Soun controversy: Ruling House tackles contender over ‘spurious’ claims in interview
The Odunaro Ruling House of Soun Dynasty of Ogbomoso is up in arms against a contestant to the vacant throne of Soun, Prince Kabir Olaoye, over his claim in an interview he granted a national daily – Sunday Tribune – in May 2022, in which he claimed that Oba Adegoke Atanda Olayode I, who reigned 1908 to 1914, died in exile and was buried in the royal grave in 1956.
Prince Kabir Olaoye had made this claim in his attempt to justify his position as the rightful heir to the throne of Soun in view of his direct grandfather’s grave (Oba Oke Olanipekun Olaoye) in the Ogbomoso royal tomb (Abata) challenging other contenders to point out their fathers’ graves in the palace as required by tradition.
Olaoye, one of the twenty three aspirants to the Soun throne, to entrench his claim thus made reference to the issue of Oba Adegoke Atanda Olayode I, averring that it was in the realization of the fact that the monarch’s son, Oba Emmanuel Olajide Olayode, who reigned between 1966 and 1969, made frantic effort to have his father reburied in the palace in 1956.
He submitted that if this (reburial of his father in the palace) was not earlier done his rising to the throne later would have been aborted.
But the descendants of the two former Obas have picked holes in his assertion noting that it was blatant perversion of facts.
According to an advertorial published in the last issue of The Insight (number 159, dated .. , the print version of ogbomosoinsightonline.com), and signed by the trio of Prince Stephen Ilufoye Layode (heir to Oba Emmanuel Olajide Olayode), Prince Amos Temiloye Olaniyan and Prince Wahab Olatoye Oyekale, the Mogaji, Secretary and Acting Chairman of Odunaro ruling house respectively, the contention was fallacious, hence their rebuttal, which fell short of calling for retraction.
Titled, “Re: Oba Adegoke Atanda Olayode I Did Not Die In Exile,” the rejoinder states in full, “We, members of the Odunaro Ruling House of the Soun Dynasty of Ogbomoso, were flabbergasted by a statement credited to one Prince Kabir Abioye Olatunbosun Olaoye, who is an aspirant to the vacant throne of Soun of Ogbomosoland, in an interview he granted Sunday Tribune published on 8 May, 2022, page 22, in which he remarked that Oba Adegoke Atanda Olayode I, who reigned as Soun of Ogbomosoland between 1908 and 1914, died while in exile and his remains buried in the sacred palace’s royal grave (Abata) in 1956.
“Prince Olaoye averred but erroneously in the said interview: “An heir aspirant, whose father or grandfather is not buried in the palace will not be qualified to aspire to the throne of Soun. So these people can be asked this question: Were their fathers or grandfathers buried in the palace? Do they have Oju – Ori in Abata, where all past Souns were buried in the palace? Oba Emmanuel Olayode, whose father died in exile, was permitted by Oba Olatunji to bury his father in Oju – Ori in Abata in the palace some time in 1956, precisely for the single reason that he was a direct son of a previous king in Ogbomoso, which qualified him when the stool became vacant in 1966. Assuming the early rite had not been done, Oba Olayode wouldn’t have been able to ascend the throne when he did.”
His reference to our revered patriarch in a manner that is untrue is most unfortunate because in his unguided and unguarded exuberance he overwhelmed the reading public with half truth. This is inauspicious and most inopportune; we would not have reacted to the fallacy but for the fact that lies left unchallenged and repeated over time assume a life of truth. It is in the light of this that we are dignifying the assertion by the said Prince Kabir Olaoye with a response so that the public will not be flagrantly misled.”
The family consequently gave an account of the circumstances leading to the exile of their patriarch, his transition and interment under the sub-heading, “True story of Oba Adegoke Atanda Olayode I’s transition and committal.”
“Oba Adegoke Atanda Olayode I was a victim of conspiracy, which led to his unjust deposition and subsequently being sent on exile. However, the truth emerged after government ordered a re-investigation into the matter. He was thus repatriated on October 27, 1931. This was a memorable day as he was warmly welcomed back by both the young and the old in Ogbomoso.
“His residence was continually thronged prompting his being asked to relocate to Pafa, where he joined his ancestors seven years after, on February 19, 1938, during the reign of Oba Afolabi Alabi Oyewumi Ajagungbade II. So, this affirmed that he did not die in exile contrary to what Prince Kabir would want the world to believe in his overzealousness.
“Meanwhile, there is a subsisting tradition embedded in the saying that “A kii gbe oku ka oloja mole” (A corpse is never brought in to the residence of a king). That was the basis for which the remains of Oba Adegoke Atanda Olayode l, were not buried in the palace because at his transition there was a reigning king. After the transition of the successor to Oba Afolabi Oyewumi Ajagungbade II, Oba Oke Olanipekun Olaoye II in 1952, and before the enthronement of Oba Olatunji Alao Elepo II, that is, when the throne was vacant, the remains of Oba Adegoke Atanda Olayode I, were reburied in the palace at Abata.
“So, it was not in 1956 that he was reburied at Abata, as claimed by Prince Kabir Olaoye, rather it was in 1952, during the interregnum between the reigns of Oba Oke Olanipekun Olaoye II and Oba Olatunji Alao Elepo II. The veracity of this account can be confirmed in the book – “Iwe Itan Ogbomoso” by N.D. Oyerinde.
“We want to encourage Prince Kabir Abioye Olatunbosun Olaoye to in the future get his facts straight before inundating the public with accounts he was not sure of. Nothing is to be gained making slight remarks against someone in order to secure personal advantage.”