Our new royal father enjoys travelling, I have no problem with that. People who finds joy within and outside of their palace seldom have time to dwell on little things or cause people in their community needless grief.
Having said that, there is high hope for what is expected of Ooni Enitan Ogunwusi at home, people have an endless list of disputes he is to resolve and I agree because b’íná kò tán l’órí ẹ̀jẹ̀ kìí tan léèkánná (it is not over, until it is truly over).
A 76 years old friend of mine (age matters here to show different eras of Ooni of Ife), said in a message the other day how he has not being able to see any value of Oba in the local community he represents. My friend, Baba was referring to Ooni’s travels while there are plenty of issues yet to be resolved at home – a case of hope deferred making the hear sick – Proverbs 13:12.
I understand where Baba was coming from, it is only those who are not directly affected by the last crisis that say people ought to count their loses and move on, but for many people the scar is still raw.
Coincidently a few weeks ago, there was another meeting by good people in town – the meeting was between Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and our very own Ogunsua of Modakeke, Oba Francis Adedoyin. The meeting was about finding amicable resolution to many outstanding issues – seized farmlands being the topmost.
It is pleasing to know that we have elders who are not relenting in being the voice for the voiceless farmers. Also, from that meeting I learnt that Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi who is another prominent Yoruba Oba has not set his foot into Ile Ife in 50 years – that is a big plus for Oba Enitan Ogunwusi for being the force of unity.
Oba Lamidi Adeyemi not visiting Ile Ife in 50 years is not too surprising – Ooni Okunade Sijuade and Oba Lamidi Adeyemi were the perfect ọmọ ìyá awùsá (cat and dog relationship).
Baba was happy to hear of the meeting between the three Obas and elders, Guardian Newspapers did an okay job with the story, the real reason of the meeting in the last three paragraphs – good to see it in prints.
Resolving many of our many land dispute issues is not going to be easy but it can be done and it is only fair.
As I was thinking about Baba and a slight impatience that I sensed from the tone of his texts, then it occurred to me why Baba has a high hope of Ooni Ogunwusi.
Baba came to the UK in the 70’s to study, this was when naira was strong. He has seen three different eras of Ooni in his life time, the most painful one being one and only Ooni Sijuade. Baba, like many people in diaspora of his age built his first home in Akarabata area of town with the hope of retiring there one day.
During the long drawn crisis of 1997, his house was razed to the ground, in it was his niece who has mental health problem – everyone left the neighbourhood but the lady refused to leave so she was burnt with the house.
Also, Baba’s village was Ògùdù, one of most hard hit during the crisis – all of Modakeke people in that village that were not killed, fled their homes. The only farm baba knew was Ògùdù.
Baba is happy with his life now, his children all grown. He could move to Nigeria if he wanted and he will still be happy. Like many people from my area, he is well aware that he is privileged to have options but he is still concerned for those people who still live in limbo.
We are happy that almost two years into the reign of a new Oba, our towns have been in relative peace – I am still hopeful that the meeting between our Obas will yield positive outcome – if we are all omo Yoruba then it is only fair that those chased away from their farmlands get adequate compensation or be allowed to return to their farmland. The latter option is very thin given some part of the land is being used for projects.
We are still hopeful for a fair outcome.
Ajala Moshood Adisa Olabisi was an international student in the States early 1970s, he was known for his love of adventure. He travels several miles within the States and around the world on his bike and vespa.
Locally we call people who enjoys travelling Ajala