Ooni of Ife
Chief Yemi Elebuibon, an Ifa priest and iconic writer, has said women who divorce the Ooni of Ife cannot just remarry because they are no longer ordinary.
On Thursday, Olori Silekunola Naomi, the wife of the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi detached herself from the monarch.
The queen took to her Instagram handle to make the declaration, “I shall no longer be referred to as wife to the Ooni of Ife or as Queen of Ile-Ife” as she described herself as the Queen of the people and mother of her son.
Naomi further alleged the hypocrisy of the monarch, stating that Ooni's public perception is different from his true character.
Her post reads, “I bless the Lord almighty for His faithfulness in the last 3 years of my marriage. In life’s journey, it isn’t how far. Still, how well, indeed though satan should buffet if trials should come, I have this blessed assurance controlling all situations and saying to me it is well with my soul. Certainly, it is well. I made my journey into the ancient throne of Ife with faith in my heart and love for the keeper of it.
“Few impressions I would love to correct. If anyone knows otherwise, they are free to come up with facts. Let it be known that this decision to move on did not come because his majesty is married to another queen. As many would love to assume, throughout our life as a couple, I was the only married wife to him. There were side attractions, but it was never an issue.
”I never approached him with any revelation of any sort, as many believed he contacted me first and made his proposal known several months later.
The marriage was not an arranged one, as many have misconstrued. I never knew the prophetess said to have introduced me to him. Instead, he introduced her to me after I agreed to marry him. I was only being polite out of respect for him.
“I have never been pregnant all my life before Tadenikawo; my son is my first ever pregnancy with medical reports to back it up. The girl who is said to be my daughter is my niece. I did my best to endure and make it work; many times, I smiled through the struggle, but I have finally realised I had just one assignment, my son, and when God is done, He is done.
“He chose Saul to be king, and when He was done, He told the prophet Samuel I have moved on. Religion was never an issue between us; please refer to my interview on News Central TV. Instead, His Majesty has a picture he would love the world to see and perceive him as and another one which is his true self.
“Today I announce the beginning of a new dawn and the close of a chapter. Today, I am a mother to God’s unique gift. I am no longer a slave to my thoughts of perfection. I, at this moment, announce that I shall no longer be referred to as wife to the Ooni of Ife or as Queen of Ile-Ife but as the Queen of the people and mother of my adorable Prince."
"He is God's way of saying I know about it all. In situations like this, there will be aggrieved persons. I, at this moment, appeal to all parties involved to allow the peace of God with the consciousness that there is a lovely little boy between us. I thank all of my prayer partners and loved ones. I remain committed to all of my projects, charity work and ministry. In this new season, I shall be focusing on God only," she added.
Speaking with SaharaReporters on Thursday, Elebuibon said women who divorce the Ooni have to undergo some rituals to strip them off the Yeyeluwa title they have taken on while they were getting married to the king.
This would be Ooni of Ife's third divorce.
He was previously married to Adebukola Bombata and Zaynab Otiti (now Zaynab Otiti Obanor). His marriage to Bombata was over before he ascended to the throne.
However, on the issue of whether the divorce trend has implications for the throne, Elebuibon noted that it had no serious consequences, but stated that it will set tongues wagging as outsiders cannot understand what is going on.
He further explained that there is no ritual to perform to put a stop to the divorce trend, stressing that the universal principle of marriage, which includes courage, endurance and perseverance holds even in the palace. He stated that no matter the prayers offered if these principles are not adhered to, the women might leave.
Speaking with SaharaReporters on Thursday, Elebuibon stated, “A woman who leaves the Ooni cannot just remarry like that; before she can marry another person, she will need to wipe off all the... Because all her life, all her body belongs to the royal palace of Ooni of Ife. Before she can remarry, she will need to come back to her former self, before she can take any other man.
”She has to become an ordinary woman, she will no longer be Yeyeluwa, Olori, all that ritual and title need to be removed, then she can go ahead. It requires a rite, if she wants to do the right thing.
”Traditionally, it is forbidden for another person to woo or have sex with a queen while she's still married to the king, it is forbidden, it is a taboo. She has to remove all that before she can go ahead with a new life.”
On whether Ooni's hat trick of divorces will have a serious implication for the throne, he stated, “It's not going to dent the image of the palace but at the same time, if you look at it from another dimension, Yorubas have a saying that, 'ara ile lo mo ni amodi, were lara ode ma an pe', which means that people in the house know it is a sickness but outsiders will refer to it as sickness, that's why it needs to be cautioned. Something needs to be done to arrest situations like that.
"There are two dimensions to that. Traditionally, there is no marriage anyone will wish should be broken early, all the prayers people say is for their marriages to last long, but circumstances can lead to break up, no one knows.
“From both sides, they might be trying to make the marriage successful but they may not be able to bear further.
“But traditionally, the Yoruba culture does not allow divorce, it encourages both sides to endure the situation, take more courage. Whatever the situation is, continue to stay in the marriage and try to make it work. That is what tradition says but at the same time, it can become unbearable, maybe that's what made her make such a decision. We may not know what is the problem but tradition does not support broken marriage.
”When you take a new wife, there are lots of rituals a woman has to undertake, the most important aspect of the marriage is for the couple to understand each other, take courage and endure; that's what makes a marriage last long, apart from the prayer, ritual and everything.
“No matter how you do the ritual, if you don't have the courage or understand each other, if there are constant disputes...traditionally, our fathers in the olden days used to have 10 wives, 20 wives in the same house for 20, 30 years but life is different now from that time but no matter what, we still have to do whatever it takes to make the marriage last long.”
Meanwhile, the Palace of the Ooni of Ife, has reacted to Olori Naomi's statement that she was ending her marriage to the monarch. The palace said it would investigate if her Instagram account was hacked.