The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has denied that he would bestow a traditional title on former presidential candidate Adamu Garba.
On May 1, 2021, Garba declared that the monarch will bestow the title of Aare Atunluse of Oodua upon him.
Ooni deemed Garba “worthy of the title of Aare Atunluse Oodua Award of Honor to be bestowed on the 3rd World Omoluabi day 1st May 2021,” according to Garba.
He distributed a letter of invitation to the Igbimo Apapo Yoruba Lagbaye’s World Omoluabi Day Festival.
Ooni’s Director of Media and Communications, Moses Olafare, issued a statement distancing himself from the prize.
It said that claims of the prize, which will be presented at the Ile-Ife-based Igbinmo Apapo Yoruba Lagbaye’s World Omoluabi Day Festival, were false.
“While we are unaware of the event’s exact details, we expected the organisers to have sought and received the Ooni’s approval for the event’s award section.
“We have nothing against Mr. Garba, who is a wonderful young man, or any other person nominated for honours by the World Omoluabi Day Festival organisers, but doing so on behalf of the Ooni without his knowledge and proper approval is sacrilegious and unacceptable.”
Despite the Ooni’s fatherly support for the festival so far, the statement said, “we hereby dissociate the Ooni of Ife, Ooni Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, and the ancient palace of Ife from the said award purportedly in the name of the Ooni.”
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