The palace looks mostly like a shed.
Here reigns the Onido of Idolorisa, Oba Aruna Ishola, one of the hundreds of traditional rulers, who continue to exercise influence over the material and spiritual lives of rural Nigerians.
He humbly walked into the palace, and didn’t immediately give an impression that it was a royal father that had just arrived, until both young and old men and women began to prostrate and stoop down, saying, “Kabiyesi o”.
Becoming an Oba in Idolorisa comes with a lot of restrictions, the Oba admits.
He told Bounce News that the moment he became the Oba, he is forbidden from seeing other traditional rulers.
He said under no circumstance should another traditional ruler set his eyes on him when he is putting on his crown.
“My crown should not been seen by any other Oba in Yorubaland”
If another traditional ruler sees him with his crown, he said, such monarch will die in a matter of days.
“Such traditional ruler will die an untimely death”
“It may sound strange, but that is what would happen.
He said the crown he wears is an ancient one different from the ones most Obas in Yorubaland wear today.
“My crown is not ordinary. It is an ancestral crown and is the same crown my fore fathers, who had occupied the position wore.”
“Any other traditional ruler who sees the crown must die”
When pestered more, Oba Ishola said talking about the issue of the crown was a scary topic and that there were details about the crown that are not meant for public consumption.
To prevent disaster from happening, the Oba has not been attending the meetings of the Ogun State Council of Obas and Chiefs.
His absence and that of his predecessors at the Obas meetings may have robbed the community of developmental projects.
Except the provision of electricity, there is virtually no government presence in community.
Oba Ishola has, however, promised to reverse that trend by sending a representative to all the meetings and other government functions.
Aside the Oba not seeing any other Oba, Bounce News gathered that it is also forbidden for the Oba or any of his subjects to sell land in the community.
Land is freely given to any stranger who wants to reside in the community or use it for farming or other commercial purposes.
Those that founded the village, the Oba said, never sold land. “Who are we to do it?” he queried, adding that members of the community were not ready to bear any consequences for violating the traditional law.
The Oba noted that it was meant to ensure tranquility and peaceful co-existence among the people, whether natives or strangers.
Drinking of palm wine and eating of snake are also prohibited in the community.
Also, women who just delivered are not allowed to go near the palace during the first three months because the Oba must not see them and their new born babies.
It is equally an offense for these nursing mothers to eat corn meal (eko) during the first three months.
The customs according to the Oba dates back hundreds of years, when the first settlers discovered the land.
Oba Ishola feels comfortable being the custodian of these traditions and wielding all that powers because, he says, all of those taboos are sanctioned by the gods.
“It is a tradition handed down to us by our fore fathers.
“The tradition is as old as the town and it has been like that ever since,” he said
“There is nowhere there are no taboos.
“If a child is born to me today, I will not see him or her and he or she will not enter this palace until 90 days.
On what would happen if any of his subjects contravened the age long traditions, the Oba said: “I don’t know how it has been happening, but one good thing about this town is that no person, whether stranger or not has ever contravened the tradition.”
“Yoruba would say whoever does what no one has ever tried would see what no one has ever seen.”
Oba Ishola was crowned in July 2016 after the demise of the last occupant of the throne.
His kingdom is a large, rural settlement, about 30 kilometers from Idiroko town in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State.