Francis Ojo Writes An Open Letter To Ooni of Ife.

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KABIYESI OBA OGUNWUSI OJAJA II.                                July 27, 2021

OONI OF IFEILE OODUA
ILE IFE

OPEN LETTER TO KABIYESI, OONI OF IFE

Kabiyesi, Igbakeji Orisha. I am lying prostrate in obeisance, respect and humility to the primary crown of the House of Oduduwa. I prostrate in reverence to the majesty of the foremost monarch, current custodian of our ancestral treasures, the guardian of the sepulcher of the deities and the holder of the ancestral staff of the progenitor of one of the most advanced, most accomplished and most widely spread races on this planet. An ancient race now struggling desperately for self-redefinition and self-determination. Telepathically, I know you have asked me to stand up, as is natural to your gracious nature. I so do to present this humble letter in the hope that you will find the content useful in your royal interest and that of your adoring people.
I write in respect of a disquieting list just published and which your royal signature appears to have authenticated. As soon as my attention was drawn to it, I quickly and angrily put a panicky call to a decent friend on this infamous list. He is honest and quietly so, cerebral but humble, ideological but comfortable in Nigeria political ‘carry-go’ circles, patriotic yet not rabidly pro-Yoruba self-determination and connected to socio-cultural leaders therefore sufficiently committed to a now expired model of partial freedom in the framework of ‘TRUE FEDERALISM.’ He calmed me down and put all the blame on himself. I smiled at his humility and self-deprecation. I still could not sleep through the night and felt compelled not only to knock at your palace gate but bang loudly on your door. I appeal to your Highness to quickly and firmly withdraw and cancel the list urgently. A royal list is expected to be formed in consultation with divine spirits invisible to our ordinary eyes and some living men and women of wisdom. This is one far from divine and farther from the counsel of the wise.  This is obviously a list of opportunistic traders and political entrepreneurs with whom your Highness must operate and eat, if he must, with a 5-meter-long pole for a spoon. In fact, it is, I’m sure, inspired by persons who wish to drag the throne into ridicule.

THE LIST

From the definition of its purpose, many of the personalities fit quite appropriately to a begging framework. Looking through the list, apart from about 15% or so, everybody there is a merchant or trader of different shades and hues. Political traders, PDP aspiring migrants looking for a direct free flight to APC in Abuja, commercial contractors seeking new opportunities and official employees of Mr. President. I hope the few decent men of integrity on that atrocious list will refrain from participation to preserve their dignity.
I have added the list as an addendum to avoid distracting from this warning.  I am saddened by the stated purpose:
The 28-member think tank comprises prominent individuals from the South-West. They will monitor Igboho’s arraignment in Benin Republic, the moves to extradite him to Nigeria and likely prosecution. DAILY POST gathered that a plan of action is being mapped out. The team is expected to provide updates to the Ooni as events unfold, offer counsels, mediate with the Yoruba Nation agitator’s legal team and interface with Nigerian and Beninese authorities.
How are they going to interphase with President Buhari without begging? What will they beg for? To restore the lives of those young Yoruba boys killed in that house? To pay for the unprovoked damage done to his household and life savings after destroying all he has worked for in life? Joo, joo,  joo, Kabiyesi, Yoruba will no longer allow their Kings to be humiliating themselves. Care is of the essence going forward.
And this takes us to Kabiyesi’s advice network. Who are Kabiyesi’s advisers? What is their qualification, record and antecedents? I should point out that your Highness is sitting on a goldmine of knowledge and wisdom at Ile-Ife where the greatest professors of history, anthropology and archeology are co-located with Ifa divinators in one community. What is Kabiyesi looking for frequently at Abuja? Why does his Highness fly around attending loud birthdays, visiting hagiographic book launches and in recent times, and to the eternal embarrassment of the people, parading our traditional regalia at Fashion shows? Is anybody telling the Monarch that we do not find all these funny? Perhaps I should remind his Highness, in case he has forgotten, the damage done to Yoruba thrones by terrorists, and the silent anger building up in the Yoruba mind at the lackadaisical and often cavalier attitude of Yoruba Kings, starting right from your Royal Highness.

ENGANGERED SPECIES THAT IS WHAT OBAS ARE

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In November 2020, the First-Class Traditional ruler of Ifon Kingdom, the Olufon of Ifon, in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Israel Adeusi was ambushed and brutally murdered by Fulani Herdsmen. Your Royal Highness and your brother Obas only whispered in low tones. You did not set up any ‘Ooni caucus’ at that time. Not an open protest against Government by any prominent Oba in solidarity with the people of Ifon.
Again, as reported in Vanguard Newspaper of April 22 2021, Elewu of Ewu-Ekiti in the Ilejemeje Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Oba Adetutu Ajayi was ambushed and shot while on his way to Aiyetoro Ekiti. He was lucky to live thereafter. Not a whimper from Royal thrones.
Earlier on April 14 in Ekiti, Obadu of Ilemeso-Ekiti in the Oye Local Government area, Oba David Oyewumi was captured by Fulani Herdsmen right in his Palace and kidnapped with a price tag of N20 million demanded. Nobody knows how much was eventually paid to settle the matter with these terrorists. What we noted however was that no Oba rose significantly to demand explanation from Government.
Still baffling, Vanguard reported on June 25, the kidnap of Oba Benjamin Oso, the Eleda of Eda Ile in Ekiti East Local Government area from his farm. Again, Royal feathers were not ruffled.
In Ogun State, on March 21, Oba Alade Meta of Imope, in the Ijebu Igbo area of the State Oba Tajudeen Omotayo was kidnapped with an asking price of N200 million. What did your Royal highnesses do? Nothing.

DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY

It is time to remind Yoruba Obas the true purpose of the throne and why they are sitting on it. Those thrones belong to us. You are all sitting there in trust for generations. ‘Lai si awa, ko si eyin o, Kabiyesi.’ The throne belongs to the Yoruba. You are sitting there to take care of our interest.
We expect you all to preserve the duty, tradition, responsibility of the office with dignity, integrity, awareness and pride. We should trust our Obas not only to avoid self-humiliation, but to fight humiliation of their subjects, colleagues and brother Obas. I shudder when I recall the humiliating arrest and detention of a very prominent Ife King, Oba Ademiluyi in 2017 during the Hausa-Yoruba ethnic disturbance. The Inspector General sent in a team that not only arrested Ife indigenes indiscriminately but Oba Ademiluyi. Your Royal Highness and all other Yoruba Obas were too petrified to utter a word. Is that not self-humiliation? Thank God Almighty for the intervention and efforts of first-class Senior Advocates of Yoruba descent who moved to fight and embarrass the Inspector General before the release of Kabiyesi.
May I respectfully advise Kabiyesi to stop going to Abuja and take a cue from the posture, the mystique and dignity of fellow Benin Obas who do not lend themselves to frivolity. They do not attend parties, birthdays or book launches without due consultation with the spirits. And by the reverence attached to their position by their subjects, no Eze Ndigbo gburugburu or Seriki Fulani of any kind dare build a Palace in competition with the Omo n’Oba. Contrast that with the hugely funded “palaces’ of Seriki Fulani in Lagos and Ibadan. Do your Highnesses think we are blind and not offended by your behaviour in the face of many insults? Why do you not observe and learn from example of   the brilliant, wise and experienced Benin Professionals and intellectuals who form Omo n’Oba traditional Councils. The Oba cannot make mistakes and every action he takes is strategic to the overall interest of his people.
I beg Kabiyesi to quickly look at these issues, dump this list and create a new Advisory group to cement his legacy.

I thank Kabiyesi for his attention.
Francis Ojo

APPENDIX
The full list of Kabiyesi ‘Ooni Caucus’ members below:
1. Olugbon of Igbon, Oba Olusola Alao
2. Senator Biodun Olujimi
3. Toyin Saraki
4. Segun Awolowo
5. Doyin Okupe.
6. Otunba Gbenga Daniel
7. Prince Oye Oyewumi
8. Muyiwa Ige
9. General Olu Okunnowo
10. DIG Taiwo Lakanu (rtd)
11. Sola Ebiseni, Afenifere Secretary
12. Jimi Agbaje
13. Sola Lawal
14. Debola Oluwagbayi
15. Dupe Adelaja
16. Dele Momodu
17. Senator Tolu Odebiyi
18. Dr. Olusegun Mimiko
19. Dr. Seun Obasanjo
20. Makin Soyinka
21. Dele Adesina (SAN)
22. AIG Tunji Alapinni (rtd.)
23. Reuben Abati
24. Eniola Bello
25. Bimbo Ashiru
26. Senator Tokunbo Ogunbanjo
27. Dapo Adelegan
28. Professor Akin Osuntokun

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