The Palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Wednesday denied awarding former presidential aspirant, Adamu Garba, with a title.
Garba had on Tuesday disclosed on social media that the monarch will bestow on him the title of Aare Atunluse of Oodua.
“The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, has found my humble self worthy of the Title of Aare Atunluse Oodua Award of Honor to be conferred on the 3rd World Omoluabi day 1st May 2021,” he tweeted.
Garba also shared a letter of invitation to an event – World Omoluabi Day Festival – organised by the Igbimo Apapo Yoruba Lagbaye where he would be conferred the title.
The letter read, “With sublime respect and by the Royal authority of His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, The Ooni of Ife, we are pleased to invite you as our Guest of Honour and recipient of Aare Atulunse Oodua Award of Honour at the 3rd World Omoluabi Day Festival and Awards, Grand Finale, slated for Saturday, 1st of May, 2021, at the Royal Palace of the Ooni of Ife, Enuwa, Ile-Ife, Osun State by 12 noon. Theme: Isokan Yoruba.”
The Palace of the Ooni of Ife, in a statement released through the Director of Media and Publicity Affairs, Moses Olafare, deny the award.
The Palace also said that it is not aware of the World Omoluabi Day Festival, adding that the consent of the monarch was not sought by the organisers.
The statement read, “The attention of the palace of the Ooni of Ife has been drawn to reports on social media of an award honouring Mr Adamu Garba as Aare Atulunse Oodua by Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula, Ooni Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, The Ooni of Ife during the forthcoming World Omoluabi Day Festival in Ile Ife being organised by Igbinmo Apapo Yoruba Lagbaye.
“While we are not aware of the event as slated, we expected the organisers to have sought and gotten the Ooni’s approval in respect of the award segment of the event.
“We are not in any way opposed to Mr Garba who is a fantastic young man or any other person so considered for the awards of honour by the organisers of the World Omoluabi Day Festival, but doing so on behalf of the Ooni without his knowledge and proper approval remains sacrilegious and unacceptable.
“Even though we are not aware of the World Omoluabi Day Festival as scheduled and which has so far enjoyed the Ooni’s fatherly support as requested, we hereby dissociate the Ooni of Ife, Ooni Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II and the ancient palace of Ife from the said award purported to be in the name of the Ooni, as neither the Ooni nor the palace gave consent to such.”