26th October, 2022
By Nehru Odeh
The Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja 11) is on the rampage. He is not only on the rampage; he is also on a roll and continues to roll like a stone that, surprisingly, gathers moss. The highly respected traditional ruler has set the internet on fire and tongues wagging by marrying six wives in two months.
Six wives in two months? Sure. The women he has married in two months and, by virtue of that, turned into queens, are: Mariam Anako, September 6, 2022; Elizabeth Akinmudai and Tobiloba Philips, October 9, 2022, Ashley Adegoke, October 14, 2022; Ronke Ademiluyi, October 20, 2022; and Temitope Adesegun, Monday, October 24, 2022.
The remarkable thing about this feat is that those women are sophisticated. They are women who are not only successful in their own rights, but also can hold their own anywhere. And that gives the impression, which may be faulty though, that the Ooni has not just taste but also eyes for good things.
Still, the Ooni is not done yet. He is unapologetically brazen. He still has a repertoire of surprises which he intends to unleash on Nigerians as long as increasing his harem is concerned. And many believe that if he continues with this momentum, he may at the end of the day enter the Guinness Book of Records.
However, many are in a quandary as to why the Ooni is on rampage, as to why he decided to unleash a bare-faced bravado on Nigerians, as to why he chose to act that way, not minding the reactions of Nigerians.
They cannot, indeed, bring themselves to understand why the Ooni by marrying six wives in two months displayed a desperation unfit for a first-class monarch. While others believe that his latest actions are not novel, that they come with the territory, with the office. They believe it is not just a fad, but an age-old tradition known with traditional rulers of his pedigree and ilk. They hinge it on the highly respected throne on which he sits.
However, the Ooni’s name and reputation precede him. He had his first child out of wedlock at 19. That child has grown to be 29-year-old Princess Adeola. But there is no evidence that he was a polygamist at the time.
Before this marriage spree, He had his first three wives, two before he ascended the throne of his ancestors and one after he had become a royal father. Though, unfortunately, none of them lasted. Even when he had those four women in quick succession, following the collapse of the previous ones, he was never a polygamist.
But the question then is: what is the genesis of the Ooni’s new romance with polygamy? Had he always been a polygamist but never got the opportunity to show that side?
It would be recalled that when his former wife (his third) Naomi Silekunola, the prophetess, announced that her marriage to the monarch was over in December 2021 on Instagram, she said she was not leaving the then 47-year-old monarch because of other women, adding “I was the only ‘married’ wife to him.”
However, she also said, “His Majesty has a picture he would love the world to see and perceive him as and another one which is his true self”. What is the monarch’s true self? And what picture does he want the world to see and perceive him as, which, according to the prophetess is different from his true self? Is there something the prophetess knows about the monarch that Nigerians don’t know? These are questions only the prophetess, who has a knack for seeing the future and naming the unnameable, can answer.
Still, it is well known that shortly after the monarch had celebrated the prophetess’s birthday with pomp and pageantry on 15 April 2021, he reportedly welcomed a secret baby with another woman, which left the then queen hurt.
When the news of the secret broke, It was reported at the time that the monarch had other women in the palace and it was one of those women that had that child for him. It was also reported that the then Queen Silekunola was the only one of all the kings women allowed to show her face on social media.
However, it would also be recalled that a video emerged online capturing the moment Queen Silekunola prayed for the monarch to have more queens, as she was eulogizing him for organizing a dinner in her honour.
Why there is no iota of doubt that the prayer of the prophetess, a prayer warrior at that, has come to pass, is the Ooni’s present romance with polygamy the prophetess’ self-fulfilling prophecy? Or was she far ahead of the time and saw ahead what nobody actually had the benefit or privilege to see?
It is a fact that the former Queen Silekunola plies her trade and faith as a prophetess and has an uncanny gift for seeing the future. It is also a fact that it was her gift of prophecy that made her marry the Ooni in the first place when she walked to the palace with uncommon boldness and told the Ooni that God had told her that she was the Ooni’s wife.
The Ooni, who was perhaps in search of a partner then seeing such a beautiful lady come to offer herself to him on a platter had no choice but to accept her prophecy and help to hasten its fulfilment.
And just as former Queen Silekunola had prayed on her birthday, God has answered her prayers and the Ooni has now married six wives in two months. The Ooni himself has again helped to hasten the fulfilment of his former wife’s prayer by marrying those sophisticated ladies.
But the question then is: is there something that the former Queen, who on record has been the most dramatic of the Ooni’s queens, knows that many of us don’t know about the monarch? “His Majesty has a picture he would love the world to see and perceive him as and another one which is his true self,” Silekunola said on Instagram on the day she publicly announced the dissolution of her marriage to the monarch.
The Queen meant that the monarch had two selves, the private and the public self. The question again is what is the monarch’s private self and his public self?
Recently, the Ooni while celebrating his seventh coronation anniversary, tried to explain the reason for his latest actions. He said when he ascended the throne he had tried making some changes, but couldn’t because he had to uphold the traditions of his forefathers; perhaps referring to his earlier decision to be a monogamist and still have concubines.
“This institution is bigger than me, beyond me. People in this palace are more than 800, they are close to a thousand. There are some people who have been living in this palace for more than 60 years, while some have lived here for more than 80 years old. Some people are over 100 years old in this palace.
“If I had my way, I tried to challenge it, but it blew in my face, but thank God I’m still alive. It’s an institution that is rich in heritage, culture, and tradition,” the Ooni maintained.
Is it as the Ooni has said, that the tradition is bigger than and beyond him? or is it a case of the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak? Or is it that the Ooni has gone on a marriage spree as a face-saving measure to avoid the scandal that greeted the collapse of his first three marriages?
But we should also not forget that it was reported that the Ooni had other women in the palace while he was married to Silekunola and that shortly after the former Queen celebrated her birthday, one of the women had a secret child for him. Had he always had many women while married to only one?
However one wishes to see it, Silekunola’s prayer has not only been answered, her parting shot about the monarch having two selves, – a picture he would love the world to see and perceive him as and another one which is his true self – still rings a bell loud enough for everyone to hear.
And however, you wish to see it, the Ooni is on a roll and unapologetic about his actions. And perhaps God is still in the process of answering Silekunola’s wish and prayer for the king.