From GBENGA ADESUYI, Ibadan
The controversy between Oyo and Ile-Ife in Oyo and Osun states over the celebration of Oranyan festival resurfaced last weekend as Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111 declared that the legendary Oranyan was not in any of the four ruling/royal lineages of Ile-Ife as being claimed by Oni of Ife.
The two Yoruba towns had engaged in controversies over which of them had the right to hold the festival in view of the relationship of the legend with them.
Ile-Ife had insisted that Oyo had no right celebrating the Oranyan festival without seeking approval from its monarch, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse 11.
But Oba Adeyemi, who instituted the festival in 2012, argued that there was no other place central to the celebration of Oranyan festival than his kingdom, Oyo, where he said Oranyan once ruled as the monarch, a fact that made him a direct offspring of the legend as against Ile-Ife.
While speaking at Aganju Fore Court of the ancient palace of the Alaafin, during the grand finale of the 2013 edition of the festival, Oba Adeyemi maintained that there was no way the people of Ile-Ife could lay claim to Oranyan as the Oyo because, he was never a monarch in Ile-Ife the way he did in Oyo.
He described as falsification of facts, the claim that Oranyan ruled in Ile-Ife, noting that to further rubbish such claim, was the disclosure by some that he was the second king of Ile-Ife while in another breath, he was said to be the fourth king.
Alaafin said nothing could be farther from the truth than such claim, stressing that without mischief, none of the four ruling houses in Ile-Ife could claim to have been the descendant of Oranyan, “whereas, in our case, in the ancient Oyo town, Oranyan was our progenitor as one of our founding fathers.
“But we will not in anyway diminish from the fact that he was the founder of Oyo Kingdom.”
The grand finale of the week-long celebration attended by traditional rulers from across the Yorubaland and the Republic of Benin as well as top government functionaries, led by the state Deputy Governor, Moses Adeyemi witnessed diverse cultural displays and festival lecture.