Ooni: Olumobi Family Warns Against Distortion Of Facts, History …Presents Lafarge Director, Adefioye, As Sijuwade’s Successor
Ahead of the selection process for the new Ooni of Ife, members of Olumobi Family of Lafigido Ruling House of Ile-Ife, have warned against distortion of facts about the history, custom and tradition of the ancient town.
They said not possession of material wealth or political influence by aspirants to the throne should be placed above the traditional rights of those described as the true princes of Ile-Ife royal dynasties.
They added that the values of integrity, rich cultural knowledge and strong relationship and affinity with the people of the town and the Yoruba race in general should be accorded priority.
In a recent statement credited to a member of the family, Prince Adedimeji Dauda Adefioye, he noted that the family deserves the right to present the new Ooni of Ife more than two centuries after the last ruler from the lineage had reigned.
He said the late Olumobi, who is the progenitor of the Olumobi Compound of Lafigido Ruling House had reigned as the 22nd Ooni of Ife, just after the reign of Luwoo, regarded as the only female Ooni and the town’s 21st monarch.
Meanwhile, a member of the family and director on the boards of Lafarge Africa Plc, Wema Bank Plc, among other multinational companies, Prince Adebode Obafemi Adefioye has signalled his intention to ascend the throne, saying building on the legacies of the late Sijuwade, the 50th Ooni of Ife and Arole Oduduwa requires a dynamic, strong-willed and progressive-minded prince like him.
The financial expert, Adwho is the Chief Executive Officer at IBK Services Ltd and a Member at Ikeja Golf Club in Lagos, is said to be a grandson of the late great Ile-Ife-born philanthropists, Prince Badru Adefioye.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Alhaji Adefioye and younger brother to the Ooni hopeful said as an illustrious son of “the Source,” his brother used to be referred to as the “Golden son of Oodua and Ololufe Ile Ife,” during the reign of the late Olubuse 11.
He added that Adefioye’s father, who died about a year ago, was late Sooko Kareem Adegbaye Adefioye and Olori Omoba Lafigido Ruling House, who he said also doubled as the Sooko Walomo of Ile Ife and the immediate past Balogun of the Ile-Ife Muslim community.
Adefioye, who said the task of an Oba, and particularly a throne like that of Ooni, is about service across community’s borders, urged contenders to do away with acrimony and campaign of calumny. He added that anyone willing to serve will not take the contest as a “do or die” affair.
He said; “Omoba Adebode Obafemi Adefioye is an energetic, passionate and successful Ile-Ife son and will be a worthy Ooni for the betterment of Ile-Ife Kingdom. But we must warn those running the race against him to do away with campaign of calumny and should stop distorting facts about the history of Africa’s noblest race because these traditions and histories are too sacrosanct to be altered.
“We have identified some groups of people and individuals that are indigenous of Ile-Ife who have clandestinely embarked on a mission to distort the history, custom and the tradition of our fatherland but the custodians of our history should not be discouraged.”
He said such people had even been parading themselves as the anointed candidates for the throne even before the official announcement of the late Ooni’s passage to the life beyond. “Such people must be watched very carefully because their actions do not conform with our custom and traditions and they seem to be too ambitious to serve the Yoruba race.”
He, therefore, prayed stakeholders and particularly the chiefs and the government to be fair and just throughout the selection process and consider the future of the black race over and above the immediate gain.
It should be noted that out of the four identified ruling houses in Ile-Ife, the contest has been narrowed down to both the Lafigido and the Giesi Ruling Houses considering the fact that both the Osinkola and Ogboru Ruling Houses had produced the last two Ife royal fathers.