By Olufemilade Oyinade
Dignitaries comprising retinue of Royals, Business Moguls, Scholars have been pouring encomiums on His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, Ooni of Ife as he marks 5th years on the throne of Ancestral fathers.
They made glowing commentaries at the event organized by the Ooni’s 5th Coronation Anniversary signalling the commencing the two-week activities earmarked for the commemoration of Ooni’s five-year reign on the throne of his ancestors, held at Premier Hotels Tower, Ibadan.
Addressing the cheering crowd, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar described the Ooni as great companion who is committed to the national interest of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The Ooni is a friend, brother and a worthy companion who has performed creditably well in accordance with the status of the Ooni within the last five years. Let me also add that he has visited Sokoto five times and I have equally visited Ife.
“One of the unique features of the Ooni is the esteem at which he carries Yoruba culture with huge dignity, this means a lot because anyone who throws away his culture is throwing away his life. I remember when I visited Brazil, I saw Yoruba culture being displayed live, that sends a great message.” The Sultan said.
Others in attendance were Olusegun Obasanjo, Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, His Royal Majesty, Oba Adekunle Adeayo Adeagbo, Oore of Otun Ekiti, the Paramount Ruler of Oore of Mobaland,
It was a moment filled with amusement when Alaafin took the microphone, rendering several Yoruba ancient literatures including incantations, to pray for longevity for the Ooni on Oduduwa stool.
Oba Adeyemi who will be commemorating his 50 years on the throne next January, assured the Ooni of his readiness to keep supporting his good moves towards uniting the Yoruba race and Nigeria in general.
Represented at the event, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu said, “In only five years as the Ooni of Ife, you have earned your place in history as a patriot, peacemaker, bridge builder, beacon of unity; a rallying force not just for the Yoruba race, but also for the entire nation and the Black World.
“Your emergence has come at a very auspicious time; an era when our country, states and traditional institutions more than ever before require leaders with a great sense of purpose, intentionality and the ability to carry the people along.
“Thank you for extending your love to us in Lagos State. You have been immensely supportive, always willing to listen to and encourage us, and also importantly, render insightful advice when needed. We deeply cherish our relationship with you.”
Similarly, the Odole Oodua, Sir Kessington Adebutu hailed the Ooni over what he described as the monarch’s strong start, particularly the task of unifying the Yoruba nation worldwide, which he said has earned him great respect across the world.
In his reaction, the Ooni thanked all dignitaries present for their love and support over past five years, adding that he will continue to work with them for the betterment of all.
“I am so honoured today with your royal presence and I pray that God Almighty will continue to honour you.
“The journey in the last five years has been so wonderful and I give God all the glory and I want to thank all traditional rulers across the country for the love and kindness.” The Ooni noted.
Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Olusola Alao, Oniru of Iruland, Elegushi of Ikateland, Alara of Ilara-Epe, Oloba of Oba-Ile, Okere of Saki and other Yoruba monarchs attended the event which was spiced with several traditional performances.
The event continued in the evening at the hotel’s poolside where a dinner/banquet party was held with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and other dignitaries in attendance.