Good day sir, wherever you may be and reading this letter.
I write to you, not as a son of Ile-Ife where you held fort, but as a true son of Oduduwa, our progenitor.
I have read in the media with utter disgust, how you braved the night and escaped from the palace of the Ooni at a time your services are most needed. Whatever informed your decision, I appeal that you reconsider your action and come back home and be counted among true sons of the ancient kingdom and as ardent believer in the tradition from which you benefited so much since 1980 when you chose to take up the title of Ab’oba ku to Oba Sijuwade.
While you held court as the Ab’oba ku of Ife, I never for once envied your ‘exalted’ position knowing that as the Ab’oba ku, you will die alongside the king.
You knew more than I do, the demands of the office to you occupied in the palace as the Ab’obaku of the ‘Source’. May I remind you that your job, among others, was to serve the Ooni whilst he lived and also attend to him in the afterlife.
You should be reminded of the famous Yoruba adage that says, Eyele kii b’onile je, ko b’onile mu, ko di ojo iku ko yeri, (A pigeon does not wine and dine with its owner and abandon him in death).
Already, your action has caused a lot of embarrassment not only to the royal throne of Ile-Ife, but to the entire Yoruba race. Though born many years after independence, I have not known of any of the numerous Ab’oba ku in palaces across Yorubaland that had acted the way you did.
May be you never knew, but there are fears now that many people holding similar office as you in Yorubaland could be considering what is now being regarded as “The Ab’oba ku Option;” a strange terminology in Yoruba lexicon. This, some elders say, would not only demystify the revered Yoruba culture and tradition, but could spell doom for its continued relevance.
As at last count, there are about five persons declared missing in Ile-Ife after the dreaded Oro cult went round the kingdom. Some now say if you had not absconded, there probably would be no need going after innocent souls to take your place in the burial rites.
Some are even trying to subject your action to legal interpretation but are usually reminded that the constitutionally guaranteed right to life does not extend to an Ab’oba ku in Yoruba land.
I plead of you to save Ile-Ife and the rich Yoruba culture, the embarrassment that surely will follow it due to your preference for affluence and ephemeral wealth.
Soon, there would be a coronation of another Ooni which means that that another Ab’oba ku would also accompany him to the palace. I have no doubt that anyone angling for that hitherto exalted position in the new dispensation would become an object of scorn and derision all due to your lily-livered action.
I plead that you can come out of hiding and take your rightful place in history, since the burial rites for the Oni is now over. I am sure you would come back a hero, but where you fail to show up, your action would consign your descendants to perpetual ignominy.