Nobel Laurette, Professor Wole Soyinka has waded into the supremacy battle between the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and the Olugbo of Ugbo in Ondo State, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan.
According to the renowned academic, Olugbo’s argument that the Yoruba heroine, Moremi Ajasoro, was a traitor should be disregarded and ignored.
Oba Akinruntan had referred to Moremi as a traitor because she liberated her people from incessant invasions.
The monarch had said, “Our forefathers descended from heaven; that is why we are called ‘Ugbo Atorunwo. To set the record straight, Moremi remains a traitor. She was a slave captured by Ugbo warriors during one of their many raids on Ile-Ife.”
Reacting, Oba Ogunwusi had described Olugbo’s comments as “pitiable act of absurdity that doesn’t deserve serious attention by serious-minded people.”
But speaking on the controversy over which throne is the monarchical seat of power in Yorubaland and the origin of Oduduwa, referred to as the progenitor of Yoruba people, Soyinka on Wednesday said Olugbo’s outburst did not diminish “What Moremi is or was.”
The Nobel Laureate stressed that the Olugbo did not deserve respect.
Soyinka, who made this known during the first year coronation anniversary of Ooni Ogunwsui at the Enuwa Square, said, “Our reality is Kabyiesi, the Ooni of Ife, we know Ile-Ife as the cradle of humanity. We know what we know, we know what we accept and our belief is that Ooni is our reality.”
He advised Ooni Ogunwusi not to react to Olugbo’s comment and described the attack on Moremi as “counter theory.”
“We know if you walk through the streets of Cuba, someone will touch you and say, what are you? And you would reply: I am Osun, Ogun; and they will say, where is the Ooni and that is what we believe.”
“I congratulate you Kabiesi. I consider you are sent on a mission and the mission is the unity of Yoruba people wherever they are and any part of the world. We promise to work with you in bringing that mission to reality,” Soyinka stated.
Dignatries at the event included former president Olusegun Obasanjo; Professor Olu Obafemi; Elegusi of Ikateland, Oba Saheed Elegushi; Alhaji Lamidi Ajadi; Chief shuaibu Oyedokun; Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Igbinedeon; Sat Guru Maharaji, General Jeremiah Oseni (rtd); Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin; Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdul Ganiyu Ologunebi; and the Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Grace Tomori, among others.