Ife Stands Still As Ooni Receives Staff Of Office | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ife Stands Still As Ooni Receives Staff Of Office

Posted: Dec 8, 2015 at 7:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

*Schools, shops, banks closed

*Osinbajo, Tinubu, Danjuma, Sultan, govs grace event

The ancient town of Ile-Ife lost its balance yesterday as the new Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, was officially presented with his staff of office by Governor Rauf Aregbesola at a colourful ceremony held at the Enuwa palace. With the coronation, Oba Ogunwusi officially becomes the 51st paramount ruler of Ile Ife, succeeding the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade, who joined his ancestors on July 28.

Residents trooped out as early as 6 a.m. to witness the official coronation of their king from the Giesi ruling house.

Traditional entertainers, including acrobatic dancers, were on hand to add spice to the ceremony. They rendered mind-thrilling historical songs and poems of Yoruba adages and proverbs. Roads leading to the palace were blocked as human and vehicular traffic was heavy at every junction and corner, not even the heavy presence of traffic controllers could salvage the situation.

As a mark of honour for the new monarch, shops, schools, banks and other operational businesses in the town were shut, but some commercial vehicle operators were seen offering skeletal services, howbeit, at an exorbitant rate.

Speaking after presenting the staff of office to the monarch, Governor Aregbesola advised the new Ooni to work towards the peace, harmony and progress of the kingdom.

Aregbesola pointed out that the new monarch became Ooni of Ife by the people of the town and the gods of the land. His words: “As the king of Oodua kingdom, you have a lot of responsibility ahead of you.

You must know that as a king, you will have a lot of privilege within and beyond Ife and the state, but you should use it for the development of humanity and the people of your town.

“There are usually two characters of a king; He could be known for peace or agony. But God will help you to be peaceful with the people of the Yoruba kingdom throughout your reign. Don’t pursue any personal parochial interest that could deter the progress of the town or affect the progress of your people,” he stated.

Aregbesola further admonished the monarch to love his subjects, guide them and listen to their complaints and plights, stressing that he should be like a father to all.”

He further charged him to uphold religious harmony and make the kingdom ethnicity free in order to tolerate all and sundry while segregation, tribalism and sectionalism should be jettisoned during his reign Aregbesola charged the Yoruba race to cooperate with the new monarch for him to be able to transform the Ife kingdom rapidly.

In his address, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, encouraged the new monarch to exhibit courage, loyalty and integrity.

Osinbajo added that the Ooni stool is a deep and reference institution in the Yoruba race. “You have to exhibit the courage, integrity and loyalty to truth at all time and God will give you the wisdom to steer the ship of your forefathers to the verge of success,” the president said.

The event was not without some security as expected. Many traditional rulers at the occasion could not gain easy entrance into the venue of the event as the three gates leading to the venue were crowded.

For instance, the chairman of Osun Council of Obas, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran stood at the third entrance gate for about 40 minutes before being allowed in while the national coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams and his entourage were kept out for a while before being allowed in.

Also, due to the traffic jam recorded at the town, a former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and his counterpart in Oyo State then, Otunba Adebayo Alao- Akala, had to trek to the venue of the programme from a long distance. In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad, acknowledged the contributions of the late Ooni, Oba Sijuwade to the advancement of the traditional institution in the country, adding that the new Ooni would add more values to the institution.

Expressing his appreciation to all and sundry, Oba Ogunwusi specially thanked the state governor for his support and for giving him the opportunity to serve the people of Ile-Ife and the entire Yoruba race.

“I am indeed very grateful. My thanks also go to all Ile-Ife traditional chiefs, sons and daughters of Ile- Ife and to all who have contributed in one way or the other to make my dream to serve my people a reality.

“With the help of the Almighty God, the quality of life of my people will definitely improve. I promise to strive relentlessly to meet the yearning and aspirations of my people.

“It has always been my dream to improve the standard of living of the people, especially the youth who are the future leaders and I promise to use everything at my disposal to ensure that the lives of our youths improve.

I equally want to state that all machinery has been set in motion to build a new Ile- Ife and I want to assure all that, every member of the community will benefit from these gestures,” the Ooni said.

The colourful ceremony was graced by dignitaries from all walks of life including former Minister of Defence, Gen. T. Y. Danjuma; National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu; Governors Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); and former National Chairman of APC, Chief, Bisi Akande.