love was blind were sent to some media.
Emmanuella also stepped out with the Ooni to attend a high-society wedding in Lagos.
It was also learnt that one of Ooni’s sisters, Adesola, aka Yeye Two, was not comfortable with the unfolding scenario.
According to a source, Emmanuella and Oba Ogunwusi had been seeing each other before the crash of Ooni’s marriage.
Another source said that the romance was gingered after the marriage crashed in August, and scouts went all out looking for another Queen for the King.
One of the scouts, close to Oonis family, is an Apapa-Lagos-based socialite and business tycoon.
She hails from Ilesha, and a toast of musicians in Lagos and Emmanuella is one of the ladies she has groomed in her circle.
She allegedly introduced Emmanuella to Oba Ogunwusi, and they took to each other like duck to water. But some of those in the know started shouting: Let the Buyer Beware! which eventually resulted in their parting ways.
Another name that cropped up early this year is the popular Nigerian singer, Araola Apake, popularly known as Ara, who was alleged to be involved in a relationship with the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi but the musician denied the allegation.
Whichever way one looks at it, the vacuum left by Olori Zainab Wuraola is begging to be filled and it is very obvious that indeed a lot of people are disgruntled with the current single status of Ooni Ogunwusi.