By Taiye Olayemi
Lagos – Mr Oloye Tajudeen, the traditional guide to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja ll, on Wednesday revealed some mysterious stories surrounding the ancient city of Ife and its monuments.
Tajudeen told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, that Ife monuments remained as sacred as ever as opposed to people’s belief that those monuments had changed overtime.
The aide said that the ancient city of Ife had 401 deities, 200 of which spread round the Oduduwa race while the remaining 201 remained in Ife.
He explained that of the 201 remaining in Ife, 200 had been converted to monuments which were worshiped by people today while one remained the only living deity, which is the Ooni of Ife.
According to him, Ile-Ife means the land of expansion.
“His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, is the only living deity of the 401 deities in Ife and he is the one saddled with the responsibility of feeding and appeasing the other 201 gods in Ife,’’ he said.
He said that the ancient city of Ife performed rituals in 364 days in the year.
According to the aide the only day there will be no ritual is not known to other person except His Imperial Majesty, The Ooni’s of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja ll.
According to him, there exist some monuments in the ancient city worshiped by people across the world.
He identified those monuments as: The house of authority, Opa Oranmiyan groove and shrine, Moremi status, Iyemolu cave and a lot more.
“For Iyemolu cave, where the most senior wife of Oduduwa transformed herself into water because of the frustration suffered as a result of being barren.
“Then, Iyemolu had no child and she told God that He never gave her a child and as such, prayed to be converted to a martyr that would be useful to the entire mankind.
“God answered her prayers and she became a living well in the palace from which the Ooni gets water to drink, bath and all.
“This is the only source the Ooni of Ife can get water to drink, bath, and cook and do all things, that is the reason traditionally, Iyemolu is referred to as the first wife of the Ooni of Ife.
“ A lot of people come to pray there and their prayers are usually answered speedily.
“The water can only be used there, if taken out of the premises, something mysterious is bound to happen to whoever takes it out.”
Tajudeen said that Opa Oranmiyan symbolised the essence of Ile-Ife as Oranmiyan was the youngest and most powerful of all Oduduwa grandchildren.
“Opa Oranmiyan is seen as the progenitor of the Yoruba race and it is about 18 feet with some intricate designs on it.
“Many people worship this also from different parts of the world.
“Important dignitaries in Nigeria visit some of these monuments in search of relevance, money, political power and fame.”