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Chairmanship Tussle: Council of Obas Resolve Crisis as Ooni Visits Owa Obokun



Ooni and Owa

The lingering leadership tussles in the Osun traditional council eventually came to an end with the Ooni of Ife paying a surprise visit to the palace of Owa Obokun of Ijeshaland.

Ironically, the visit did not come until after a fracas that occurred at the aborted monthly meeting of the Osun State Council of Obas in Osogbo.

The fracas led to abrupt closure of the meeting just before it commenced when Owa Obokun of Ijeshaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran clashed with some aides of the Ooni, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi over the chairmanship of the meeting.

To avoid a scuffle on who occupies the front seat, some aides of Ooni of Ife had brought a special seat for him before the commencement of the meeting and stood by it, awaiting the arrival of Oba Ogunwusi.

Upon arrival, Owa Obokun simply went straight to the raised platform where Ooni’s special seat was positioned and ordered the aide watching over it to leave.

The aide reportedly dismissed Owa Obokun’s order, which eventually led to a scuffle that saw the white cloth of the Emese (Ooni’s aide) torn.

But in what is believed as the final resolution of the crisis, the Ooni, in company of most members of the Obas’ Council later went to Owa’s place in Ilesha, where they held a closed door meeting.

The Obas, before they left for Ilesha had reportedly met with Governor Aregbesola, where the matter was resolved.

Addressing newsmen after the meeting, Oba Aromolaran said Ooni’s visit was a surprise and the least expected one.

“Now that you have come to show hand of friendship, I will now join your unity train to unify the Yoruba race,” he said.

Responding, Ooni of Ife said the Owa stool remains one of the very prominent ones in Yorubaland saying, “It is in my interest and that of the larger Yoruba people to relate very well with Owa. I just spent about three months on the throne now, while you, Owa has spent about 45 years.”

“It is therefore my responsibility to visit you first because you have been on the throne for long. It has been said by the God almighty that I should come and liberate Yorubaland and to ensure peace and unity. I am not engaging in any supremacy or leadership tussle with anybody,” the Ooni stressed.

When contacted, Moses Olafare, the media aide to Ooni of Ife said it is not contestable that the Ooni remained the permanent chairman of the council since there is a law that backs it.

“Ooni will not want to be drawn into what happened, Oba Ogunwusi remained the permanent chairman of Osun Obas’ council, according to the law,” he said

Oba Ogunwusi has recently embarked on unity visits to prominent Yoruba monarchs, including the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and the Awujale of Ijebu Ode, Oba Sikiru Adetona; the move the Ooni ays is a divine mission imposed on him to unite the Yoruba race.

It would be recalled that Oba Aromolaran, before the presentation of staff of office to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, had acted as the chairman of the council.

But in an apparent protest to the decision of the council to Owa’s emergence as the acting chairman, some prominent monarchs had stayed away from thhad stayed away from the October, 2015, meeting which was presided over by the Owa Obokun.

Consequently, the motion moved by the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun at the November meeting, that Oba Aromolaran be made permanent chairman of the council also caused some ripples among the monarchs.

The move had initially heightened potential fears of clash whenever the new Ooni starts attending the council’s meeting.

However, at the December, 2015 meeting, the much expected collision did not happen, as aides of Ooni brought a special chair for him, after

Owa had occupied the seat meant for chairing the meeting.Interestingly, while introducing members of the council, Oba Aromolaran introduced himself as the deputy chairman of the council.

Most monarchs, including mny prominent Yoruba leaders, are of the opinion that the giant move by the Ooni had finally nailed the coffin of council’s leadership tussle that ensued soon after the death of the late Ooni Okunade Sijuade.

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