By Sadiq Lawal
Indigenes of Ile –Ife at home and in diaspora this week occupied various media platform to eulogised the enduring legacies of Late Ooni of Ife, Oba Adesoji Aderemi after 37 years he joined his ancestors.
Oba Adesoji departed Ooni’s throne on July 3rd 1980.
Since July 3rd , his life and time and how he elevated the Ooni’ throne in Nigeria social and political space dominated Ife prominent indigenes social media platforms. Those who were not born in 1980 reproduced fascinating documented history of Oba Adeyemi to mark his exit 37 years after.
Adesoji Ibraheem, and Ife indigene, a legal practitioner based in Ife posted on his facebook page “At the blink of an eye the task is complete! He came, he saw, and he conquered. In 1889 he was born to an Ife Prince, of the Osinkola ruling house. In actual fact, he was born during the turbulence of the Yoruba civil war”
“So the story goes that his father, Gbadebo was on a war expedition, when his wife, Adekunbi of Ipetumodu, Ife north local govt, was delivered of a bouncing baby boy named Adesoji Tadeniawo Aderemi”.
The father on being sighted by Aderemi’s sister, ran in excitement to meet and tell her father, the news of the new addition to the family. The father rebuked the daughter not to come near him”
“Apparently it was because of the juju paraphernalia on him that he didn’t want his daughter touching him”
“He went into his shrine to remove the apparels and appease his gods. He came out and asked for the new baby, brought out his Ifa Oracle. (He was an Ifa priest. Bear in mind ifa originates from ife) on the divination of Prince Gbadebo, about what the future holds for the new baby Aderemi, the father was told to bow for his son. The Ifa predicted that he was going to wear the crown of his ancestors, that his reign will be known far and wide, and he will come in contact with strangers in far away place ”
“Prince Gbadebo told his wife to go get coral beads for the new born baby. The story goes that the mother was always washing him in herbs for protection, until he grew up and refused to take things from his mother. He refused to go to the farm with his much older brother, papa Adeyemo.
“He enrolled at the Anglican primary school, and the rest as they say is history,”
Also, Dr Olayemi Ojo, a lecturer in Obafemi Awolowo University Ile- Ife on his facebook page said “ Late Oba Adesoji Aderemi was known as a very wealthy man and had a large family of many wives and children.
“During the colonial era, the he gained a considerable amount of power due to the colonial policy of indirect rule and being labeled a first class Oba among traditional rulers in Yorubaland.
“The policy of indirect rule was used to ensure native awareness and consultations about colonial policies affecting the regions.
“The British leaned on existing native political structures and hierarchy, particularly the Nigerian traditional rulers, for political consultation and tax collection. Later on, the Ooni with the consent of the leading Yoruba political leaders used his position to close the gaps of exploitation of divisional differences among Yorubas and tried fervently to rally the Yoruba towards a common goal.
“In 1962, the king acting as governor, used his power to remove the premier of the region, sensing the premier did not have the support of the majority members of the House of Assembly. The event however escalated the political rivalries in the region.” Ojo said.