Ooni Ogunwusi Finds Love Again

Ferdinand Ekechukwu

Until his recent marriage which has dominated the social sphere, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II was single. The revered monarch has quietly maintained the single status since his marriage to Prophetess Naomi Silekunola ended some months ago. A new bride, Mariam Anako, was ushered into the Ile-Ife Palace last Tuesday evening after completion of wedding rites.

It was learnt that the arrangements started in March. The monarch at the time sent a high powered delegation to her family to request for her hand in marriage. In a series of videos, which went viral, the Ife monarch and some chiefs showered prayers on Mariam while she was on her knees.  Oba Ogunwusi in the video shared on the Facebook page of his spokesperson, Moses Olafare, was assisted by chiefs and close aides, in welcoming the new wife into the palace.

Mariam becomes Ooni’ fourth wife after his last union with Naomi Silekunola was dissolved in December 2021. Naomi appears to be the most celebrated of the ex-queens.  “I waited patiently upon the Almighty the King of kings, He eventually did it in the midst of many trials”, the revered monarch had said of Shilekunola, Moronke, Naomi.

“The greatest arsenal you can apply on this highly revered throne with many rules and regulations in the midst of undiluted tradition, heritage and culture is the ‘Fear of God In You’, which is the beginning of your wisdom on this throne of Oduduwa. You are welcome home my beautiful and adorable queen.”

Indication that the Ooni was trying to settle for Mariam as his new wife was strengthened with the renovation of the quarters vacated by the last queen, with news spreading round the Palace that a new wife is coming.

According to reports, the relatives of Anako from Ebiraland in Kogi State and Ilorin in Kwara State were in attendance at the wedding ceremony. Those in the know claimed the Ooni has done everything possible to keep the relationship secret. With Mariam’s entry makes the Ooni of Ife, married for the fourth time.

Until her marriage to Ooni, Mariam is said to be working as an administrative manager in an oil and gas firm that is also into engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning. Mariam is from the Ebira ethnic group in Kogi State.  Her parents were based in Ilorin, Kwara state.

She lost her dad at a young age. She was raised in the home of former Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Dikko. Her mother is a retired police officer. Her elder sister, Medina Anako is a lawyer, businesswoman, and also Special Adviser on Intergovernmental Affairs and Kogi State Diaspora Focal Point Officer (DFPO) to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

Mariam’s elder sibling, Mrs Raliat Abdulrahman nee Anako is a Special Adviser to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila. It would be recalled that the revered monarch’s former (third) wife, Naomi Silekunola, announced that her marriage to the revered monarch was over in December 2021.

The Ooni of Ife and the former queen got married about three years ago and have a son together. Ooni has been married to other women including Adebukola Bombata the Ooni of Ife’s recorded first wife. She was his wife at the time he ascended the throne in 2015. It is reported that Bombata was against the Ooni’s decision to join the race for the throne.

When the Ooni of Ife settled in as the King of one of the most respected kingdoms in Nigeria, he decided to marry again. The king tied the knot with Zaynab Otiti Obanor from the ancient city of Benin in 2016. It didn’t take long before rumours of cracks in the marriage began to filter the air. In 2017, Obanor filed for divorce from the monarch. The divorce was finalised that same year.

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