Let The gods Resolve The Seeming Royal Snub/Feud
Since the video went viral some couple of days ago about how the Olowo Eko, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos seemingly snubbed the handshake from the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi at a public function, a lot of commentators have gone to town joining issues on what is obviously beyond their brief as mere mortals.
As a young man, one grew up to be conscious of the fact that in Yoruba land, the position of Obaship is a sacred and revered institution because the Oba is mirrored as the “igbakeji Orisa”, meaning, second in command to the gods.
Thus in Yoruba land, the Oba can do no wrong hence the appellation of Kabiyesi in greetings which means, nobody can question the action of the Oba (King). To put it in another word, people assert that, tobalase meaning that whatever comes out of the mouth of the king, is an order to be executed, nobody can question any decision of the Oba.
The respect bestowed on the king was not just to him as a person but as a representative of the gods here on earth who can do no wrong. Hence many Obas in the days of old, were ascribed with mystical powers.
However, during the days of yore, the unquestionability of the actions of the Oba as an emissary of the deity who can do no wrong was not absolute as he could be forced to commit suicide if he goes against the wishes of the people through the council of chiefs called the Oyo Mesi in old Oyo kingdom, who will send him a white calabash containing some items which denotes his rejection by the people and abdication of the throne through suicide, because it was a taboo for an Oba to be dethroned and still stay alive, hence the shame and reproach must be taken away through suicide.
Unfortunately, modern democracies and government has changed most of the traditional culture and practices revolving around the institution of Oba (King). These days, an Oba’s seeming reverence has been watered down by the political association of these custodian of the peoples tradition and values, which has resulted in some of them being seen as businessmen or appendages of those wielding political authority.
But be that as it may, one expects people to be circumspect and respect the traditions and customs of the institution of Obaship, no matter the circumstances rather than throwing caution to the dogs as some have done in their reaction to the recent development between these first class Obas of Yoruba land.
If one may ask, when did it become the right or responsibility of mere mortals to peep into an affairs of the emissaries of the gods even if they seem to be at loggerheads? The people who have taken sides on the matter are simply ignorant of the fact that the gods don’t engage in physical handshakes like mere mortals, so their emissaries, the Obas can’t be any different, therefore, what’s the fuss about a royal handshake snub?
Thus, one finds it ludicrous for some persons and interest to be calling for or demanding an apology from an emissary of the gods which the Oba signifies. It is the height of abomination to desecrate the institution of Obaship by the demand for an apology which is an assault on the institution and must be condemned.
Consequently, one’s admonition to all, is to keep off from an area of the gods and their emissaries and let them resolve the issues internally.