One of the hundreds of traditional rulers who continue to exercise influence over the material and spiritual lives of those they rule is the Onido of Idolorisa, Oba Aruna Ishola. He is the ruler of this rural settlement, about 30 kilometers from Idiroko town in Ipokia Local Government Area, Ogun State.
He walked humbly into the palace and the atmosphere didn’t immediately give an impression that a royal father had just arrived. Men and women, young and old began to prostrate, saying, “Kabiyesi o”.
While speaking in an exclusive interview with Bounce News, the king said that becoming an Oba in Idolorisa comes with a lot of restrictions, he admits that the moment he became Oba, he was forbidden from seeing other traditional rulers. “My crown should not be seen by any other Oba in Yorubaland.”
If another traditional ruler sees him with his crown, he said that monarch will die in a matter of days. “Such traditional ruler will die an untimely death. It may sound strange, but that is what would happen.
The monarch said the crown he wears is an ancient one different from the ones most Obas in Yorubaland wear today. “My crown is not ordinary. It is an ancestral crown and is the same crown my fore fathers, who had occupied this position wore.”
To prevent mass deaths, Oba Ishola does not attend the meetings of the Ogun State Council of Obas and Chiefs. His absence from such meetings has robbed the community of developmental projects. Apart electricity supply, this community is in dire need of other social amenities.
Oba Ishola has, however, promised to reverse that trend by sending a representative to all the meetings and other government functions.
Other Rules of The Land
The exclusive report reveals that it is also forbidden for Oba Ishola or any of his subjects to sell land in the community. Land is freely given to any stranger who wants to reside or use it for commercial purposes.
Those that founded the village, the Oba said, never sold land. “Who are we to do it?” he queried, adding that members of the community were not ready to bear any consequences for violating the traditional law.
The Oba noted that it was meant to ensure tranquility and peaceful co-existence among the people, whether natives or strangers.
– Drinking of palm wine and eating of snake are also prohibited in the community.
– Women who have just been delivered of babies are not allowed to go near the palace during the first three months of the child’s life.
– The Oba must not see new born babies and their mothers (including the Oba’s own immediate family).
– It is equally an offense for these mothers to eat corn meal (popularly known as eko) during the first three months after birth.
Oba Ishola feels comfortable being the custodian of these traditions and wielding such immense powers. He says all of those taboos are sanctioned by the gods.
“It is a tradition handed down to us by our fore fathers. The tradition is as old as the town and it has been like that ever since,” he said
“There is nowhere there are no taboos. If a child is born to me today, I will not see him or her and he or she will not enter this palace until 90 days.”
On what would happen if any of his subjects contravened the age long traditions, the Oba said: “I don’t know how it has been happening, but one good thing about this town is that no person, whether stranger or not has ever contravened the tradition.”
“Yoruba would say whoever does what no one has ever tried would see what no one has ever seen.”
Oba Ishola was crowned in July 2016 after the demise of the last occupant of the throne.
Watch the video interview below;