Without the eleven – part series I did on my mum’s glorious life and funeral which ran from November 11 (eleven – eleven) last year through January 27, this year, there is no way I would have been in a position to wade comprehensively and effectively into the 17 day-old controversy over if the Oba of Benin was a descendant of Oduduwa as the Yorubas say or if it was the other way round as the Binis claim. The reason is that it was through the articles that Chief Olumide Origunloye, a former President of the Akure National Union, Ibadan Chapter, got to know that I am an Akure man and led to my invitation to be their Guest Speaker to deliver an address on Akure: Past, Present and Future, at the reception held in honour of our traditional ruler, His Royal Majesty Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi II, Deji Odundun II of Akure Kingdom, at the Premier Hotel, Mokola, Ibadan on Saturday, February 13.
I accepted the invitation because I had since 2009 had a book on the Adesida Royal Dynasty that ruled Akure from 1897 – 2005 published by Dr. Oyewumi Akintide with the title: The Lion King and the Cubs, through which I had some knowledge of our town’s history. But for that lecture I had to carry out an extensive research reading other books including the one published by Professor William Olubunmi Aderounmu on Akure history and going on the internet for more information on our homeland and its people.
Chief Origunloye’s invitation came on Friday, January 8, two days after the eighth in my mum’s series was published. So, those who felt the articles on her should not have been more than two or three can see that they were wrong. If what I was writing after the third piece did not appeal to them, they interested other people and without doing up to eight articles I would not have been invited to give the lecture and the contribution I am about making to the controversy on the ancestry of the Oba of Benin would not have been.
I first heard that the Oba of Benin was not a descendant of Oduduwa in 1986 when I was the Editor of the Sunday Concord and was on an official visit to Benin with some journalists in the Concord Press of Nigeria. But it was not until twelve years ago that it became a public issue for debate, when the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty Omonoba Erediauwa, published his autobiography, I remain Sir, Your Obedient Servant in 2004 in which he said that Oduduwa was a Benin prince called Ekaladeran who got his name changed when he moved over to settle in Ile-Ife.
For certain, I don’t think anyone can make a Yoruba person to stop believing that the first Oba of Benin was not the son of Oduduwa and neither will a Benin man or woman accept that Oduduwa was not the offspring of the Oba of Benin. Therefore all one can do is to present his or her case on the ancestry of the Benin ruler and leave it to the people of other ethnic groups in the country and elsewhere to decide which to believe of the two stories presented to them.
In preparing for the lecture I gave in Ibadan 19 days ago, I learned from the books written by Akure-born authors in the 1940s through 60s, some 47 – 68 years ago, when controversy had not surfaced, that the man who founded our town in 1150 (866 years ago), Prince Omoremi Ekun, a hunter, better known in Akure as Asodeboyede (the hunter who came with royalty or a title), left Ile-Ife at the same time with the man who established Benin. He was said to have stayed in Akure for sometime before leaving with his team. But I can’t remember if he was said to be Eweka I, the first king of Benin or another person.
However, it is instructive that the list of the Obas of Benin, after the rulers of the Ogiso dynasty which went extinct has Eweka I as the first king of the Binis and that he reigned from 1180 – 1246. This means he established the Benin Kingdom 30 years after Akure was founded and this gives credibility to the story that the person who founded Benin and Asodeboyede and his entourage left Ile-Ife at the same time to establish new settlements.
Let me also point out that the stories in Akure history books are well researched and look authentic. For example, one of the ones published by Professor Aderounmu, A short history of Akure, contains the biographies of all the kings of Akure from Asodeboyede in 1150 – 80 through the 44th ruler, Oba Adebobajo Adesida IV (1991 – 99), with the exemption of one or two, he said he had no information about. The towns must be few in the country, if there is any at all, where the biographies of their kings for three or four centuries are available let alone for eight centuries.
To be continued next week Wednesday
Professor Adeboye on Jesus’ Birthday (2)
The total number of days is 173855.68 + 173, 856 days the difference of the two therefore, 24 days. The date in 444 BC was Nissan 1 (the 1st day of the first Jewish month), this was the same as March 5 of the present system. Adding 24 days to March 5 gives March 29 as the day he rode triumphantly to Jerusalem as Messiah, four days after (i.e. a Friday) was the day he was crucified (The Good Friday). This is splendid since March 29, 33 A.D was Monday. (Monday + 4 days = Friday). We recall; 2 days after the triumphant entry was Passover, the following day after the Passover was the last supper, a Thursday; it was on the night of that day that he was arrested and tried throughout until he was crucified at 9.00am the following morning, i.e. Friday morning. He died at 3.00pm. So Jesus was crucified on Friday, 2nd April, 33 AD.
He lived for 33⅟2 years. Working back half a year in time i.e. 183 days, (since 32 AD was a leap year, we have that April 2nd minus 183 days was October 1 and this was Thursday. (This had the same calendar as that of 33 years back). This is the most probable since he was born in Bethlehem on the eve of a census, and the Roman authority would expect the census to hold so that the people could go back to their homes the following day to prepare for the Sabbath. So, it could not have been a Friday.
Jesus, therefore, was born on October 1, a Thursday. CONCLUDED