Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty Rilwan Akiolu’s public snub of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, was a carry-over from their discussion in March, encomium.ng authoritatively reveals. Insiders aware of the root of the spat traced it to a call just before the Ooni travelled to London to honour the invitation of the Commonwealth.
The call made by the Ooni to Oba Akiolu aggravated the older monarch that he was visibly upset… and told the younger King to cancel the London trip.
A source told encomium.ng: “Ooni accords the older Yoruba monarchs a lot of respect and courtesy. He has even visited a number of them in their palaces since his coronation in December 2015. He wants to build bridges of understanding.
“Ooni usually informs the Alake of Egbaland, Awujale of Ijebuland and Oba of Lagos, among others, of his plans. Even when he’s travelling abroad, he tells them.”
Another insider narrated: “When he was going to London to honour the invitation of the Commonwealth, he told them. But when he informed Oba of Lagos about the March trip, he was upset.
“Oba of Lagos flared up during the phone call, and mentioned why he was not invited. Ooni offered to help to see if Oba of Lagos could be shortlisted for the trip, but he declined.
“The discussion was heated, and Oba Akiolu insisted that the Ooni should boycott the London event slated for March 13 and 14. The phone did not end on a happy note.”
“Ooni was in London, attended the Commonwealth Day celebrations, presented a speech, laid a wreath and graced many other events during the trip,” one of those on the trip told Encomium.ng.
“The Bankers’ event of Tuesday, April 25 was the first time both are meeting after the London trip.
“And when Ooni arrived the Lagos event where the Obi of Onitsha (Nnayelugo Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe) and Oba Rilwan Akiolu (Olowo Eko Omo Erin j’ogun ola) were already seated, he greeted them respectfully. But he was snubbed by Oba Akiolu. Even after Obi of Onitsha tried to intervene, he ignored Ooni.
“When Ooni mounted the podium (at the World Conference of Banking Institute hosted by Chartered Institute of Bankers), he acknowledged the Oba of Lagos and Obi of Onitsha.
“However, when the Oba of Lagos was given the microphone, he still.did not recognise Ooni…”
The insiders claimed the 25-second viral video which has sparked public debate is the fall-out of the phone call before Ooni’s trip to the United Kingdom.
While the 51st Ooni of Ife, now 41, was crowned on December 7, 2015, Oba Rilwan Akinolu, 74 on October 29, ascended the throne on May 23, 2003.