By Olufemilade Oyinade
The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Wednesday admonished all stakeholders particularly traditional rulers to prioritize youth development and capacity building, to create a greater future for the country.
Ooni Ogunwusi who is the Co-chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN), made the admonition while playing host to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, at his Ile Oodua Palace, Ile-Ife.
“Let us surrender ourselves to the youths because they own this country, they are the future that we have to build today. Let us train and re-train them and we shall all be better for it. We don’t have to wait for the government, let us do our best individually and it shall be well with us.” The Ooni said.
On the agelong relationship between the Kano Emirate and the kingdom of Ife, the Ooni Ogunwusi expressed his heartfelt joy over the relationship that has been so beneficial to Nigeria and the continent of Africa.
“I am happy that the new Sarki Kano who by far is not a stranger in this palace has agreed that we uphold the heritage of our fathers; My predecessor Ooni Okunade Sijuwade, the late Emir Ado Bayero and late Obi of Onitsha were good friends and their friendship is part of what we are enjoying in Nigeria.
“Thank God for the peacefulness that greeted your emergence as the new Emir of Kano. We were so scared for the transition that occurred in Kano because we knew there would be trouble in Nigeria if there is trouble in Kano, but we thank God it all went peacefully. I love your simplicity and humility and I am so glad about the maturity displayed by you and your immediate predecessor Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. God is the only giver and taker of power. The Ooni noted.
Earlier in his speech, the Emir thanked Ooni Ogunwusi for providing great leadership across Yoruba race and Nigeria. He noted that a new channel for deepening cultural understanding between Yoruba people and their counterparts in the northern part of the country will be created towards enhancing national unity and development.
“This is a homecoming for me in consideration of the deep, warm and life-long friendship and brotherhood between the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and my late father, Oba Okunade Sijuwade. My respect for the Ooni Ogunwusi is so much that anytime I see him, I feel like Am seeing all of my forefathers put together.
“Your Majesty, Ile-Ife, is the cradle of Yoruba civilization and centre of excellence in culture and education in Africa and it will continue to be a beacon of hope.
“We are pleased to note the prime position of the Ife Kingdom considered to be the ancestral and spiritual home of the Yoruba people all o er the world.
“As your Majesty may recall our recent meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari led by you and the Sultan, the issue of Nigerian youths was at the centre of deliberations.
” I wish to use this opportunity to suggest a cross exchange of ideas about new ways of tackling the issue of education, employment and social development amongst our youths. Because, it is through cross-fertilization of ideas that new solutions to contemporary challenges are found.” The Emir stated.