As you read this, please note that Ooni Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has said that he’s not in supremacy battle:
The humble Ooni of Ife has finally added his voice to the ongoing controversy concerning hierarchy as he said the Benin Kingdom is in fact a Yoruba territory and thus is under him.
Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi has responded to the ongoing hierarchy tussle over who is superior between the Ooni of Ife and the Oba of Benin, started by the Alake of Egbaland, Adedotun Gbadebo who said the Ooni stands as the highest ranked monarch in Yorubaland.
The Ooni said Benin Kingdom in Edo State is no doubt a part of the expansive Yoruba race, according to all historical facts, and as such it is under him.
The monarch was reacting to a statement credited to the palace of the Oba of Benin challenging the claim by the Alake of Egbaland, Adedotun Gbadebo, that the Ooni of Ife remained the highest spiritual leader in Yorubaland (former Western region) and environs.
Oba Ogunwusi, replied through a statement from his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Moses Olafare. He said going by historical evidence detailing the Oduduwa lineage, Benin Kingdom remained part and parcel of Oduduwa House.
“We in Oduduwa land have always seen and regarded our people in Benin kingdom as part and parcel of Oduduwa House. They are our brothers and sisters, coupled with historical facts to back up this position,” Ooni Ogunwusi said.
“The statement credited to the Alake of Egbaland, did not emanate from us but the reality is that as a highly experienced and well informed monarch, Kabiyesi Alake, who is a bonafide Oodua descendant is entitled to his opinion based on his knowledge and understanding of history,” the Ooni said.
“Let me emphasize for the umpteenth time that Kabiyesi Ooni is less concerned over any supremacy hullabaloo. He is only interest for now in how the sacred throne of Oduduwa can explore measures through which the collective interest and genuine unity among Yoruba and other tribes within the larger House of Oduduwa can be enhanced.
“This informed his resolve to build bridges of harmony among Yourba Obas. ‘I am resolutely committed to how Yoruba ethnic group can restore its glory and pride of position among other ethnic inclinations in Nigeria and don’t want to be dragged into supremacy contest or join issues with anybody’.”
The traditional ruler said he recalled that about six years ago, attempt was made by some people to upturn history during the launch of a book titled: I REMAIN SIR, YOUR OBEDIENT SERVANT, which he said stood historical facts on its head.
Oba Ogunwusi said if the position espoused by the Oba of Benin Palace in the media “is aimed at distancing our people in Benin from the South West and Yoruba, so be it.”
He however added, “We still identify with them as our kinsmen, regardless of the attempt to change the course of history.”
It would be recalled that The Alake had, while hosting the Oba Ogunwusi in his palace on February 7, rated Ooni as the number one monarch in Yorubaland and included Benin as one of such places.