The Oono of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi has sparked what looks to be the makings of a battle for supremacy with the Oba of Benin.
The bone of contention is the superiority and ranking of traditional rulers in Yoruba land.
The Alake of Egbaland had, while hosting the Ooni of Ife on February 7, recognized him as the highest authority in Yorubaland.
In Oba Gbadebo’s estimation, the Ooni of Ife is superior to the authority of the Oba of Benin, the Alaafin of Oyo and the Awujale of Ijebu land.
The Esogban of Benin and Odionwere of the Kingdom, David Edebiri issued a swift rebuttal, distancing the Oba of Benin from any sort of relationship with the Yoruba race.
“We wanted to discard this report as something that was not necessary at all. We do not see how the Alake of Egbaland suddenly woke up to think that the Oba of Benin is also a Yoruba Oba.
“There is no basis for such classification; Oba of Benin has nothing to do with the Yoruba Obas. It is simply unnecessary, unless they simply want to stir up an unnecessary controversy.
“We are not in Yorubaland. To be frank, it is because many of them are not willing to come up with the truth, the word Oba is alien to Yoruba monarchy; it is not part of their title from time immemorial.”
According to Premium Times, The Ooni Of Ife responded to the Esongban of Benin’s comments today with a counter claim that the Benin kingdom is Part of the Oduduwa house.
“We in Oduduwa land have always seen and regarded our people in Benin kingdom as part and parcel of Oduduwa House. They are our brothers and sisters, coupled with historical facts to back up this position,” Ooni Ogunwusi said.” A statement by the Ooni’s media officer said.
“The statement credited to the Alake of Egbaland, did not emanate from us but the reality is that as a highly experienced and well informed monarch, Kabiyesi Alake, who is a bonafide Oodua descendant is entitled to his opinion based on his knowledge and understanding of history,” the statement went on to say.
“Let me emphasize for the umpteenth time that Kabiyesi Ooni is less concerned over any supremacy hullabaloo. He is only interest for now in how the sacred throne of Oduduwa can explore measures through which the collective interest and genuine unity among Yoruba and other tribes within the larger House of Oduduwa can be enhanced.”