Oba Obateru Akinruntan is the monarch of Ugbo kingdom, Ondo State. He tells Ademola Olonilua in this interview how he emerged the king and the place of his kingdom in Yoruba history. He also tells reason why Ugbo people don’t marry ladies that are fair in complexion.
What is the place of Ugbo land in the story of Moremi?
Many people must have read about the Moremi episode. The Ugbos raided Ife many times, so they consulted Ifa and Osanyin for a solution. The oracle told them to put a beautiful lady in the market and they put Moremi there who later betrayed the Ugbo people. This is why she is never celebrated in Ugbo. We see her as a betrayer, someone who leaked our secret to Ife. That is another reason why Ugbo people do not marry ladies who are fair in complexion. We see such women as another Moremi.
We believe that she was a traitor and a betrayer. She deceived us and leaked our secret to Ife, otherwise we would have kept invading them till date. There would not have been anybody in Ife if not for Moremi. That is why we can never celebrate her. She betrayed her husband, she was a killer and we can even call her an armed robber. That is why nobody in Ugbo can celebrate her.