Oba Olaoye Orumogege III: Is he the 21st Soun?
Many social media posts have put the newly installed Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye Orumogege III, as the 21st (and some 23rd) monarch to rule/reign (in) the city. But is His Majesty the 21st?
I have consulted two sources for clarification, which birthed this piece – “Iwe Itan Ogbomoso” by N.D. Oyerinde (published 1934) and “The Merchant Prince and the Monarch: Oba Oladunni Oyewumi the Soun of Ogbomosoland” by Jide Osuntokun and Tunde Oduwobi.
Ogbomoso is generally believed to have been founded in early 1600s. The founding was as a result of series of interplay of events, however, the first ruler (whose activities inspired the name by which the kingdom is known today) was Soun Ogundiran Ogunlola. He is the founder of the over 400 year-old Soun dynasty.
Soun Ogunlola’s successors in order
After Soun Ogunlola, four of his children took the stool in turn. They were Lakale, Kekere Esuo gbangna l’akoja, Eiye Agannaganna and Jogioro i.e. Lakale is number two; Kekere Esuo number three; Eiye number four and Jogioro number five.
After Jogioro, two of his sons also ruled the town in turn – Orisamateru a.k.a. Ologolo and Olusemi Kumoyede a.k.a. Larinkosin. They were the sixth and seventh Souns.
Thereafter, Adeniyi Olukan ascended to the stool. He was the grandson of Lakale and son of Osoru. So, Adeniyi Olukan was the eighth Soun.
The ninth Oba was Toyeje Akanni Alebiosu, son of Kumoye. He was succeeded by his brother (though of different mother) Oluwusi, as the tenth ruler. The eleventh was Bayewuwon Kelebe n’ija, also a son of Kumoye (also different mother). After him came yet another son of Kumoye (another mother) – Idowu Bolanta, who became the twelveth king of Ogbomoso. After Bolanta, the last son of Kumoye to ascend to the throne, Odunaro a.k.a. Apaebu mounted the stool as thirteenth Oba.
The five children of Kumoye who ruled now began another cycle through their biological offspring. Indeed, those five now got recognized as constituting the ruling houses of Ogbomoso.
The fourteenth Oba was Ojo a.k.a. Abuirumaku. The fifteenth was Gbagun Ondugbe Ajagungbade. The sixteenth was Olaoye Orumogege. He was succeeded by Ajibola Elepo as the seventeenth Soun. The eighteenth was Atanda Layode.
After him came Itabiyi as the nineteenth Soun. Bello Oyewumi Ajagungbade II was next installed, he was the twentieth. Olanipekun Olaoye Orumogege II was next as the twenty first. Olatunji Elepo came after as the twenty second and Emmanuel Olajide Olayode II took the throne thereafter as the twenty third.
The Oba after Layode II was Ajiboye Itabiyi II, as the twenty fourth, and next was Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III as the twenty fifth. Therefore, Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye Orumogege III is the twenty 26th.
Meanwhile, twice were Obas removed in the town.
The Alamu Otunla debacle
First was Alamu Otunla in 1869/1870. Otunla was the son of Abuirumaku. After the transition of Abuirumaku, Otunla got himself installed as Oba. The kingmakers at the time Areago (Akinfenwa), who is the head and supreme commander of the army, Abese (Odelotan) and Balogun Abilepo) were at Ilesa war along with Ibadan warriors. The remaining kingmakers, Jagun (Omoni), Bara (Okonu) and Ikolaba (Ojo Otalekun) were at home but they could not stop Alamu Otunla. But when the warriors at Ilesa got wind of happenings at home, Areago Akinfenwa led a contingent back home to drive away Otunla and got the “rightful” candidate, Gbagun Ondugbe Ajagungbade I, installed.
Following the demise of Bello Oyewumi Ajagungbade II in 1940, the Olaoye (Bayewuwon) ruling house whose turn it was to produce the Oba, picked Oyekola Olaoye as Crown Prince but few days to his installation he passed away. Out of sympathy the kingmakers in conjunctions with the colonial rulers selected his son Amao Oyetunde to replace his father who never was crowned due to his sudden death few days to installation. However, the elites in the city at the time along with a section of the family, challenged the inauguration of Amao Oyetunde on the ground that his father never in actuality succeeded to the throne though selected. They based their argument on the extant law that only a direct son of a former Soun can succeed to the throne. Since Amao Oyetunde’s father never sat on the throne according to them he did not meet the condition. Hence, he was taken to court. Amao Oyetunde won at the High Court, won at the Appeal Court but lost at the Supreme Court (Privy Council in the United Kingdom). So, he stepped down after four years of reigning. His uncle, younger brother to his father, Olaonipekun Olaoye thus ascended to the throne to fulfill the tradition (law) of only direct son (as at the time) of a former Soun being conferred with suitability to mount the throne of Soun.
Those two episodes – Alamu Otunla and Amao Oyetunde’s can thus be regarded as interregnums. If we add them we would be having twenty seven past Souns but if the two are not qualified to be regarded as past Souns we would be left with 25 past Obas in Ogbomoso.
In his classic book, Iwe Itan Ogbomoso, which is regarded as the authority on Ogbomoso history, Professor N.D. Oyerinde, excluded Alamu Otunla in his list (Amao Oyetunde’s had not happened by the time he published the book in 1934) but the biographers of late Oba Oladunni Oyewumi included Alamu Otunla and Amao Oyetunde in the list (though noted they were each deposed).
If we stick and abide by the pattern of Prof Oyerinde, then, Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye Orumogege III is the twenty sixth Soun of Ogbomosoland.