Ogoga And Olukere Monarch Tussle In Ikere—Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
I want to believe that IKERE DEVELOPMENT FORUM (IDF) is an intellectual forum where we argued to learn.
On the issue of Ogoga and Olukere, let us go into brief history.
It is a fact that there were settlers in Ikere before Oloje (Olukere) and Ogoga Agamo. It is also a fact that among the first Ikere settlers, Oloje (Olukere) came before Ogoga Agamo. Oloje (Olukere) met people in Ikere so also Ogoga met people in Ikere. Among the first settlers of Ikere, it is the truth that only Ogoga Agamo was a Royal Prince (a Royal Prince of Benin Kingdom who was in possession of a Crown). Kingship in Yoruba land is not about whom settled first but it is about whom possessed the Crown, the first King in Yoruba land was Oduduwa and it is in the history that Oduduwa met people in Ile Ife.
According to Ewi of Ado Ekiti Oba Rufus Adejuyigbe Aladesanmi III, in his 115 pages book titled “THE HISTORICAL POSITION OF EWI OF ADO EKITI IN THE COMITY OF EKITI AND YORUBA OBAS” published in 2014, he made references to some historical records of Ekiti Obas. I attached some extracts of the book.
In page 58 of his book, Ewi said that the first PELUPELU meeting of all Ekiti Obas was held at Oke Imo Ilesha on June 21, 1900 and listed all the 16 Ekiti Obas that attended the meeting with reference to National Archives (see attached). Ogoga of Ikere was on the list, no Oloje or Olukere of Ikere on the list.
In page 62 of the book, Ewi listed the First and Second class Chiefs who are not subordinate to other authorities in Ekiti as at 1924 with reference to National Archives (see attached). Ogoga of Ikere was on the list, no Oloje or Olukere of Ikere on the list.
In page 66 of the book, Ewi said at the request of Sir Walter Buchana Smith on November 17, 1932 (District Officer of Ekiti), the Ooni of Ile Ife gave the list of approved/authentic Crowned/Beaded Obas in Ekiti with reference to National Archives (see attached). Ogoga of Ikere was on the list, no Oloje or Olukere of Ikere on the list.
In page 76 of the book, as at 1931, only 54 Obas in Yorubaland were entitled to wear Crowns as provided by Ooni of Ife. Ewi listed these 54 Obas with reference to National Archives (see attached). Ogoga of Ikere was number 21 on the list and no Oloje or Olukere of Ikere on the list.
My people, as I have said earlier, we argued to learn, I will welcome anybody with HISTORICAL FACTS or any ACTS (from Archives) about an Oloje (Olukere) being a Prince or an Oba at any point of time in the past, not all those unverified stories we were being told. Ikere Intelligence Report of 1933 regarded Ogoga as Paramount Ruler of Ikere Kingdom. By rank in present Ikere Traditional Council after Ogoga, High Chief Sapetu is next, followed by High Chief Sao, High Chief Ologotun etc. High Chief Ologotun is the head of Chiefs from Odo Oja quarter Ikere Ekiti where Olukere belongs to.
In his press release of January 27, 2016 (courtesy: http://www.tribuneonlineng. com/supremacy-crisis-brews-in- ikere-ekiti-over-kingship-%E2%80%A2monarch-says-%E2%80% 98fayose-after-my-life%E2%80%99-%E2%80%A2he-should ), Olukere Obasoyin Ganiyu alleged that the first Ogoga came to Ikere in 1836 but from historical facts, Ikere has produced more than 16 Ogogas as at 1836, in fact the Great Ogoga Oba Agirilala I (during whose reign Ikere was massively expanded) who is the Great-Great Grandfather of the present Ogoga reigned in 17th century. My people imagine Olukere calling Ogoga his errand boy; this is unbecoming of a Noble Person.
Let us ask ourselves questions:
· At what point did Oloje (Olukere) have his Crown and by whom? All Yoruba Obas got their Crown from either an Ooni or Alaafin or Oba of Benin with records. Those of us that attended the Ogoga’s Coronation will attest to the narration given by Alaafin of Oyo, HRM Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III and Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, HRM Oba Akinruntan Obateru about the status/position of Ogoga among Yoruba Obas.
· How come that at the installation of any Ogoga, the first point of call is Erepupu (the home of Ikere first settler) not at Odo Ule (Olukere home) and no reference is made to Oloje (Olukere) for rite?
· How come at the death and installation of any Olukere, notification is sent to Ogoga?
· How come no SINGLE Chief of Ikere Kingdom derived his authority from Olukere, even among his Odo Oja quarter Chiefs?
· Who are the Olukere Kingmakers?
· How does an Olukere emerged or elected or selected?
· How come an Olukere must pay homage to an Ogoga in Ogoga’s Palace once in a year and not the reverse?
Why it is a fact that an Olukere plays a major role in the spiritual aspect of Ikere activities especially during the Olosunta Festival, Ogoga-in-council is the ONLY traditional constituted authority of Ikere Kingdom. All Ikere Chiefs and Priests pay homage to Ogoga; Ogoga does not pay homage to anybody.
As mentioned earlier by Egbon Tunde Awe, there are other Ikere Chief Priests who play similar role in Ikere spiritual activities e.g Eselemo of Odo Oja (during Ogunoye festival), Akamuja of Uro (during Obalufon festival) etc. In fact Akamuja has his own Agba (Big Drum) like Olukere Agba.
I grew up in Ikere to know Olukere staying in-door; he comes out only during the Olosunta festival.
Rather than the present occupant of Odo Ule to focus on how to promote Olosunta festival to International standard like Osun Oshogbo or Udiroko Ado Ekiti (which has MTN as its corporate sponsor), his activities have been unbecoming. Let me mention just few:
· In May 2015, it was alleged that the present occupant of Odo Ule locked out the MTN major hub site in Ikere which led to Ikere being cut out of the mobile network for weeks due to unwarranted demand. We all know the implication of this on the economy activities of Ikere.
· Also in May 2015, it was alleged that someone from nowhere appeared on our sacred Olosunta rock, up till today, there have been no release or steps taken to disprove it by its custodian.
· All his media interviews since 2014 have been provocative.
· Some weeks ago; in his effort to resolve land dispute at Oke Osun in Ikere; Ogoga with his Opa Akun (Oba’s Staff) requested the presence of the land grabber at his palace; Olukere prevented the land grabber; in fact he threatened to destroy the Ogoga’s Opa Akun that Oke Osun belongs to him. It took the intervention of security agencies to arrest the land grabber. This led to him (Olukere) being invited by the Ekiti State Governor for a serious warning as alleged in his recent press release.
· Just two weeks ago, Olukere went to write his name on Ikere LG property (Archway on Moshood road) Odo Oja, Ikere. It took the intervention of the Ikere LG Chairman and security agencies to erase this and prevent crisis.
In 1992, during the tenure of HE Evang Bamidele Olumilua as Governor of old Ondo State, some people went to him at Akure to make case for Olukere to become King but their request met a STOP as there are laws and guiding principles of governance.
My people I think it is high time records are set straight.
On the part of Ekiti State Government, no Government will recognize anybody as a Monarch without being given Government Approval and Staff of Office. Let us caution the present occupant of Odo Ule not to step on Government toes.
My people, it is the TRUTH that HRM Alayeluwa Oba Samuel Adejimi Adu Alagbado, Agirilala-Ogbenuote II, Ogoga of Ikere Ekiti is the Paramount Ruler of Ikere Kingdom as at today. Omo Agbogbomoja, Saaki, Alaye, Ekun Obarinsa.