Dignitaries flood Ife as Ooni celebrates first coronation anniversary

Yinka Salaam, Osogbo

A foremost traditional ruler in Nigeria, the Ooni of Ife has challenged politicians and traditional rulers to live beyond the blame-game and focus on development and youth empowerment.

Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi gave this challenge during the first coronation anniversary in Ile-Ife.

While expressing appreciation to the dignitaries, the Ooni said elites, particularly traditional rulers must partner the government to develop the country.

“We should collaborate with government and stop the blame-game. We are closer to our people. Let’s work towards youth emancipation. It is very important to know our roles as traditional rulers and focus more on how to appreciate things that come out from this country.

We should be able to help others with the money that God has provided for us. Let us help one another in our little ways. We should give the less-privileged hope. We should all come together, love ourselves and impact on the lives of others,” he said.

Encomiums

Accolades also poured in for the Oba, from President Muhammad Buhari, state governors, traditional rulers and prominent Nigerians.

They all applauded Oba Ogunwusi’s leadership style, prodding him to strive to achieve more greatness.

President Buhari who was represented by the Minister for Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, described the Ooni as a ‘wound-healer’ and a progressive.

“Kabiyesi Ooni has healed the wound in our land by bringing together everybody. We know that a lot has gone into this. It is not a matter of age but the fact that you are blessed by the Almighty God to do so.

We hope that in your many years on the throne, we will witness more advancement of the entire Yorubaland, Nigeria and everywhere we have Yorubas around the world. Many are celebrating you in Cuba , Brazil, America and all over places where you have your children around. We appreciate your contribution to our development and we will continue to adore Majesty,” he said.

Also, at the anniversary was the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin who urged the Ooni to sensitive his indigenes to the importance of security.

He stressed that enlightenment on security consciousness would enhance the sustenance of the monarch’s good legacies,” he said.

A bridge builder

The Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko noted that Oba Adeyeye has performed beyond imagination within his one year on throne.

“Looking back, it is almost unbelievable that you are just one year on the throne. You have impacted on the Ile-Ife city and the whole Nigeria. You have brought uncommon energy and creativity to the throne. ‎You did not only preach peace but have also acted unity at both state and national levels. You have demonstrated how to use position as a leverage for youths empowerment,

The Governor noted that everything the monarch had done indicated that the Oba Ogunwusi was well equipped for the throne to impact on lives.

“You have made us proud. You have fired our imagination on your one year on the throne and we are ready to support you.” Mimiko said.

In the same vein, Governor Willie Obiano of the Eastern state of Anambra commended the Ooni for extending partnership to the Igbos and charged him to strengthen the bond of unity between the two tribes.

“Since Ooni emerged, I have enjoyed great support from the Yorubas and I pray that his reign will be the longest on the throne. I commend what you did to the youths by supporting them to be entrepreneurs.

‎”I am here to consolidate and deepen the Igbo-Yoruba unity. I am happy that the Yorubas living in Anambra are very happy with us. I believe in Nigeria’s unity and we should all work hard to make it work,” the governor enthused.

He emphasised the importance of monarchs to governance, saying the traditional rulers are very important in the administration of the state, particularly in settling disputes”.

Unity

The Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi stated that the Ooni remains a source of inspiration for him and other progressive minded traditional rulers in the country, describing him as an distinguished father of all the Yorubas globally.

“The unity of traditional rulers as emphasized by the Ooni is important. We need it and we are always inspired by his style of leadership. He has indeed lived up to the expectations as our spiritual leader,” Deji of Akure said.

Another notable traditional ruler, the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar expressed delight over what the described as ‘progressive moves of Ooni Ogunwusi’.

“Your Imperial Majesty, we in the North are so proud of your leadership and bridge-building moves in the last one year, it’s been so progressive, ” Etsu Nupe said.

Osile of Okeona of Egbaland, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso tasked the Ooni not to relent on his progressive agenda, saying, “your one year is like a thousand years. Kabiyesi, please don’t relent on this progressive agenda that you have been enviably executing in the last one year. The rate of advancement and progress recorded since you ascended this sacred throne of the Oduduwa is marvellous.” he said.

Also, the Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe appealed to all traditional rulers in Nigeria to cooperate with the Ooni in ensuring unity.

“Your Majesty, I bring you goodwill from across the Niger from all Igbos. We have seen how you bring real change and solve challenges that seem impossible within a year. Your feet shows that when God puts the crown on you, no human being can take it away. Collectively, with a person like you, we will achieve the real change that we have been looking for,” Obi said.

Among other dignitaries that attended the coronation are Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State; the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, and the Osemawe of Ondo, Dr. Victor Kiladejo.

Also at the occasion were Afenifere chieftains, Ayo Adebanjo and Mr Yinka Odumakin; the Acting Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Professor Anthony Elujoba; the Iyalaje of Apapa, Chief Toyin Kolade, religious leaders, diplomats as well as the physically challenged, particularly the visually-impaired children.

Others include the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr Waheed Olagunju and the Deputy Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA).

The event also witnessed the presentation of cheques, worth millions of naira to hundreds of youths who were the beneficiaries of Ooni Ogunwusi’s Agric-empowerment program in partnership with the BOI and the BOA.