By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA—The Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, yesterday, declared that the Ooni of Ife remained the highest in the ranking of Yoruba obas.
Oba Gbadebo, who stated this while receiving the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi in his Ake, Abeokuta, Ogun State palace, said the Ife monarch is the highest of the five principal Obas in Yorubaland.
The Ooni, who arrived the palace of the Alake of Egbaland around 3:35p.m. with the retinue of his officers, was received by Oba Gbadebo at the entrance of the palace in company of his wife, Dr. Tokunbo Gbadebo, and the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa.
The Ooni listed the Alaafin of Oyo and the Oba of Benin as second and third, respectively, in the order of ranking.
He listed his own title, the Alake of Egbaland as the fourth while the Awujale of Ijebuland occupies the lowest rung of ladder.
The Alake however, identified ego as the cause of disunity among traditional rulers and peoples in Yorubaland.
He said the promotion of selfish aggrandizement had been the bane of development in the area.
According to him, it had become imperative for the people of Yorubaland to continue to accord the necessary respect to the institution of the Ooni of Ife.
While speaking on the recent visit by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to the Ooni of Ife in his palace , the Alake said Obasanjo has demonstrated respect for culture , who, inspite, of the age difference prostrated for the Ife monarch.
The Alake also commended the Ooni for the humility he has continued to exhibit since his ascension of the ancient throne.
In his remarks, Ooni Ogunwusi lamented the lack of unity among the traditional rulers in Yorubaland.
He stressed that the move towards achieving unity in Yorubaland has commenced since his coronation as the Ooni of Ife.
Ooni emphasised that love and unity of purpose ought to precede the much agitated progress of Yorubaland, promising that he and other traditional rulers in Yorubaland would pursue the goal.
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