Royal Hypocrisy: Nor Be Today! By Dapo Rotifa - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Monday, January 13, 2020

Royal Hypocrisy: Nor Be Today! By Dapo Rotifa


Dotun Oyeniyi, a practicing lawyer based in London and a Prince of Ila Orangun, poignantly pointed out the denigration and decimation of the topmost representation and symbol of Yoruba culture: the institution of obaship. His treatise is bold, factual, mind-blowing and mind-boggling. My biggest takeaway from it: hypocrisy at the highest level. Such hypocrisy cannot serve the institution well no matter the motivation or who stands to gain from it. 

I have tremendous respect for Iku Baba Yeye, Alafin Adeyemi III. I adore his love for and projection of Yoruba culture. I adore his sense of history even if mostly self-serving. But when it comes to royal hypocrisy which Dotun's discourse highlighted, Baba has not always been innocent. The planned installation of a Mayegun for the whole of Yorubaland after putting up a strong opposition to same thing his late arch-rival Ooni Okunade Siwajude tried to do is NOT the only example of royal hypocrisy of Kabiyesi. 

Does anyone remember the bitter battle of supremacy Alafin Adeyemi fought with late Ooni Sijuwade? It was a ferocious battle with claims and counterclaims, distortions of history by all parties for self-serving purposes all to challenge the permanent chairmanship of the then Oyo State Council of Obas held by Ooni Sijuwade. The battle polarized the Yoruba first class obas in the old Oyo State in two camps. Alafin got Olubadan at the time Oba Oloyede Asanike, Owa Adekunle Aromolaran and Soun Oyewumi Ajagungbade to his side to demand a rotational chairmanship of the Oba's Council while the likes of Oragun of Ila Oba Ayeni, Ogiyan of Ejigbo Oba Oyesosin, Ataoja of Osogbo Oba Matanmi and others were on the side of Ooni Sijuwade and had no problem with his permanent chairmanship. The battle remained intractable by every successive government both civilian and military governments in old Oyo State until state creation exercise of 1991 provided a permanent solution to the chairmanship battle. While Ooni, Orangun, Owa, Ogiyan and others went to Osun, Alafin and two of his supporters for the rotational chairmanship: Olubadan and Soun remained with him on the Oyo State Council of Obas. Interestingly the same Alafin who got Olubadan and Soun to oppose Ooni to demand rotational chairmanship would not accept to any rotational chairmanship in Oyo Oba's Council. Iku Baba Yeye said it's sacrilegious for any Alafin to sit under either Soun or Olubadan. Really? Iku Baba Yeye simply stopped attending their meetings when his tenure ended. That's royal hypocrisy number one. 

Does anyone remember Alafin's protracted enmity with his chief, late Asipa of Oyo Amuda Olorunosebi? Asipa developed friendship with Ooni Okunade Siwajude to spite his Kabiyesi. They became royal buddies. Asipa would visit Ile-Ife without the knowledge of Alafin. It was a case of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". In fairness to Alafin, it was WRONG for Ooni Sijuwade to be hobnobbing with Asipa to spite his fellow first class oba regardless of their own supremacy battle. Alafin didn't let it go without complaining loudly publicly and to government that Ooni Sijuwade was trying to undermine his throne with Ooni Sijuwade's friendship with Asipa. Interestingly, today, the same Alafin is hobnobbing with one of Ooni Adeyeye's chief who tried to succeed Ooni Sijuwade, Maye of Ife, Chief Raman Adedoyin who has openly constituted himself as enemy of Ooni in the mold of Alafin/Asipa enmity. Alafin visited Ile-Ife to honor Raman Adedoyin without the courtesy of visiting Ooni's palace. Royal hypocrisy number two. 

Let's go back to Barr Dotun Oyeniyi's discourse for royal hypocrisy number three. 

These are facts. Kabiyesi Oba Adeyemi, ade a pe lori o. Bata a pe lese. Mo seba fori ade o.

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