ORANMIYAN FESTIVAL CONTROVERSY: Alaafin dares Ooni

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By OLA AJAYI, IBADAN
AS the controversy over the celebration of Oranmiyan deity rages between the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and the people of Ile-Ife in Osun State, the monarch has decided to go on with the celebration irrespective of the disapproval from Ile-Ife.

Though, Alaafin has decided to keep mum over the matter for now, it was gathered that the monarch will still respond to the comments made by a spokesperson for the Ife community, Oba Adebolu Fatunmise, Adagba of Iyanfoworogi, Ile Ife that before any Oba in Yorubaland could worship a deity like Oranmiyan, he should first contact the custodian of the deity which is Ile Ife.

While justifying the claim that Ife had the historical superiority to the deity, Oba Fatunmise had said, “the new contraption which they described as metropolitan Oyo only came into existence in 1836 under the leadership of Prince Atiba who they later made the head, that is the nucleus of the Alaafin you have today.”

While speaking with Vanguard on phone, yesterday, a reliable source from Oyo town said the words from Ife community should be disregarded. He noted that irrespective of what Ife people said, the celebration of the deity would continue adding that Oyo town was not ready to join issues with anybody over it.

Another source who spoke with Vanguard said Oyo town had not been celebrating the deity before now but that the monarch who cherishes Yoruba culture with relish decided to be celebrating the Yoruba deities from time to time.

Vanguard asked the personal assistant to the monarch, Prince Azeez Fehintola, to comment on the issue, but he refused stressing that he would not want to pre-empt Oba Adeyemi. He was, however, quick to say that the monarch would make further comments when the time was ripe.

Ooni of Ife and Alaafin of Oyo

Prince Fehintola said: “Don’t worry. Papa, Alaafin, will speak at the appropriate time. We shall soon invite all of you to come for briefing”.

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