Could the Gods Be Sleeping? By Oluwaseun Abosede

Could the Gods Be Sleeping? By Oluwaseun Abosede
  • PublishedSeptember 27, 2023

Blueprints with Oluwaseun AbosedeAccording to Yoruba etymology, ODUDUWA Olofin Adimula, a deity and the founder of Ife, revered as the Yoruba source, was the first divine king of the Yoruba people. Oduduwa begot OKANBI, his only son, who in turn had seven children, believed by Yorubas to be the ancestral source of their numerous crowned kings. Kings in Yoruba land serve as custodians of culture, mediating between the people, resolving problems and conflicts, and providing an institutional safety valve for often inadequate state bureaucracies. They wield significant power and authority. A ruler by divine right is protected by the spirits of past kings—ancestors.

Integrity in Kingship was one of the most vital components of Yoruba Traditional Society. However, with the advent of democracy, this integrity has faced challenges. Governors and their associates now impose their proteges as Kings in exchange for political patronage and the enrichment of their allies. This compromise has eroded the values and rectitude that underpin kingship, replacing them with contract negotiations and perilous financial gains in exchange for degrading the head that wears the beaded Crown!

Consequently, the quantity of Obas has grown to the extent that some rule over communities no larger than five hectares of land. Many of them wear grand Agbada robes and parade themselves as Kings, though they are little more than heads of small settlements.

The power vested in Orunmila Baba Agbonmiregun to appoint kings has been corrupted by the AFOBAJE (Kingmakers). These Kingmakers, originally constituted as an electoral council with the power to appoint and dethrone a king if necessary, now sometimes demand money or other material gains from aspirants to the throne. This often leads to the highest bidder obtaining the position, undermining the wisdom of IFA Olokun eleri ipin, the rightful link to the coveted seat. Such manipulations erode the integrity and values that should be upheld by the custodians of our culture.

For instance, Deji of Akure, Oba Adesina Adepoju, openly assaulted his wife in the streets of Akure in 2010 to the extent that his crown fell off during the struggle. He was dethroned and never reinstated. Similarly, Oba Nureni Oduwaye, the Onifojege of Fojege, assaulted a man at a hotel in Ikenne in 2022, causing permanent blindness, all because the man danced with his queen. The throne was swiftly arraigned in court for its role in the incident.

His Majesty, Oba Saheed Adamson, who was crowned as the 11th Monarch of Ajido community in Badagry, Lagos State, in 2016, engaged in a public fight with one of his high chiefs, Michael Kunnuji, six years later, leaving the chief with a bloody face. The chief was guilty of not greeting the king properly.

Furthermore, Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi Telu 1, abandoned Yoruba tradition upon his enthronement and campaigned against the gods such as Ogun, Sango, Obatala, Osun, whom he called powerless and retrogressive idols. He banned festivals celebrating these gods, including the Oro festival. Such actions have eroded the awe and reverence that subjects used to hold for their kings.

Until the gods, who appear to be dormant, awaken and allow the Irunmoles to resume their work of choosing our Kings, the audacious actions displayed by Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and others shall persist.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not represent the opinions or views of Osun Defender

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