* Says he is first Ooni to visit Ijebuland in 75 years
* We must not allow politicians to divide us
By Daud Olatunji
THE Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, has advised the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, to be wary of sycophants, politicians and various groups claiming to be championing the cause of the Yoruba. Oba Adetona, who played host to the new Ooni of Ife in his palace in Ijebu-Ode, yesterday, advised the Ooni to be cautious in his dealings with politicians.
The Awujale assisted by about 28 traditional rulers in Ijebuland, Otunbas and business moguls, who are sons and daughters of Ijebuland, received the Ooni in his palace at 1:15 pm. According to Awujale, the Ooni Ogunwusi would be the first Ife monarch to officially visit Ijebuland since 1941 when Yoruba traditional rulers held a meeting in Ijebu-Ode. He praised the Ooni for his relentless pursuit of peace and unity amongYoruba traditional rulers since his ascension of the throne and urged him to remain apolitical and always act as a father to all his people regardless of their political leanings.
He stressed only unity and cooperation among Yoruba traditional rulers would bring the desired development to the people across communities in the area. “If we are united, we can achieve a lot for our people. But if we allow politicians to infiltrate and divide us, they will spoil everything. We should not as traditional rulers sell ourselves out because of pecuniary gains. That had happened in the past and caused disunity in Yorubaland. We should not be partial, the interest of our people should matter most to us. Our paramount aim is to speak the minds of our people and provide social amenities”, Awujale said.
While acknowledging the role played by the late Ooni of Ife ,Oba Adesoji Aderemi in the mutual respect that existed between them, Awujale described Oba Enitan Ogunwusi as a man of history and prayed that his reign as a paramount king in Yorubaland will be fruitful. Oba Adetona also urged the Ooni to continue to forge and foster unity and cooperation among all Yoruba monarchs.
Yoruba monarchs, people must unite – Ooni
In his remarks, Oba Ogunwusi who stormed the Ijebu-Ode palace of the Awujale with a retinue of Ife kings, high chiefs and palace officials, harped on unity and cooperation among traditional rulers and people of Yorubaland. The Ooni called for a replication of the kind of unity and cooperation that existed among traditional rulers in Yorubaland up till 1941 when the Obas in the area last held a joint meeting. According to him, it was only through unity and cooperation that the traditional rulers in Yorubaland could achieve the best for their people.
I am here to learn from Awujale
Oba Ogunwusi added that he was in Ijebuland to learn from the Awujale who he said God has preserved for 56 years on the throne. He therefore expressed his readiness to move closer to the Ijebu monarch so as to foster better cooperation and unity among Yoruba traditional rulers. The Ooni said: “The position God has put me today is not because of my power or might. It has pleased God to make me the Ooni in my youth. Therefore, I have resolved to come closer to the Awujale because since 1941 when Yoruba traditional rulers last met, we have not had any other joint meeting. This should not be so.
“It is our culture to respect elders and there is nothing better than that before God. God loves the Yoruba people so much that He gave us everything. But if we are not united, we won’t know our worth. God has blessed all of us in Yorubaland but it is through cooperation we can achieve the best.”
Oba Ogunwusi prayed for lasting peace throughout Yorubaland and stressed the need for all members of Yoruba nation to come together and defend their rights. “Yoruba must acknowledge their values and be in unity in order to develop and promote Yorubaland. I am not here for supremacy battle because all of us belong to one God and the King of Kings to whom we will all be accountable”.
Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi explained further that his visit is mainly to acknowledge Oba Adetona as one of the paramount kings in Yorubaland whose wisdom and experience are t needed to unify all Yoruba sons and daughters, adding “I will be closer to Oba Adetona to solicit his support in the campaign of unity and peace I have started.”
Earlier in his welcome speech, the Dagburewe of Idowa, Oba Yinusa Adekoya who described Oba Adeyeye as a unique monarch and epitome of distinction, said the historic visit will go along way in the history of Yorubaland. It will be recalled Ooni had stated in his condolence message on Olubadan, a week ago, that he would have loved to be hosted by the late Olubadan as he would be taking his unity visit which he had begun with Alaaafin to his palace in Ibadan.