Thursday 16 May 2024


Benin palace may not like to hear this, but truth must be told. The word "Ọba" is a pure Yorùbá word meaning "he who sits over or lord over." It was Ọ̀rànmíyàn that introduced the word to Benin.

The word can be devided into two morphemes:

Ọ and BA. Ọ as a prefix signifies the word refers to a being. For example, ọ-kùnrin - male. ọ-ká - that which coils up, referring to a specie of snake that coils up - Gabon viper. Ọ-ya - that which breaks its bank and flows uncontrollably, name of Yorùbá goddess of river Niger.

This same ọ-rule exists in nouns that are formed from possessive relation with something. For example: ọlọ́jà, ọlọ́rọ̀, Ọlọ́run, Ọlọ́yọ̀ọ́, ọlọ́fà, ọlọ́ya, ọlọ́ba, Ọlọ́wọ̀ etc.

No wonder it is only in Yorùbá language that the word means anything close to rulership. In Benin, it is not even a NOUN as one would expect it to be. They themselves claim it means "to shine." meaning it was originally a verb turned noun. It is only in Yorùbá language that the word is a noun ab initio.

Historically, there had been ọba in Ifẹ before Odùduwà the father of Ọ̀rànmíyàn who took the word Ọba to Bini. However, there was no Ọba in Benin before the son of Odùduwà who came there use it. You can argue with your own history.

These are facts, not fiction. Logic over emotion.

As one of the grandsons of Odùduwà, we respect Ọba of Benin and will not throw shades at him the way his unruly defenders have been abusing our kings here. He can continue to use the LOAN word or he can revert to Ogiso title. The ball is in his court.

Ọba á gbó ọba á tọ́ pẹ́ pẹ́, àṣẹ.

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