Has the 17-month-old marriage between the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and his wife, Olori Wuraola, ended? The royal lady says ‘yes’; it’s all over. BISI OLADELE highlights some major events at which the duo shone like mega stars in the short marital voyage.
It had been in the rumor mill for some time. But yesterday a post on the official Instagram page @hhzynab of Olori Wuraola, the estranged wife of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi confirmed it all.
Her marriage to the foremost monarch has crashed.
When the royal father married Zaynab Otiti at a lavish traditional ceremony on March 13, last year, the marriage sealed the breakdown of his marital relationship with Adebukola, with whom he tied the nuptial knot 10 years earlier. The two marriages did not produce children.
Seventeen months down the line in the palace of the Ooni, , Zaynab, whom Oba Ogunwusi renamed Wuraola (Yeyeluwa of Ife) shortly after the royal marriage, took to the social media yesterday, putting paid to suspicions that all was not well with her marriage.
Zaynab was clear in her message as she wrote: “We have got to stop this culture of shaming and vilifying women with false stories of infidelity and nefarious behaviour. The spreading of false information (through ‘sources’ afraid to be identified) is the mark of cowards and a cover-up for guilty parties to justify their horrific actions. There is absolutely no truth to the media circulated lies of infidelity and infertility- on my end.
“What I can confirm, is that the Ooni and I are no more. I inhale love and exhale gratitude. My journey continues as a humanitarian aiding women and victims of domestic violence and abuse with the United Nations. No matter how much time you’ve invested, no matter the use of media to silence and manipulate, no matter the circumstance, slander, embarrassment, threats and lies: Get out and seek immediate help!
“We’ve seen this movie before. Women being dragged in the press and blamed for everything under the sun. This behavior is unacceptable. I urge those involved to be mindful of their actions for the eyes of our Almighty God are always watching. The seed of slander is a cancer that harvests to eat away the souls of the planter.
“The throne is sacred and the attempts to tarnish the name of a queen, in defense, or on behalf of a silent king, makes all involved look terrible. Remain dignified in all you do. It’s not the end of the world, but the start of a new chapter and you must turn the page with grace. The world is watching.
“As I bid adieu to this chapter, my wish to you all is to step into your lives – boldly and fearlessly, the way God intended and live not just by words, but through example. The best chapter in our lives is the one we are writing now. Thank you for your love and support.
With peace, love and light, – Her Highness, Zaynab Otiti Obanor.”
The 17-month old journey was not uneventful as the duo lived in glamour and royal splendor – within and outside the country.
Royalty swelled all around them as they graced public functions and social events. They made impressive representation of the Yoruba culture and heritage at cultural events across the world.
It started with their appearance at the Bola Ahmed Tinubu 64th Birthday Colloquium in Abuja, on March 29, 2016. But the couple was first hosted to a royal dinner by popular politician, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
As they disembarked from the airplane at the Abuja Airport along with their aides, they were ushered into a waiting Limousine which was accompanied by two executive Mercedes Benz, four Land Cruiser Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and a couple of escort patrol vans, which cruised smoothly into the Transcorp Hilton Hotel. The new couple was welcomed by a crowd of Yoruba sons and daughters, who were on hand to catch a glimpse of the new phenomenal royal couple, particularly Olori Wuraola, who had just come into the top Ile-Ife royal family. Then, they paid homage to the foremost Yoruba monarch and his queen.
In April and May last year, Yeyeluwa was the cynosure of all eyes at the Osaara and Olokun festivals in Ile-Ife. Always donning wine or red royal costumes, including coral beads to match her husband’s all-white costumes, her beauty and cool mien were sources of attraction to guests and admirers.
Also on May 22, Olori Wuraola was the centre of attraction at the award ceremony where Ooni was received the award of the Extraordinary Ambassador of Peace by the Methodist Church, Nigeria. The event which was held at the Cathedral Church of Methodist, Nigeria in Oyo, also had the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola (Adeyemi III) in attendance.
In June, last year, Oba Ogunwusi and his queen stormed the United States of America (USA) like African mega stars. From New York to New Jersey and several other cities, Olori Wuraola glittered in her royal apparels that revealed her beauty and excellence. Oba Ogunwusi drew a standing ovation from Pennsylvania state legislators he addressed. Olori Wuraola complemented the glamour of his entourage. She was the one many Americans warmed up to for banters and cordiality.
Earlier this year, the couple was in the United Kingdom (UK) during which they visited the British Museum and addressed the Commonwealth Assembly. As many white and Black British academics and researchers met with Oba Ogunwusi, his Olori was never far from him, donning either her red or white royal apparels to add colour to their visit.
Also in May, the Yeyeluwa stepped out in a sparkling white outfit with white royal costume to celebrate the Olokun Festival with her husband. She called for promotion of cultural festivals to serve boost local tourism.
The Ooni and his wife were also in Canada last month. They met with the Nigerian High Commission leaders, Members of Parliament (MPs), Nigerian-Canadian Association and members of the Yoruba community in Canada.
They also visited the Canadian Museum of History and attended the Canada-Nigeria Cultural and Business Fair. Olori Wuraola was right by her husband, shaking hands with the who-is-who in the North American country.
With yesterday’s post by the Olori, it is unclear what the future holds for the 17-month-old union between Oba Ogunwusi and the Benin, Edo State born queen.
Many are still shocked, wondering what went wrong shortly after returning from Canada.
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