Prince fit for the next Ooni – deep pocket or a wise one?

If there’s anything Yorubaland can be grateful for is the blessing of rich agricultural land. Food consumption may not always be balanced diet but folks are surviving. I know food isn’t the major problem most Yoruba person living in any town will complain about. They’d rather talk about hope for improved road, healthcare, education and funding to increase farm productivity.

Beating about the bush:

The hunt is still on for the next Ooni of Ife. My confusion here is that why do we keep fixating on material wealth to be the key for selecting the next Oba?

There was a report that Ooni Okunade Sijuade used to feed 500 people daily. And today I read another ‘gem’ from *Obalufe saying:

“If Oba Okunade was able to feed 1,000 people, we want somebody who will be able to feed 10,000 people. We don’t want to go back. We want to go forward.” Oba Solomon Omisakin – Obalufe.

Really? My question is why would anyone wanted a king that could feed 10,000 able-bodied adults daily in the land where most people survive on farming?  Why can’t these adults work on the farm like most adults do?

I know no interview about the next Ooni is completed without mentioning Ife/Modakeke crisis. Between Dec 1980 and July 28 2015, more people were killed in the crisis than anytime in history of both towns. 1997-2000 alone we have record of up to 5000 casualties. This is just during the reign of Oba Sijuade alone.

Not to worry as the king became ‘born again’ before his demise, so we can all relax that the king is lying restfully in the bosom of the lord.

Has the crisis between Ife and Modakeke been finally resolved? 

“It has been permanently resolved. We may still have some recalcitrant elements but it has been solved. With the assistance of government and from the look of things, there will be no problem.” Obalufe.

Obalufe’s response here is guarded and quite expected. While the state government is working hard to maintain peace, we are aware that everyone has a role to play. Those able-bodied adults surviving on free meals are the same folks attacking villages.

In a way, I am glad that the search for the next Ooni is more like a political contest now. If the main reason for selecting Ooni Okunade Sijuade in 1980 was based on his deep pocket, then things must be done differently now if we ever dream of a peaceful coexistence and economic progress.

A prince who has everything to lose would be my preferred choice, someone whose best home, family and best friends are on the land would think about consequences before actions.



*Obalufe is the right hand chief to the king, very important post.

Categories: A Yoruba Monarch, Nigeria

Tags: , ,

7 replies

  1. I quite agree that the requirement that the next Ooni should be able to feed 10,000 is ridiculous, and retrogressive. It is time we have an Ooni that knows the importance of Science, Mathematics, Engineering/Technology and Enterprise in the creation and generation of wealth and power, from the land and its people. Yorubas cities should be motivated into the 21st century from the root, by our traditional rulers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Fola. It is interesting to hear about your country. We are having elections here in Canada. I suspect that the present government here, will be turfed out. When someone is in power too long they tend to become corrupted.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A very enlightening piece to us and non-Yorubas interested in your blog. Hangers-on need to be discouraged from this practice, especially to the level being talked about.

    Kind of freeloading which has always been the norm in Yoruba royal palaces but somebody who will be able to feed ten thousand! That is ridiculous and very medieval.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mrs Adenle! Agba ‘o ni tan l’orile (May we always have informed elders).

      I knew I wasn’t crazy to think this is just another path to ruin.
      I am just hoping that those involved in the selection process could be thorough in this important task.


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