Late last year there was a picture of Ooni Enitan Ogunwusi on his knee at a local church praying, for some reason this did not settle in well with many young Yorubas, especially those who have different views of a befitting religion for traditional rulers.
Just as that was settling down, another young king, Olowu of Owu-Ile, Oba Muhammad Raji Quazeem Ilufemiloye appeared in public in February, this was slightly different as the young king has two wives wearing full burka beside him. It received quite a lot of criticisms both for being Muslim as well as for his wives covering face. One wonders if they didn’t know his religion before being appointed.
I learnt from my fellow self-appointed ‘foot soldiers’ that our Obas need to stick to traditional religion.
The latest is Ooni Enitan Ogunwusi again singing a Christian song and proclaiming his love for his ‘father’ Jesus.
My people were still not happy with Prince Charming – lots of people want the young Ooni to stop mixing his very important role with foreign religion.
The way I see it: I am not sure which rule book says what religion anyone or a king must follow, as far as I am aware most of our traditional kings are either Christian or Muslim.
As it turned out people in general don’t even care, I for one can not see why anyone is sweating over the choice of a king’s religion – he is a person that deserves freedom of religion just as anyone of us.
And who says Christianity isn’t compatible with appreciation of our traditional beliefs? What I learnt as a kid is that Obas are always neutral when it comes to religion so they tend to support all religious events. However, over the years, most people for one reason or the other have turned to cling to the one they feel most comfortable with.
Each to their own I say.
I suppose having lived with Ooni Ogunwusi’s predecessor, the king who ruled for 35 years and managed to set his town and next door neighbours back several decades – I am happy to see a different king who since his coronation has worked so hard to unite the elders, reiterates that all he wanted was peace as destruction of lives and properties benefit no one.
In one of the numerous meetings that Ooni Enitan Ogunwusi had in his recent visit to the USA, he talked about us all as alajobi (same blood), he also talked about the importance of working together for the common good.
What I see Ooni Ogunwusi offering to people both home and in diaspora is sense of belonging – to feel connected in order to fight for common good – isn’t that good enough?
For this and his wisdom of dealing with one of the most difficult and long-standing crisis ever in Yorubaland, I think him.