Why Otun Ekiti Oba Is Special To The Ooni of Ife

Oore of Mobaland (Otun Ekiti) Oba Adedapo Popoola
Oore of Mobaland (Otun Ekiti) Oba Adedapo Popoola

Since time immemorial, Oore of Otun- Ekiti has enjoined a pride of place and position of prominence among the Yoruba Obas. The reigning Oore is Oba Adedapo Popoola, an economist and chartered accountant. Oore at one time or the other was at Ile-Ife and had a very strong relationship with Oduduwa, the father of the Yoruba. All authorities, both oral tradition and written sources confirm this relationship. In fact, the relationship between them was a special one, transcending that of father and son relationship. History has it that at a time during his stay at Ile-Ife, Oduduwa mysteriously went blind and all efforts to restore his sight proved abortive. It was Oore who took out of the water brought from Okun Moba to wash the eyes of Oduduwa before his sight was restored.

This feat performed by Oore endeared him to Oduduwa to the extent that he called him “Oloore mi” (meaning my benefactor). After restoring the sight of Oduduwa, Oore decided to leave Ile Ife in continuation of his journey to establish his own kingdom. This was against the wish of Oduduwa who wanted Oore to remain at Ile Ife.

Long after Oore left Ile Ife, Oduduwa died and a message was sent to Oore to inform him about the demise of Oduduwa. Oore, on receiving the message, went back to Ile Ife to perform all necessary rituals for the burial of Oduduwa. He also played leading role in the enthronement of a successor to Oduduwa, thereby ensuring a smooth transition in the house of Oduduwa before he left Ile Ife for his settlement.

That special relationship has subsisted between Oore and Ooni up to the present day. For instance, whenever the Ooni passes on(dies), it is a fact of tradition that the first Oba in Yoruba land to whom the information must be passed is the Oore who in turn announces the demise of the Ooni to the other Yoruba Obas.

Source: Otun -Ekiti Website

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