Ataoja’s stool: Oba Jimoh Olanipekun and his former friends

The historic town of Osogbo is in poor condition. One of its darkest periods is currently occurring. The palace is constructing a wall of defense to fend off invaders who are attacking its current occupier. Invaders used to arrive at palaces with sticks, swords, guns, and charms when they stormed them.

Like modernity, these invaders didn’t have guns; instead, they brought a tongue, a far more lethal weapon. To create the images they desired, they arrived with forceful language.

Aggressors, assailants, or pillagers are invaders. Are they genuinely invading? No. They are his former friends and admirers who are miffed at his poor political decision. They were once a large family united by shared interests and values.

Sadly, the same passion that brought them together has also driven a wedge between them. Controversy is nothing new for the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun Laaroye III. He has a long history with those that cause him problems. They would be relatives or previous assistants if they were not former buddies.

Many believed that his trials would be over once he survived the assaults and conspiracies hatched by former Osun priests and priestesses, but they were mistaken.

A video from the palace emerged months later showing the venerable monarch discussing political matters with some party leaders. He alleged that the beneficial seeds he sowed in 2019 did not bear fruit for him. He criticized a certain political party and its nominee, urging his supporters to choose a different candidate.

In a different video, he berated one of his chieftains for reportedly hitting a particular governor candidate’s convoy. In this video, the monarch let his emotions rule him and made a public assertion that he was not crowned by the government or the people, but rather by a particular political party.

Did he make a global statement? No. Technology is a bastard, but he only told his guests who were there at the palace. Politics were aided by those who recorded the incident and shared it on social media. Not only was the monarch’s personality questioned, but also the fundamental qualities that constituted him king.

His Royal Majesty, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun Laaroye III, doesn’t have my sympathies. The monarch has faced difficulties before. Every time there is an election, he takes the same way. In 2018, he supported one party’s candidate over another.

Unfortunately, these two leading candidates are Osogbo natives. The king encouraged Osogbo residents to vote for his favorite candidate by attending his rally and mobilizing support for him. The opposing candidate and his supporters were furious, calling the king’s position unfair and demanding that he treat everyone like a father.

The tide began to turn four years later. The monarch and his old buddies are at odds now because the former claimed he did not profit from their political patronage. He told his side of the events and asked his supporters to support a different candidate.

This infuriated his erstwhile buddies. On him, they let loose their online vigilantes. They questioned the monarch for establishing the same route they took to victory in 2018. It seems that while they are upset about the same process they praised earlier, they are also upset about not being the ones who benefited from it.

Several people also questioned how he became king. The Araba of Osogboland, Yemi Elebuibon, and other priests were compelled to call a news conference as a result of this. Chief Elebuibon described how they received the names of the princes and what Ifa stated about each one. They refuted the allegations and stated that Ifa chose the monarch, adding that he takes part in every holiday and customary celebration.

The Osogbo kingdom’s supreme ruler is no stranger to difficulties. You are not mistaken if you also refer to him as a contentious king. He overcame everything in the past including taunts in 2018 over his political preference and physical altercations with former Osun custodians (Baba Olosun and Iya Olosun).

It would not be an understatement to say that he has developed thick skin and wings to enable him to adapt quickly and withstand attacks regardless of how powerful they may be.

Others perceive it as a disrespect to the throne, while some regard this present phase he’s going through as vengeance or nemesis. This would not have happened if the king stayed out of politics and served as a father figure to everybody, regardless of party.

It would not have been necessary to haul Kabiesi at all if he had made accommodations for everyone. Would Kabiesi run another campaign against his favorite candidate or would he simply move on if this new political patronage didn’t succeed like the previous one?

It is crucial for traditional leaders, especially well-known ones, to avoid politics. They should never get too near to any politician and always use caution when speaking in public. Kabiesi would not have been dragged at all if he had acted as a father figure for everyone starting in 2018 and maintained decorum in 2022.

Overall, the Ataoja of Osogbo, by grace, has the ability to overcome his obstacles. He avoided the legal pitfalls that almost cost him his throne. He engaged in combat with former Osun guardians Baba Olosun and Iya Olosun in particular and prevailed. He passed through despite the misinformation and purposeful lies, including impregnating the Osun goddess and Arugba (a calabash carrier), who were seen exiting the river.

Despite the fact that the leading candidates were Osogbo natives, he survived the assaults that occurred as a result of his choice to support one candidate over another during the gathering. He resisted the onslaught of plots from several chiefs or Baales who were at one point enraged with him.

Would Ataoja of Osogbo be able to cross this gap dug by his previous friends?