By Sodiq Lawal
A tourist guard in Ile- Ife, Falade Olubunmi has described the 4th Ooni of Ile- Ife, Obalufon Ogbogbodirin as the oldest king of the ancient city, saying the king spent almost a century on the throne and reigned between 8th-9th century.
Olubunmi explained this while explaining the spiritual efficacy of the Obalufon statue to tourists who were in ancient city for this year annual world Ife Festival.
He said Obalufon Ogbogbodirin reigned for a century and was transfigured into a metal figurine and became a deity that signifies spiritual long reign for Ooni.
He added that his son, Obalufon Alayemore’s reign was marked with the first ever renaissance recorded in human history pre-dating the Carolingian renaissance of 8th -9th century which was evident in the artifacts and ancient technological exploits that was credited to his historic tenure.
“He was the grand patron of arts, science and technology with kin value for intellectual excellence and artistic intricacies, urbanization, economic revolution, standardization of career paths, conflict resolution, wages and salary system”
“Obalufon Alayemore was also deemed to have established many other towns and cities like Ido Osun, Efon Alaye, Erin and many more”
“Obalufon Alayemore created new city plan for Ile-Ife with construction of several temples and building of city walls which economically enhanced cosmopolitan nature of Ife”
“Bronze casting and all forms of alloys and metals crafts, glass beads and other jewels got to its peak of refinement during his reign further making Ife a commercial hub.”
“Obalufon Alayemore was transformed into a stone effigy when his reign was ended by conspiracy associated with traditional and political complexes”
“Obalufon shrine till date plays an important role in the Installation of the Ooni, as Aare crown must be blessed in his shrine before it could adore the head of the current Ooni”.
The tourist guard revealed that the idol elephant at House of Honour (Ile nla) was a king, Oba Ademiluyi who turned to elephant when he was betrayed by some alliens.