In a reaction to the comments credited to the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo that the Ooni of Ife is the highest ranked Yoruba monarch, the Benin Palace has said the Oba of Benin is the highest ranked ruler.
The Esogban of Benin and Odionwere of the Kingdom (traditional head), Chief David Edebiri, on Monday said the Alake of Egbaland, committed a blunder when he said the Ooni of Ife was the highest ranked while the Oba of Benin was third in the hierarchy of Obas.
He stated that how can the Ooni of Ife, a son of the Oba of Benin historically be ranked higher than the Oba of Benin.
He further stated that the word Oba is alien to Yoruba monarchy as it is not part of their title from time immemorial. He added that the Oba title was only synonymous to the Oba of Benin.
He said the traditional history says that the Ooni of Ife was a Benin Prince who wandered from here to Ife, settled there and became the ruler there.
Most traditional rulers in Yorubaland who were contacted for their reactions on the issue declined making any remark, saying since the Alake had spoken on the issue, they would not want to be drawn into any controversy.