It is no longer a news that the marriage tie between the Ooni of Ife and Olori Wuraola has collapsed.
The failure of the marriage can be traced to the very beginning. Some people believe that one of the reasons the marriage failed was because Ooni made a hasty decision to get married to the ex-Olori, while others opined that the breakup happened because they didn’t court for long.
Ooni was an eligible bachelor when he came to the throne and as the tradition demanded, he needed a wife and so he was introduced to Wuraola. As at that time, there were speculations that Wuraola was married to a Lebanese businessman but when the Ooni became serious that he wanted Olori Wuraola as a wife, she left the Lebanese to become the queen of Ife.
According to Linda Ikeji’s blog in February 2016, Olori Wuraola was still with the Lebanese businessman: “She was with this guy in February 2016. In fact, she had their photo on her WhatsApp DP and just the following month, in March, she was married to the Ooni. We were all surprised.”
Many reports alleged that the Ooni was advised by many well respected Nigerians not to marry her. The former president, Olusegun Obasanjo was also mentioned as one of the well respected Nigerians who told the Ooni not to marry the former Olori but he refused. There are also reports that Olori Wuraola had earlier been married to a former governor.
Another reason given, for the breakup was that the former Olori expected so much from the Ooni and when the expectations were not met, a friction began developing in their relationship. The Ooni on his part was said to have started to doubt her loyalty to him. It was claimed that there was an issue of text messages found on her phone. Also, there was an instance when she travelled abroad without her being accompanied and so many other sundry issues that made the Oba say he was no longer interested.
However, there are also speculations that the ex-Olori left because she was aware that Ooni wanted to take more wives and, according to sources, this didn’t sit well with her.
Queen between tradition and modernity
The ex-Olori once spoke at the Emerging Women’s Forum, in Maryland, USA, stating that she was not a fan of gender equality, which she felt limits women.
“I am not a huge fan of gender equality. We can’t be equal, we can’t be men. We have our roles to play here, a very pivotal one. The modern pattern of feminism has succeeded in limiting women and denying them of the heights they could reach; gender equality is unrealistic.”
However, sources from some quarters claimed that the comments at the American forum were more like the Ooni spoke through her. Many believe that the former Olori was not well schooled in the traditional role of a queen of the Ooni. According to the Yoruba tradition, a queen is trained to worship the ground on which his king walks upon. She is not allowed to ask questions and must be in total submission to the Ooni and she would dare not speak back at him. A woman who is married to an Ooni cannot exhibit any modern traits if she wants her marriage to succeed. There are speculations that the ex-Olori behaved otherwise. This was seen as an abomination and it ran contrary to the traditional role of an Ooni’s queen
Is there a new Olori about to be unveiled?
Days before the former Olori announced her failed marriage, there were speculations that the Ooni had married a new wife, whose name was given as Bolanle.
The word out is that Bolanle had always been in the picture. In fact, many people had assumed that she was going to be the Olori before Wuraola snatched the queen’s crown, albeit briefly. Some sources said that Bolanle might be the new Olori. Even though the information about her is still very sketchy, the same source revealed that Bolanle is also fair-skinned like the former Olori.
However, Bolanle won’t be the only Olori at the Ooni’s palace; two women are also said to be coming to join the Ooni’s group of wives. One of them is a classy lady who works with one of the big telecommunications companies in the country and the other whose full identity is not yet known is said to live abroad.