Inside Ooni’s second divorce in four years

THE news of Queen Silekunola Naomi Ogunwusi breaking up with her husband – the Ooni of Ife – after 38 months in marriage – came to many as a rude shock on Thursday.

 It was the second divorce for the foremost monarch in his six-year reign.

Silekunola Naomi, Ooni’s former wife

Historically, the Ooni is regarded as the custodian of traditions of the Yoruba race.

 The 47-year-old Oba Ogunwusi is the 51st Ooni of the ancient Ile-Ife, a town historically founded by Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yorubas. 

 Since his unveiling in October 2015 and eventual coronation in December that year, two women he married on the throne have ended their marriage with him. 

 History of divorce

The Ooni had married seven years before ascending the throne. The wife, Adebukola Bombata, had no male child, and she was reportedly not comfortable with her husband’s decision to become a king.

Their union collapsed shortly after the Ooni mounted the throne.

Adebukola Bombata, Ooni’s former wife

Barely two months later, the monarch tied the knot with a Benin princess Zaynab Otiti Obanor, popularly known as Wuraola Ogunwusi (in March 2016).

Oba Ogunwusi was not at the wedding. His father, John Ogunwusi, took the wife on his behalf.

 The wedding lasted for about 16 months (July 2017), and the parties have since kept the reason(s) for the divorce secret.

 Silekunola Naomi moved into the ‘Ile-Oodua’ after a formal marriage with the Ooni, 14 months after Wuraola broke up with the monarch.

 Like its predecessors, the marriage crashed on Thursday through Naomi’s announcement.

Meanwhile, the monarch became a father at 19 through his romance with Omolara Olatubosun, his childhood love.

 The lovebirds had their daughter, Adeola, in May 1994.

 However, they did not formalise their marriage; they soon fell apart.

Zaynab Obanor, Ooni’s former wife

 The Ooni’s latest divorce came days after the monarch revealed that he almost committed suicide after taking an N8 billion loan for a botched high-rise building project years ago.

Similarly, the monarch was in the news for the wrong reason recently, following attacks from Omolara (his first love).

Omolara accused him of abandoning Adeola for years but

took to social media to celebrate her when she

clocked 28.

But Omolara’s father swiftly defended the monarch, saying the Ooni never wronged his family.

Ooni and his daughter, Adeola

In his announcement on Thursday, Silekunola, a prophetess, said the Ooni had a different character at home from what people thought he was.

She said she would focus on caring for Tadenikawo, the one-year-old product of her marriage to the monarch. Tadenikawo is Ooni’s only son.

The woman said the prince was her first and only child, against what some people assumed.

According to her, while the union lasted, she remained the only wife, but she said there were ‘side attractions’ which were never an issue.

    The former queen said she had moved on with her life and was no longer a slave to her thoughts.

    She also said she would no longer be called the palace queen but

    people’s queen.

    The ICIR had earlier reported how the queen ended her marriage with the monarch.

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement