OUR KINGMAKERS SHOULD PUT THE LOVE OF THEIR TOWNS ABOVE AMASSING FILTHY RICHES
The late Ajagbusi-Ekun, Owaloko of Iloko-Ijesha, Ọbá Oladele Olashore once advised me during his lifetime to write a compendium about Ọbás and Ọbáship in Yorùbáland. This was after we have interacted consistently on this subject and he discovered I knew so much about the Institution of Ọbás because of my craft and my principled position when it comes to saying the ‘TRUTH’ as it is.
I was in Iseyin together with members of The GSMists when our Governor, GSM said that the throne of the Aláàfin of Òyó was not for sale because apart from being the repository of the culture of the Yorùbá race, the stool is very important to the entire Yorùbáland.
He said this to break the ice, particularly because the custodians of the ascension process have compromised and turned it into a commercial selection process courting the highest bidder in the form of ‘Trade by Barter.’
The current battle to fill several prominent traditional stools in Yorùbáland is also contending with the indisputable age long custom that “the head that wears a crown comes from the brass bell; the neck that wears coral beads also comes from the brass bell and likewise the waist that wraps a good garment that shines comes also from the brass bell.” All these assertions are a pointer to the Yorùbá customary belief about Ọbáship.
Yorùbás believe that no one becomes an Ọbá by mistake. Kings are destined to be Kings and there are always traits from birth, though this belief is based on the principles of truth and fairness.
However, there is always a boundary and a point caution: non-royals should know themselves as non-royals (ki eru o se bi eru, ki iwofa se bi iwofa). After a King joins his ancestors in Yorùbá land, it is the natural responsibility of the Kingmakers to consult with Elders within the town and the Ifa Oracle on who becomes the next King.
It is interesting to know that no matter the strife between culture and civilisation, culture will always triumph, for even if modernity chooses screening, competition, debate, interview or even manifesto and voting, it will always generate controversy except the traditional laid down process of picking an Ọbá through the ‘Ifa Oracle’ is not subverted . This is because the matter is to pick a TRADITIONAL ruler (who will preserve culture and traditions) and not MODERNIZED RULER.
Hon Yomi Olajide