The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba [Dr.] Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, has issued a stern warning to a popular Ifa priest, Araba Yemi Elebuibon. The monarch accused Elebuibon of meddling in the traditional religious activities of Oyo state.
Oba Adeyemi while speaking at the second graduation ceremony of the UNESCO approved Ifa Heritage Institute established in Oyo town.He took a swipe of a renowned Ifa priest, Chief Yemi Elebuibon, for what he referred to as ‘’ his unguarded utterance and meddlesomeness in the activities of Oyo traditional religion, especially the Ifa divination.”
He said; ‘’it is widely known that Oyo town was the capital of one of the greatest African Empires. As such, it was directly responsible for the diffusion of Yoruba Culture, traditions and beliefs throughout West Africa, covering a large territory that extended from the Southwest Nigeria to Benin, Togo, up to Ghana. This same cultural heritage was later on diffused through the transatlantic slave routes to the Americas and the Caribbean and preserved from generation to generation to date’’.
Oba Adeyemi, however, warned the Ifa priest to call his so-called committee members on culture and traditions to order, watch their utterances, limit their unwarranted interference to Osun State where
they are based, and stop intruding into the activities of practitioners of Ifa divination in Oyo town.
It would be recalled that Elders of Traditional Religion worshipers under the aegis of the Concerned Committee of Yoruba Traditional Culture and Faith Ambassadors stood in defence of three Ifa priests
accused of impersonating the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and extorting some foreigners, who are Ifa practitioners. The priests were accused of giving chieftaincy title of ‘Oba Ifa Adimula of South America’ to some foreign nationals.
They were also accused of forging chieftaincy title certificates which they presented to Franciva Leoa Nobres, whom they christened ‘Ifatowo Adebayo;’ Dasiel Guerra, christened as ‘Awotunde Ajisola;’ and Jose Lara, christened with the name ‘Ifakayode Falade’ without the consent of the Alaafin.
The priests, who are members and leaders of Ijo Ifa Adimula Temple, Bara, Oyo, reportedly attracted their victims through the Internet and collected an unspecified amount of money in foreign currency with the promise that the Alaafin would confer chieftaincy titles on them.
At a press conference in Osogbo, Osun State capital, the chairman of the group, Araba Ifayemi Elebuibon, said their interaction with the priests, Ikusanu Faleye, Fasola Olaniyan and Olaniyan Awoyemi, revealed that they are notable Babalawo in Oyo town and respected people in Orisa community worldwide and not fake priests as reported.
Elebuibon confirmed that “In Ifa practice, the title of Araba/Oluawo of a town which is the highest in Ifa religion is the only title conferred on a Babalawo by the oba on a consensus priest presented by the Ifa community of that town and the king exercises authority over his domain’’.
‘’These priests represent an Ifa Temple in Oyo town. From the ages, Ifa priests have the prerogative to handle some matters without the express permission of the Obas. So, the Obas also have some
prerogative and rights exclusive to him without informing Ifa priests. However, there are many other matters that require synergy between Ifa priests and the obas for peace and tranquillity in the society
express permission of the Obas. So, the Obas also have some prerogative and rights exclusive to him without informing Ifa priests. However, there are many other matters that require synergy between Ifa
priests and the obas for peace and tranquillity in the society’’.