The Oba of Lagos, HRM Rilwan Akiolu’s public snub of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, was a fallout of a conversation between them in March, it has emerged. According to insiders who are in the know, trouble began when the Ooni placed a call to Oba Akiolu, informing him about his invitation to the Commonwealth.
An authoritative source said, “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.”
“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,” another insider told Encomium.
The Ooni duly attended the Commonwealth Day celebrations in London, presented a speech, laid a wreath and graced many other events during the trip. Since the Ooni returned from London, the Bankers’ event of Tuesday, April 25 was the first time both were meeting.
And as seen in the video that went viral yesterday, when the Ooni arrived the event where the Obi of Onitsha (Nnayelugo Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe) and the Oba of Lagos were already seated, he greeted them respectfully but Akiolu snubbed him.
Furthermore, when Ooni mounted the podium to address the Bankers, he acknowledged both the Oba of Lagos and the Obi of Onitsha. But when it got to the turn of the Oba of Lagos to speak, he still refused to acknowledge the Ooni.
The Oba of Lagos’ actions have been widely criticised as arrogant, disrespectful and irresponsible.