Ooni’s Long Road To
By Sodiq Adewale Chocomilo
,,,,,,His Imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi is inarguably the spiritual head of the entire Yoruba race. The throne he occupies as ‘Ooni of Ife’ comes with class and it is assumed as the most supreme throne in the entire African race. Ile-Ife, the town he presides over as the traditional head is arguably referred to as the ‘source’ of the Yoruba race.
There is a strong link between the town, the throne and the ruler. Besides respect whoever occupies the throne would naturally garner, the head is always seen as a deity and direct representative of the Yoruba gods. Ile-Ife as a town is characterised with a lot of distinct features that can not be literally exploited while lifestyles of the ruler including his subjects and people he rules can not be exclusively captured as a whole. If there is any attempt to literally capture their lifestyles, it must be done in sequence.
..,….Royalty is indeed a sweet experience. It is a new level of class, enjoyment, respect and exposure. As lovely as royalty is, it can be a mystery sometimes a ride on the evil road. Royalty is not only meant to be enjoyed, it must be preserved and carefully managed to survive the test of time. There are arguments that it can be managed with content of one’s characters but recent developments across palaces exposing the weaknesses of traditional rulers mostly in marriages make one wonders if destiny is actually at work or characters to manage royalty are wanted.
Sadly, the direct descendant of Oduduwa, the progenitor of Yoruba race and the representative of deities is no different. His Imperial Majesty, Enitan Ogunwusi is now planning to marry again for the fourth time. The Ooni of Ife Kingdom is not an alien to divorce. He has officially married three women and ended up being separated asides being a father of a 29-year-old woman he bore out of wedlock.
…..But the angle of separation of the king appears to be different. They shared same history. These three women divorced him and he was aware of these separations via public too. They left the marriage in most troubling way and portrayed the monarch as one who is in lack of needed knowledge and wisdom to manage a home.
.,…..Findings by WITHIN NIGERIA revealed that His Imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi got married in 2008 to one woman identified as Adebukola Bombota before he became king. The woman in her thirties who cited no excuses reportedly walked out of the marriage after some years and travelled to the United Kingdom. Following the separation, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi did not make attempt to try marriage until he became a king.
On the 26th of October, 2015, Enitan Ogunwusi was presented the staff of office as the Ooni of Ife Kingdom by then Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola. There were arguments that the stool of Ooni is highly referred and should not be occupied by an Estate developer who has no wife.
This reportedly made the monarch to give marriage a trial again. In 2016, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi married a Benin indigene identified as Olori Wuraola Zaynab. She was the first woman the monarch married on throne. Considering the marriage being a youthful one, it received an unusual attention from the public as people mostly followers were so much interested to know the happenings in the marriage. The marriage between the monarch and Olori Wuraola Zaynab crashed in 2017 without a child.
……When the marriage crashed, there were heaps of claims and blames of infidelity and infertility allocated to Olori Wuraola Zaynab as the cause of the crash while some social commentators claimed that Ooni of Ife’s sisters were responsible for the crash. The ex-Queen later submitted to pressures and spoke extensively on these claims without revealing why the marriage crashed.
“We have got to stop this culture of shaming and vilifying women with false stories of infidelity and nefarious behaviour. The spreading of false information (through “sources” afraid to be identified) is the mark of cowards and a cover up for guilty parties to justify their horrific actions. There is absolutely no truth to the media circulated lies of infidelity and infertility- on my end.
…..“We’ve seen this movie before. Women being dragged in the press and blamed for everything under the sun. This behaviour is unacceptable. I urge those involved to be mindful of their actions for the eyes of our Almighty God are always watching. The seeds of slander are a cancer that harvests to eat away the souls of the planter.
“The throne is sacred and the attempts to tarnish the name of a Queen, in defence or on behalf of a silent King makes all involved look terrible. Remain dignified in all you do. It’s not the end of the world, but the start of a new chapter and you must turn the page with grace. The world is watching.”
,,,,,,She ended her statement saying, “As I bid adieu to this chapter, my wish to you all is to step into your lives – boldly and fearlessly, the way God intended and live not just by words, but through example. The best chapter in our lives is the one we are writing now. Thank you for your love and support.
“With peace, love and light, -Her Highness, Zaynab Otiti Obanor.”
Barely a year after Olori Wuraola Zaynab divorced the monarch, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi found love again. He fell in love with a Prophetess. This generated a lot of arguments considering the spiritual gap between the duo. Ooni of Ife is expected to be the custodian of Yoruba gods and the new bride is a Prophetess, a follower of a Christian god. Against all arguments, the Ooni of Ife married Prophetess Naomi Silekunola in 2018.
…..When the monarch married Naomi Silekunola, one would have concluded that it would be the end of the marital tribulations of the leading Yoruba monarch. Even though the marriage was blessed with a son named ‘Tadenikawo’, it eventually crashed after a year the duo welcomed their son. The marriage crashed in December, 2021.
According to palace sources, the marriage crashed due to irrational attitude from Queen Naomi’s relatives especially her brother and mother. Some sources also claimed that the revelation of how Naomi deceived the monarch to seek her hand in marriage caused the marital crash. There are also claims that the revered monarch has a lot of side attractions who are known in the palace but unknown to the public, depriving Naomi the attention of the monarch.
Ex-Queen Naomi Silekunola while announcing the separation on her official Instagram page wrote extensively;
…….“I bless the Lord almighty for His faithfulness in the last 3years of my marriage. In life’s journey, it isn’t how far. Still, how well, indeed though Satan should buffet if trials should come, I have this blessed assurance controlling all situations and saying to me it is well with my soul. Certainly, it is well. I made my journey into the ancient throne of Ife with faith in my heart and love for the keeper of it.
“Few impressions I would love to correct. If anyone knows otherwise, they are free to come up with facts. Let it be known that this decision to move on did not come because his majesty is married to another queen. As many would love to assume, throughout our life as a couple, I was the only married wife to him. There were side attractions, but it was never an issue.
“I never approached him with any revelation of any sort, as many believed he contacted me first and made his proposal known several months later.
……“The marriage was not an arranged one, as many have misconstrued. I never knew the prophetess said to have introduced me to him. Instead, he introduced her to me after I agreed to marry him. I was only being polite out of respect for him.
I have never been pregnant all my life before Tadenikawo; my son is my first ever pregnancy with medical reports to back it up. The girl who is said to be my daughter is my niece.
,,,,,,,“I did my best to endure and make it work; many times, I smiled through the struggle, but I have finally realised I had just one assignment, my son, and when God is done, He is done. He chose Saul to be king, and when He was done, He told the prophet Samuel I have moved on. Religion was never an issue between us; please refer to my interview on News Central TV. Instead, His Majesty has a picture he would love the world to see and perceive him as and another one which is his true self.
“Today I announce the beginning of a new dawn and the close of a chapter. Today, I am a mother to God’s unique gift. I am no longer a slave to my thoughts of perfection. I, at this moment, announce that I shall no longer be referred to as wife to the Ooni of Ife or as Queen of Ile-Ife but as the Queen of the people and mother of my adorable Prince.”
Barely 7 months after Olori Naomi Silekunola announced her separation with Ooni of Ife Kingdom via her official Instagram handle, the monarch appears to have found new love again. Some media houses including WITHIN NIGERIA had reported that Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi is planing to marry Mariam Anako, Administrative Manager of Nest Oil. Sources claimed that family introduction was secretly done in February, 2022 while the wedding ceremony is slated to hold in August.
As the duo set to exchange marital vows in August, majority of Ooni of Ife Kingdom followers including well wishers pray that she would be the final bus stop and ends Ooni of Ife’s paradox of unsuccessful marriages.