There are unconvincing and confusing explanations about the Maiyegun of Yorubaland title bestowed on fuji musician, Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde, KI, by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III. The confusion arose from hierarchical misunderstanding and public protocol ethics with specific reference to which Obas the new Maiyegun should accord obeisance including public conduct and official relationship with other traditional rulers in Yoruba land.
Worried by the deluge of interpretations and misinterpretations of his statement especially in the social media, The Alaafin , in a statement, broke his silence over the heated reactions generated by his statement on the Mayegun title. He said he would not spit at Yoruba traditional institution by asking Ayinde to disrespect traditional rulers, stressing that the attitude of those he described as self-styled monarchs, caused him to restrict Ayinde from prostrating to some categories of traditional rulers. The Oba maintained that he did not instruct Ayinde to see the likes of the Ooni of Ife, the Orangun of Ila, the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode, the Owa Obokun of Ilesa, the Alake of Egba and stretch his hands to them either in private or public gatherings.
“That would mean desecration of Yoruba culture and tradition which these first class royal fathers symbolise. There must always be an exception. But I am saying it with every sense of responsibility and authority conferred on the Alaafin institution that one who holds title from the Alaafin is found suitable for the title, hence the need for him to comport himself in such manner because the Maiyegun title from the Alaafin is rooted with tradition,” he said.
In reaction, many Yorubas are questioning the yardstick the Aalafin used to exclude certain first class Obas from his recommended list to the new Maiyegun .
Dr. Bidemi Akintola, a lawyer took serious exemption to the Alaafin’s list. He told OpenLife that giving extra territorial titles has the potential to cause disharmony among the traditional rulers. He reckons that the deliberate attempt to delist Oba of Lagos and the Deji of Akure, who in their own rights are first class Obas by a mile but are not amongst the exceptional Obas the new Maiyegun should pay obeisance, portrays the entire exercise in bad light. “It will open a fresh chapter of enmity and controversy with the Yoruba traditional rulers’ enclave,” the lawyer stated.
Olabode Sola, an Abuja based architect said “With all due respect to the Alaafin of Oyo, this move is an affront on the institution of Yoruba Obas. However small a territory of an Oba is or looks like, an Oba remains an Oba. I really don’t see any need for our revered Alaafin to have initiated this”
Further, the discrepancy on the submissions by both the Alaafin and Maiyegun Wasiu on who actually initiated the process and the exact time of initiating the process comes to many Yorubas as a dark spot which has overtaken the merits and joy of the new title to a Yoruba son who has distinguished himself in the art and science of fuji music.
According to a statement, the Alaafin revealed that Ayinde had made a request for the title 11 years ago during his visit to his palace in the company of his friends and associates.
He further revealed that he turned him down having made spiritual and physical consultations, all of which guided him against approving the title, saying, he only approved of it when the coast was clear, adding that there was no reason to waste time over it. “When he asked for it 11 years ago, I consulted with my forefathers and the Oyomesi. They did not give consent to it, and I told him to return home. But when the time was ripe now, I made same consultations, and it was approved. Let it be known that the Alaafin is an institution which is bigger than an individual. I don’t do things unilaterally because I know the implication of such actions”
But the new Maiyegun has a different version of the history. In an interview he granted a Lagos based soft sell, he stated that “In 2009, Kabiyeesi, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi sent for me and I went to Oyo. That was when the arrangement for the conferment of the title of Maiyegun of Yorubaland started. That was when it actually started.
A little after that, Kabiyeesi fixed after the fasting period of that year 2009. Ramadan was about one week to commence. Kabiyeesi and I had an agreement that immediately after the Muslim fasting period, we should come and it will be done. But unfortunately I fell sick. At that time, I went for my surgery. I had the collapse of the lungs then. When I returned from abroad they wrote to me again to come and see Kabiyeesi but that was also the period of my recovery after the surgery. The recovery took a long time. But I was managing. I then said to them that I will come for it when I am fully okay, and perfectly well. To God be the glory, this is the time that pleases God. I give thanks to Almighty God. I give thanks to Kabiyeesi for being patient over the years, as a good father that he is, which he has been doing for everybody.”
To keen observers, the narrative from the palace that Wasiu “made the request” and Wasiu’s submitting that he was “sent for” would be subject of analysis in the days ahead. Beside, while the Oba said he delayed the title because of non approval from the ancestors, Wasiu stated that the approval had been given about 11 years back and that his health condition informed the coronation delay.
Who is saying the truth?
The brand new Maiyegun of Yorubaland Wasiu Ayinde is a billionaire by all definitions and the undisputed King of Fuji music. He has come a long way. He has also paid his dues in the music industry and well respected. He is a music icon. He is a living legend. At 63, K1 looks refreshingly young, fit, stylish and classy in dressing. The title would made him change his lifestyle including his way of doing things. Nonetheless, it has brought a lot more dignity and respect to him. It has put him on a higher pedestal. He is now a leader in Yorubaland and a respected elder across Nigeria and beyond.